RUPTURED CRUCIATES IN DOGS

QUESTION: I have a 4 year old, large mixed breed female that is limping in the hind legs. She has been thoroughly checked by a Veterinarian for Hip Dysplasia and does not have it? What else could it be and what can be done about it?

ANSWER: If not Hip Dysplasia, then perhaps an old injury? But often undiagnosed is............ "Ruptured Cruciates".

Torn Knee Ligaments (Ruptured Cruciates) begins as moderate to severe lameness in one or both hind legs. As the joint instability continues without corrective surgery, chronic injury usually results in degenerative joint changes that include Periarticular Osteophyte Formation, Capsular Thickening and Medial Meniscal Degeneration.

Because of the joint instability and subsequent progression of degenerative joint changes, surgical stabilization of the stifle is indicated. Prognosis is based on the amount of surgical stabilization and the extent of degenerative changes already present when surgery was performed.

If your dog was misdiagnosed and left without immediate surgical intervention, prognosis is not as good. Including the fact, Arthritis may occur in later life the same as if the injury was left untreated and allowed to heal on its own.

It may have originated with blunt trauma or landing wrong after jumping or excited play, especially in an animal that is not in excellent physical condition and/or over weight where the animals joints, ligaments, tendons, etc were not able to handle the trauma. Small breeds are more predisposed to ruptured cruciates but it is also seem in large breed types.

Suggestions are to restrict exercise by confining the animal giving the surgical repair time to heal. Surgery is rarely effective if it is done twice on the same ruptured cruciates and usually not recommended.

My recommendation if other joint problems (arthritis included) is Glucosamine with Chondrotin and MSM added. In severe cases, your Vet may prescribe an Anti-imflamatory to also be given.

Glucosamine Formulas made specifically for dogs can be purchased from your Vet. I have used these products on both horses and dogs with a marked level of success. BUT, do not expect miracles immediately. It can take weeks up to 3 months before the Glucosamine is converted to the necessary "Cartilage Precursors". Same with any product sold as an aid in helping joints, etc. It must be given daily, not sporadically. Remember it takes time to work.

Document is a general word document for informational purposes only and does not replace immediate examination and treatment by a Veterinarian.

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