Matamata Veterinary Services | Latest News

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Cruciate injuries in your pet

May 11, 2021

The cruciate ligaments are found deep inside the stifle joint (the knee) of your pet. They stabilize the knee and stops backwards and forward movement of the 2 legs bones (tibia and femur). If either of these ligaments rupture then the knee becomes unstable and the bones rub on each other and cause pain, lameness and cartilage damage.

A very common injury is a strain or rupture of this ligament. One reason for rupture of the ligament can be a traumatic injury due to a sudden twisting or unusual action during play. The other reason which occurs more frequently in older, overweight, or large breeds dogs, is due to a weakened ligament that stretches over time. This ligament can then partially rupture causing a waxing and waning lameness or fully rupture causing a sudden more severe lameness.

Sometimes we can diagnose a ruptured or strained ligament in a consult but more often than not, we need to sedate your pet and take some xray’s to get a diagnosis. Treatment depends on the degree of damage to the ligament and the size of the dog. Surgical options aim to restabilize the knee joint and decrease the effect of long term osteoarthritis and pain in the joint.