What is a torn ACL in dogs?
You’re probably familiar with the term ACL from witnessing a player injured in a football or soccer game. But what is a torn ACL?
ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament, and it is an important stabilizing structure in the human knee. Dogs have a very similar ligament, technically called the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). Even though “anterior” and “cranial” are basically synonyms, the term is different between humans and dogs. Both indicate a location closer to the head. But “anterior” is used in humans and “cranial” refers to the same direction/position in animals. This is CCL tear in Dogs.
Because most people are familiar with the term ACL and they have similar meanings, ACL is often used more than CCL.
How is ACL Tear Diagnosed?
Cranial Drawer Test:
The examining veterinarian positions the thumb and forefinger of one hand on the femur, and the other hand is placed on the tibia. The femur is held in place while the other hand shifts the tibia backward and forward.
In a normal, stable joint, there will be little to no motion ie. instability. The rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament allows the tibia to slide forward. Therefore, a positive cranial drawer test is indicative of cruciate ligament damage.
Tibial Compression Test:
Another test that is used to diagnose dog ACL injuries is the tibial compression test. In this assessment, one hand is placed around the end of the femur, with the index finger extended over the patella. The other hand grasps the foot and flexes the hock (ankle). If the tibia moves forward, it is an indication of ACL damage.
For the best diagnosis, you must seek the advice of a veterinarian who is familiar with diagnosing CCL Tear in Dogs.
How Can I Prevent Another CCL Tear in My Dog’s OTHER Knee?
Since your dog has injured one hind leg, they are having to compensate on their three other “good” legs. This compensation puts their other legs, back, and joints at greater risk of injury. It is estimated that 30-50% of dogs who tear one ACL will tear the other ACL within a few years.
So what can you do for your dog?
1. Provide your dog with the essential nutrients
It is never too late to start your dog on a quality joint supplement that will provide them with the essential nutrients to keep their joints strong and healthy.
2. Use dog brace when your dog recover.
A custom-fit knee brace is a good way to help support their injured knee and give it stability while they’re healing. Knee braces help keep their knee and surrounding joints in place while their body does the ‘heavy lifting’ and heals itself.
Dog Torn Acl Brace