Is Surgery Needed for an ACL Tear?

When your dog is in pain, you want to help him alleviate some of that pain, at least to the best of your ability. That task isn’t always simple, however, since a dog cannot talk to tell you what’s bothering him. But, when it is an ACL tear diagnosis, you can almost expect that your pooch is experiencing pain. A visit to the vet should have landed some pain medication for your pet, but is that enough? Does your dog need surgery to correct this problem?

Any dog can tear their ACL, and it happens quite easily. Even still, it is young, active, larger dogs that usually sustain problems with their ACL, including Rottweilers and German Shepherds. Dogs that are overweight are also at a greater risk of developing an injury with their ACL.

An ACL tear can occur due to many causes. An ACL injury in a human occurs when the leg is hyperextended. This is why these injuries are most commonly experienced in athletes. Even still, many activities that your dog enjoys may cause the tear. This includes a lack of exercises. But, this still leaves the question, is surgery the only way to correct the problem?

The truth is, surgery is usually the last option recommended for treatment of an ACL tear. There are so many risks involved with surgery, and vets simply do not like putting your pet at risk when other options are there. Some vets recommend the use of dog prosthetics to help your pet recover from an ACL injury. These prosthetics help your pet regain activity slowly as he builds back the strength in the muscle. They also reduce further injury from a pet who is trying to use only three limbs. You should talk to your doctor if you are interested in using dog prosthetics to help your dog.

Aside from prosthetics, there are still a few other methods of treating an ACL injury that your dog has sustained. For most cases, your vet will recommend that you use a variety of treatments to provide your pet the best chances of a full recovery. Additional treatments for an AL tear in a dog include:

·    Bed Rest: At least 8 weeks of low-level activity is recommended after an ACL tear

·    Physical Therapy: Once the dog is healing from his injury, physical therapy may help him once again regain strength in the limb and regain full control and usage over that limb.

dog prosthetics

·    Supplements: An array of joint therapy supplements for dogs is available. These supplements help soothe the aching joint, and after an ACL tear, this is very important.

·    Cold Laser Therapy: Cold Laser Therapy is yet another option for helping your pet back to good health after an ACL tear. Your vet can give you more details about cold laser therapy and help you learn if it is a treatment option suitable for your pet.

ACL injuries cannot be prevented in most cases, but it is reassuring to know that there is treatment available.