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Can surgery fix my dog's knee problem?

Have you noticed your dog struggling to get up or having difficulty with stairs? If so, they may be suffering from a torn cruciate ligament (ACL) in their knee. Our Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital vets offer three surgical treatments for this common condition and can help relieve the pain caused by it.

Knee Injuries in Dogs

Keeping your canine companion active and pain-free is essential for enjoying an optimal quality of life.

Despite healthy eating habits and staying physically fit, dogs can still suffer from knee injuries due to ruptured cruciate ligaments (ACLs). Pain either occurs immediately during exercise or builds up gradually over time; however, supporting the knees with good nutrition through food and supplements provides important protection against ACL tears.

What is the cranial cruciate ligament (ACL) in dogs?

The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), also known as the ACL or Cruciate, is a necessary part of your canine's leg. This vital ligament connects their shin bone to the thighbone allowing them to move around comfortably and safely!

What is tibial thrust?

Tibial thrust is an uncomfortable sliding motion within a dog's knee caused by instability when they have torn cruciate ligaments.

This movement happens because the top of the tibia (shin bone) has a sloped shape and the injured ligament can no longer prevent this forward transmission of weight across it, leading to pain for your canine companion.

What are the signs of a ligament injury in dogs?

If your dog is suffering from knee pain due to an injured cruciate ligament they will not be able to perform a number of movements normally, such as walking or running. Other symptoms of knee injuries that you should watch for are: 

  • Difficulties rising up off of the floor or climbing stairs
  • Limping in their hind legs
  • Refusing to put weight on the eg
  • Stiffness following exercise

Can surgery repair my dog's knee injury?

If your pup is showing signs of a leg injury, it's important to have the condition diagnosed by an experienced veterinarian. Many dogs with ligament injuries do not heal independently and can even injure the healthy leg if left untreated. 

To help restore your pet’s mobility, surgery may be necessary - three common surgical procedures could provide relief from knee pain caused by torn cruciate ligaments.

Talk to a vet today for more information about which procedure might work best for you and your furry friend!

ELSS / ECLS - Extracapsular Lateral Suture Stabilization

  • It is a successful surgical procedure treating knee instability in small dogs under 50 pounds. It works by using an extra-capsular suture which reestablishes the normal tension of your pup's joint, thereby increasing stability and allowing for proper healing potential within its muscles and ligaments. This advanced medical technology has allowed many canine companions suffering from painful knees the opportunity to regain their vitality!

TPLO - Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy

  • TPLP Can help to reduce tibial thrust in your pup's leg without affecting the cruciate. During this surgery, a cut is made through the top of their shin bone and rotated at an angle before being stabilized with a metal plate while it heals. With regular care and monitoring from your vet over several months, you'll soon be able to see that same strength and mobility restored!

TTA - Tibial Tuberosity Advancement

  • TTA surgery is an innovative method to stop tibia thrust movement. The process involves separating the front portion of the bone and adding a spacer between them, then securing it with a plate while allowing time for healing. This surgical technique can help restore optimal joint positioning, providing significant relief from leg-related issues!

Which type of knee surgery is right for my dog?

Your vet is the best resource for determining which type of knee surgery will most benefit your dog's injury. After a thorough examination, your vet can consider factors such as age, weight, size, and lifestyle in order to recommend the optimal procedure for restoring full mobility and getting them back on their paws!

How long will it take for my dog to recover from knee surgery?

After a knee surgery, the healing process for your pup will take some time. While it's usually safe to walk again within 24 hours of their operation, full recovery can often be 16 weeks or more! Carefully following instructions from your vet is key in allowing them to return to regular activity as soon and safely as possible – aiding with preventing any further harm from being done.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

To learn more about surgery options for treating your dog's knee injury, contact us to book an appointment today. At Turlock, our veterinary surgeon performs advanced surgery while putting your pet’s safety and comfort at the forefront.

New Patients Welcome

Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Turlock companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

(209) 634-0023

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