Understanding ACL Injuries in Pets

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is a ligament within the knee joint that connects the femur to the tibia. It is critical in maintaining normal knee function.

The ACL tear is the most common orthopaedic injury in dogs, normally occurring in middle age active dogs. In the majority of cases complete ACL tears will require surgery to give your animal the best chance of full recovery.

The GOOD NEWS is that there has been great advancement in what type of surgical repairs for ACL injury are available to pet owners. At Companion Animal Hospital we perform a procedure called a TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement). We have chosen this procedure as opposed to the TPLO procedure to provide to our clients for many reasons.

The TTA procedure is much less invasive than a TPLO and can be performed in less time. This benefits the animal and the owner. A TPLO requires a longer and more restrictive recovery time. This is especially tough on many dogs as most dogs with the injury are active and to not do well with confinement. The TPLO has a higher rate of post surgical complications including injuries to the meniscus post surgery and leaves the dog with less range of motion in the knee as compared to the TTA.

Not all BUT MOST dogs are candidates for a TTA and some may require a TPLO or another option. To help decide which procedure is best for your animal you should seek advice from a veterinarian. If your dog has been recently diagnosed with an ACL tear and you are wondering which option is best for you and your animal please contact Dr Don Slaunwhite at Companion Animal Hospital. We will gladly help you to make the right decision for your pet.

By Dr. Don Slaunwhite