The Signs Your Dog May Need TPLO Surgery

Mar 15, 2018 | Dog Health, TPLO Surgery

Just like people, active dogs can get bumps and bruises or other soft-tissue sprains or strains from time-to-time. All of these can lead to them wanting to just relax or maybe even walk a little differently for a couple of days. But what if you notice your dog is limping frequently with activity, has difficulty rising, or is not wanting to be as active as normal?

Your veterinarian may be able to help narrow down or diagnose the cause for this change in activity or behavior. Identifying the signs of a torn ACL can be difficult.  Below are a few symptoms that can be seen in patients with ACL tears.  If they seem to fit with what your pet is doing, or you think your pet may have an ACL tear, you will want to start here.

Your Dog Limps

Dogs can limp for several reasons. They may have something stuck in their paw or have a cut or a scrape causing them to walk differently. But if you check your dog’s paws and there’s nothing visible, there may be another issue. Monitor your dog’s walking and note how they seem to be walking differently.  Is the limping consistent or intermittent? Do they still put weight on the leg or do they carry it completely up?  Do they use it when standing? Walking? Running?  A dog ACL tear can develop slowly over time or very quickly and this is one of the most common causes of hind limb lameness in dogs.

Your Dog Sits Awkwardly

If your dog has an ACL injury, they may sit with one leg out to the side, rather than with both legs underneath them. Veterinarians refer to this as the “sit-test”.  It indicates they are experiencing discomfort in the knee and are hesitant to fully flex it.  This is one of the easiest signs to detect when an ACL tear is present and a repair procedure such as a TPLO surgery may be indicated. 

First Steps to Take When Noticing These Signs

If you notice these signs, it’s important to take note as having this information can help a veterinarian accurately diagnose the issue and properly present options to you. Of course, if it appears your dog is experiencing a high level of discomfort, then you want to see a veterinarian right away and you may need to discuss dog ACL surgery options.

ACL injuries in dogs are typically painful and proper care is important to help achieve a full recovery. TPLOInfo seeks to educate pet owners on ACL tears and the ways to help heal the tear. To learn more about the dog knee and ways to fix a dog ACL tear go through our 6-steps.

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