Did you know your dog can suffer the same ACL injury humans do?
An ACL injury is one of the most common orthopedic problems in dogs. Vets see many dogs with ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries, and one way to aid their pain is by using an ACL brace for dogs.
ACL is a common injury among dogs and is also known as a torn or ruptured ligament. You can find this in the knee joint, which results in partial or complete instability of the knee joint.
So now that you know what it is, what the symptoms are, and what you can do to help alleviate the pain your dog might be experiencing.
Symptoms Of ACL Injury
The most common symptom of a dog ACL injury is lameness or limping on one or both hind legs. The degree of lameness can vary from mild to severe. Other symptoms may include:
- Difficulty bearing weight on the affected leg
- Reluctance to move or exercise
- Muscle wasting in the affected leg
Your veterinarian should perform a thorough physical examination of your dog, which will likely include feeling around the knee joint for signs of swelling and pain.
Your vet may also recommend X-rays to rule out other potential causes of lameness, such as arthritis or bone fractures. In some cases, further testing, such as an MRI or CT scan, may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment for a Dog ACL Injury
The most common treatment for a dog ACL injury is surgery to repair the ligament. Vets can do this through an arthrotomy (an incision into the joint capsule) or a mini-arthrotomy (a smaller incision).
In some cases, the torn ligament may be able to be sutured back together. More often, however, the ligament will need to be replaced with a tendon or artificial ligament.
The type of surgery your dog undergoes will depend on several factors, including the severity of the injury and your dog’s age and activity level.
After surgery, your dog will likely need to wear an ACL brace for several weeks. They will also need to rest and refrain from any strenuous activity during this time.
The purpose of an ACL brace is to keep your dog from putting weight on his injured leg until he has healed enough for you to take him for walks again.
ACL brace manufacturers use high-quality materials. In addition, it has a belt design to ensure the best protection for your pet.
An ACL brace typically consists of a plastic shell with straps. These straps wrap around the leg below the knee and above the ankle.
They also go around each side of your dog’s chest. So the straps cross over each other in front of the belly button.
It may seem like a lot of straps at first glance, but once you have put it on your dog once or twice, it won’t take long before you can do it on autopilot!
When your pet is going through an ACL Injury, chances are that you will want to do everything possible to ensure that your pet is getting adequate treatment.
Caring for your dog with an ACL injury is not easy. If you’re new to this situation, you likely have many questions and a lot of doubts.
Your pet may even become depressed because the injury has seriously limited its ability to move around.
But be assured that there is a lot you can do to help your pet through a recovery period — including the use of an ACL brace for dogs, which is quite common.