The Anterior Cruciate Ligament, also called the ACL, is a support structure for the knee. It keeps the knee stable, and is one of two ligaments that cross the joints in the knees to provide femur stabilization. The ACL prevents the tibia, a bone in the knee, from sliding out of the femur.
A Common Pet Injury
Injuries to the ACL are very common in dogs. Breed doesn’t really matter, although larger dogs and breeds seem more prone to these injuries. It is one of the injuries that takes dogs to the vet often, as there are many ways that an injury can occur, especially when a dog is overactive or if the dog is overweight and is active less often than other pets.
The ACL injury occurs when excessive rotation of the tibia occurs against a partially flexed joint. This can be caused from running, excessive movements, and being overactive, as mentioned. Dogs that are overweight are prone to these injuries and smaller dogs usually do not experience the problem as often as larger dogs. Again, do not think that your dog is out of the danger zone. The truth is, any pet can sustain an ACL injury if the joint moves the wrong way at the wrong time.
A Brace for Treatment
Many pet owners use a stifle brace for dogs to protect the ACL and help prevent injury. It is easy to use for such a task, and doing so can save your pet a lot of hardship and you a lot of money. Of course, if there has already been an injury, the brace comes in handy. Using it may prevent the need for surgery, and can improve healing time of the injury. There are many braces out there for dogs, so make sure to carefully weigh all the options before making a purchase.
Signs Your Pet has Sustained an ACL Injury
It is pretty simple to tell what your dog is in pain and this is one of the signs that indicate a problem. If you notice that your dog has a sudden case of lameness or that he is limping in a hind leg, there is a good chance that it is the result of an ACL tear. You should not wait to make an appointment with the vet to get a proper diagnosis of the problem and begin treatment. The sooner that you get treatment for your pet, the better.
The ACL is a ligament that dogs oftentimes injure. If your pet has experienced this injury, be sure to get him or her to the vet quickly to get the course of treatment best for their needs. Early treatment can prevent many lifelong problems that result from the ACL injury, including arthritis. It also ensures that your pet is in pain for as little time as possible. And, make sure that you talk to your vet about a brace and how well it can help your pet improve after this injury has occurred.