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Thread: Cruciate Ligament Damage

  1. #1

    Default Cruciate Ligament Damage

    My 4 year old maltese/west highland (6.4kg) terrier jumped out of the car last thursday and I have since found out from the vet that this is a cruciate ligament injury. I am so stressed out because I have read so much on this injury I dont know whether to put her through surgery or try to let it heal naturally??? will she be in pain if I let it heal naturally?? and if I do choose to let it heal naturally does this mean that eventually she would end up having surgery as it would be so fragile?? Any help would be appreciated, I hate to see her looking so sad. I live in Eastern suburbs of Sydney, any recommendations etc........


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    based on my experience as a human with a busted ACL...

    It may hurt if you do get it fixed. It may hurt more if you don't get it fixed.

    You may be able to manage it if you don't get it fixed - as a human this meant doing lots of weight training, pool rehab to build compensating muscle and being very careful to run in straight lines only and no sudden starts/stops or change in direction or jumping and landing.

    If you think you can persaude your dog to follow this plan - your dog may be ok without a reconstruction. But otherwise it will have a loose joint that pops and wobbles every time stress is put on it - and this may be excruciatingly painful. This may lead your dog to avoid using its dodgy leg and causing compensating injuries in the good leg. Oh joy.

    It does depend a bit on whether the tear was a complete tear - there's no ACL left and how much surrounding ligament was torn or damaged.

    In my knee - I completely ripped the ACL into two separate pieces, and I severely damaged the lateral ligaments either side of the knee - so there wasn't much holding it together and it really felt like that too.

    If your dog was really old like 12 plus and had pretty much done with running and jumping and would be happy walking only - I'd say you might get away with skipping the op, but 4 - is fairly young for a dog.

    If there is any way for you to make the op happen - I'd get it done - based on my human experience of trying to live with a broken ACL for two years and basically not being able to do anything more strenous than slow careful thoughtful walking. And even then if I got distracted - it would pop apart and hurt like hell.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Sorry I can't give you any fresh advice.

    I have a friend whose dog had his CL operated on some months ago and he was confined to the house for quite some time. I'm not sure but I think even now he is on limited time outside (but then she has lots of dogs he would be out running with if not).

    I believe it is healing well, but she is tough and he was crated when she went to work etc.

  4. #4


    Get at least a second opinion before you decide on a course of action. Try & find someone who specialises in this type of injury & consult with them before you commit to the op. Good luck.

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