My vet said: my dog has a torn ACL, what is it?
The cruciate ligament, also called in human (ACL) is one of the most common ligament injury in dogs. Its main function is to prevent the knee to move abnormally. Knees with torn ACLs are unstable and consequently the friction that develops causes pain, inflammation, and eventually bone spurs (arthritis). If your dog has a torn ACL tear, he or she will not use the leg, and will predispose the other knee ligament to tear.
Do I have to fix my dog ACL tear?
YES. ACL tears do not heal by themselves due to constant forces applied to the knee during walking. Because dogs are athletes (run, jump, climb), the scar tissue that develops naturally after injury of the ACL will not be sufficient to stabilize the knee without surgery. The longer the knee is unstable, more severe is the cartilage damage, and more arthritis develops.
Is the knee brace an alternative for my dog?
Knee braces are used to temporarily stabilize the knee joint. The most common problems are pressure sores, improper fitting , and destruction of the brace by the dog. Braces are indicated for older inactive dogs and for clients with financial constraints.