Have you noticed that your dog is having trouble walking? Maybe they are clearly in pain or are entirely immobile at this point. They may be suffering from a cruciate ligament tear, one of the most common orthopedic issues seen in dogs. Wisconsin Veterinary Orthopedics has treated countless dogs with this particular condition, offering orthopedic surgery for dogs in Holmen, Wisconsin, and the surrounding areas.

The cruciate ligament connects the femur to the tibia and stabilizes the knee joint, allowing your dog to run and play freely. When this ligament is torn, it can be extremely painful and prevent your pup from enjoying the physical activity they require.

Causes of Cruciate Ligament Tears

Many things can cause damage to your dog’s cruciate ligament, including natural deterioration due to aging. Some breeds are more prone to cruciate ligament injury than others. Most often, this condition results from trauma during athletic activity or degeneration of the ligament over time. Obese dogs are at a higher risk of suffering a cruciate ligament tear, as they are carrying much more weight than healthy dogs.

Symptoms of a cruciate ligament tear include:

  • Sudden weakness in the hind leg
  • Yelping or whimpering
  • Limping
  • Stiffness in the leg (noticeable when getting up after resting)
  • Change in posture
  • Noticeable difficulty in walking, jumping, or running
  • Walking differently than normal
  • Sitting at a strange angle with a leg sticking out to the side instead of tucked under the body
  • Swelling in the knee
  • Lack of desire for physical activity

Some dogs can heal from a cruciate ligament injury with adequate rest and prescribed medications. However, this is not the case for most pets. Other dogs can benefit from more conservative treatments such as physical therapy, leg braces, and weight loss plans. Many dogs require orthopedic surgical intervention to repair the torn ligament and relieve their pain altogether.

Orthopedic Surgery for Dogs in Holmen

If you recognize any of the above symptoms in your dog, they may be suffering from a cruciate ligament tear. Our veterinarian will assess your pet’s condition to determine the best course of action, which may include orthopedic surgery. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Wisconsin Veterinary Orthopedics at (608) 526-2200.