Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears in dogs are typically due to chronic stress on the joint and, once torn, can severely impact mobility. About 85% of orthopedic surgeries performed on dogs are due to ACL ruptures. Once the ACL is torn, walking can become very difficult or impossible. It’s important to note the beginning signs of an ACL tear in your pet. If left untreated, the continued stress will inevitably continue to deteriorate, causing pain and decrease in mobility for your pet.
A variety of signs can result from an ACL injury, including subtle lameness, complete avoidance of putting weight on the leg, and sticking out injured leg to the side when sitting.
Warning: About half of dogs will tear their second ACL after tearing the first, however, there is some belief by veterinarians that proper rehabilitation can decrease the chance of tearing the second ACL.
There are several approaches when addressing a torn ACL, but the most frequent is the tibial tuberosity advancement surgery (TTA). At Rea Road Animal Hospital, Dr. Dozier and his team are highly trained and experienced to perform a modern variation of this procedure.
Once the ACL surgery is complete, and your pet is ready to go home, your pet will be given an e-collar to wear to prevent damage to the incision. In order to prevent further injury or delayed recovery, we recommend keeping the e-collar on at home. During the course of recovery, we provide rehabilitation and physical therapy to maximize the healing process. We use Nocita for pain and inflammation and we also suggest laser therapy on the surgery site. When it’s time, the sutures will be removed.
It is important to keep a close watch on your pet post surgery. If you find your pet isn’t using the leg or skipping, something could be wrong or they could be in pain. We recommend bringing him or her in within 24 hours so we can identify the issue.
As with any surgery, follow-up visits are crucial for your pet’s recovery process. Our team will need to see your pet on a weekly basis in order to evaluate the healing process and assess the cast. During a post-operative visit, we will make adjustments to the cast based on how your pet is walking and will update our therapy plans each week to ensure a successful healing process.
Remember, follow-up visits are included in the surgery cost! We are here to help every step of the way, and encourage you to call us with any questions or concerns.
Soft casts are to remain clean and dry since moisture can be damaging to the casts’ integrity and may interfere with the healing process. Our staff will provide your pet with a boot to wear outside, and if you notice your pet constantly licking the cast, we ask that you keep the boot on full time.
Physical therapy is essential in promoting accelerated healing, building strong muscles, and regaining muscle memory. Prior to physical therapy visits, be sure your pet has had enough play time and was taken outside before the session to ensure maximum focus and benefits!
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8100 Williams Pond Ln
Charlotte, NC 28277