Cruciate Ligament Injury and Disease

Cruciate Ligament Injury and Disease.

Cruciate ligament injuries are one of the most common joint diseases in dogs. This is often referred to as a Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) injury. The damage can be progressive over time or happen quickly if your dog runs, turns quickly or jumps. If you notice a sudden change in your dog’s back legs please book an appointment for assessment by one of our vets.

Why do dogs develop Cruciate Ligament Injury or Disease?


  • Some breeds are predisposed to develop cruciate ligament disease, particularly medium to large dogs breeds.
  • Minor injury or trauma leading to a full rupture of the CCL.
  • Arthritis developing in the knee with age, leading to CCL injury.
  • Obesity or weight gain putting pressure on the knee joint.

What are symptoms of Cruciate Ligament Injury and Disease:


  • Limping on the affected leg(s)
  • Yelping in pain
  • Difficulty when rising and sitting
  • Toe-tapping when standing
  • Holding leg up
  • Reluctance to jump

Why is it important to see a vet for diagnosis and treatment:


Your dog may start to display physical and/or clinical signs of cruciate ligament disease that can be diagnosed by a vet. These may include:


  • Inflammation and thickening of the knee joint.
  • Fluid buildup within or around the joint (effusion/inflammation).
  • Clicking in the joint (meniscus damage, osteoarthritis).
  • Instability of the knee joint.

What treatment is available for Cruciate Ligament Injury ?


In most circumstances, surgery is the only option to correct the instability in the knee caused by CCL injury. The type of repair will vary depending on the size, age and breed of your dog. Rest and pain relief are essential to ensure no further injury occurs within the knee joint.