Duke the Dog Does His Knee

It’s footy season but your dog doesn’t need to be on the sports field to do his ACL! Recently Duke the 6-year-old Rottweiler was referred to us for cruciate ligament surgery, because Dr Andrew is very experienced in this type of surgery.

Rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee is one of the most common injuries we see in dogs in the Gold Coast Hinterland. This injury can lead to painful arthritis in a dog’s knee if it’s not treated effectively.

Plenty of dogs will ‘snap’ the ligament after suddenly jumping off a height or turning quickly. These dogs won’t be able to stand on the injured hind leg. Cruciate ligament disease can also be a degenerative condition and older dogs may present with an intermittent lameness and a thickened knee joint.

Our expert vets will examine the dog under sedation or general anaesthetic in order to diagnose a ruptured ACL (we feel for inappropriate movement of the knee joint). Radiographs (X-Rays) at our state of the art vet surgeries identify any evidence of swelling within and around the joint and any arthritic changes that may indicate progressive disease.

Surgery to stabilise the joint is the best option for treatment. Small dogs may respond to conservative treatment (rest and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication) but due to instability in the joint, there is a high risk that these dogs will develop arthritis and these patients must be carefully managed.

Duke is definitely not small so surgery was the way to go! Dr Andrew removed the damaged ligament and replaced it with an artificial one during the operation – on the right you can see a photo.

The surgery went well and Duke is now in recovery, and back to his smiley self, below!

If your dog is injured and “does his ACL” please give our friendly vets a call. There are different surgical techniques available and we will be able to give you more information on the most suitable type for your dog.