Cranial cruciate ligament injuries are a common cause of lameness in our dogs, just like we see in football and netball players. These injuries to the knee occur particularly when a dog loves to play and jump, catching balls or Frisbees. They also occur in overweight dogs carrying extra weight on their joints.
Cruciate ligament injuries can have a sudden onset or the dog may have a mild lameness over time. You may notice your dog limping on their hind leg, crying when bearing weight on the leg and/or a reluctance to walk or exercise.
Cruciate injuries may be treated conservatively with rest and anti-inflammatory medication in some cases, but once the ligament is fully ruptured, surgical repair provides the best results for resuming a normal pain-free function of the leg.
Previously at our clinic we have been able to surgically repair cruciate ligaments for dogs under 20kg with an artificial suture and recommended referral to a specialist for larger dogs as they can provide a TPLO or a TTA surgical procedure which is more effective.
However, back in July 2016, Dr. Jack attended a workshop in Sydney to learn how to perform a different method of surgical repair, called a TTA or Tibial Tuberosity Advancement. This method, while not suitable for all dogs, can be used on larger dogs too. Since his conference, Dr. Jack has successfully performed this procedure on a number of different breeds ranging from a 10kg Jack Russell to a 33kg German Shepherd and even recently on an 82kg Irish Wolfhound! We can assess patients and advise you of all your options for your pet. We are still happy to refer you pet to a specialist for surgery if you want a more experienced surgeon but we can provide a cost effective alternative for those who need it.
Our vets Jack, Jacinta and Paula work hard to constantly update their skills in order to deliver the best possible care for our patients.
If you notice your dog is limping, please book an appointment with one of our vets so we can help make your furry friend more comfortable.