The common scenario for a cruciate ligament tear is a middle aged, female overweight dog, who suddenly is limping on a back leg. The culprit is quite often a torn cruciate. All breeds are at risk and large breeds are at risk even at 1-2 years of age. But how? Why? What can we do about it? What about the other leg? The current school of thought is torn cruciates are often not traumatic in nature. Yes, that means that it isn't always a simple injury like we once thought. It's not always a case of running through the yard, hitting an unseen small depression with the leg extended or taking a blow with the foot planted as we see in football players when they are tackled.In fact, perhaps only 30% of cruciate tears fall into this category. The remaining tears are thought to be the result of a chronic degenerative process, perhaps a genetic component or as the result of microtears from repetitive movements that predispose the dog to a tear. We know that if your dog has luxating patellas, a congenital condition, that will predispose your dog to tearing a cruciate ligament. Add in the effects of carrying a bit of excess weight, perhaps some weekend warrior activity, and boom!
Is your dog at risk? Do you own a young large breed dog? Or a spayed female that's over 5 years old and maybe kind of chubby? Does your dog have luxating patellas? Cruciate tears could happen to your dog. Its a common injury. Be informed. Just in case.