ACL Injury Is The Most Common Orthopedic Injury In Dogs

If your dog is lame on one leg (can be both but is atypical) it is likely that it is an ACL injury. The ACL injury is the most common Orthopedic injury in dogs. However, you need to see your veterinarian to confirm that the injury exists. Your Vet would accomplish this by an x-ray of the dog’s Stifle or Knee joint. This is for ruling out any additional problem such as Synovial Sarcoma of the joint or Fibro Sarcoma of the surrounding bones as well as other more minor injuries. Assuming the x-rays are negative for any of these conditions, your Vet will perform an Anterior Drawer Test. This test is where the Vet initially, without anesthesia, bends the affected leg at the knee joint and pulls the lower part of the leg (just below the Knee joint) forward on the upper part of the Stifle or Knee Joint. If there is
forward movement this confirms that a torn Anterior Ligament (ACL Ligament) exists. If it doesn’t shift forward then the dog needs to be sedated to repeat this test as your dog may be resisting because of the pain. The degree of movement is an indicator of the severity of the tear from partial tear to complete tear. You might want to see our website at for additional information on conservative treatment for an ACL injury.

If you need additional information feel free to call us at 800-443-4055 in the US or Canada and 847-634-1700 outside the US or Canada.

Dr. Joel Spatt

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