What Dog Breeds are Prone to ACL Injuries?

by | Apr 22, 2021 | Dog Health

Although ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear in dogs can be caused by physical trauma, breeds also play an important role in determining whether your pet is at risk for ACL injury. Recent studies found out that some dogs are prone to ACL and CCL (cranial cruciate ligament) injuries due to their breeds.

Don’t worry; there are still ways to avoid such injuries and prevent your pet from feeling immense pain and discomfort. Read on to know seven ACL-prone breeds. We’ve also included tips on how to preempt this condition.

1. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise is a small dog breed with a fluffy white coat and black eyes. Due to their small size, they are more vulnerable to injuries. You may notice lameness, which is not typical among these bubbly dogs.

Since the bichon frise can tire quickly, it’s advisable to strengthen your furry friend’s muscles and bones. One way to do this is through regular exercise. Walk with your dog at least twice a day to ensure that joints remain flexible.

2. German Shepherd

A loyal and easy-going companion, a German Shepherd, is a strong and active dog. Due to its medium to large size, it is susceptible to hip dysplasia, thereby forcing your pet to put extra pressure on its legs.

You can lower the risk of ACL tear by helping your dog maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet. The average weight of male German shepherds ranges from 30 to 40 kilograms, while females weigh 22 to 32 kgs. 

3. Labrador Retriever

One of the most popular breeds, the Labrador retriever, has a medium to large body size. It is well known for its work in search and rescue operations and therapies. However, it is a high risk of CCL tears. 

Like German shepherds, Labrador retrievers need to maintain their weight to prevent unnecessary pressure on their legs. Most male Labradors should weigh 29 to 36 kilograms, while females should maintain 25 to 32 kilograms.

4. Newfoundland

Although relatively bigger than other breeds, Newfoundlands are known for their friendly and loving nature. However, studies mentioned by UFAW (Universities Federation for Animal Welfare) discovered that there’s a gene related to CCL ruptures among Newfies.

Fortunately, there are ways on how you can help to prevent this condition. One way is to monitor their weight, and another is to encourage daily physical activities. This breed’s healthy dog can weigh up to 70 kilograms for males and 55 kilograms for females.

5. Rottweiler

Rottweiler is a medium-large black dog known for its strength and endurance. Hence, it is helpful in search and rescue and police operations. Scientific studies cited by UFAW showed that this dog breed is three to seven times more likely to experience CCL tears and injuries.

Due to this, it’s important to recognize the early signs of ligament tears. This way, you can prevent the condition from worsening. Some of the symptoms include joint swelling, limping, and difficulty standing.

6. Bernard

St. Bernard is a large dog primarily bred for rescue work, but today, it’s also known as a family pet due to its calm and friendly nature. Due to its massive weight, usually 64 to 120 kilograms, this breed is prone to hip dysplasia. The hip condition then forces them to put extra weight on their legs, causing unhealthy pressure to the bones, joints, and ligaments. Make sure to maintain their weight and play with them for fun exercise.

Prevention Is Key

These dog breeds may have a high likelihood of experiencing ligament tears and injuries, but it should not stop them from living a healthy life. Hence, it’s a must to identify symptoms and prevent ACL ruptures from happening. Monitor their weight, exercise with them, and provide a balanced diet to lower the risk of ACL and CCL injuries.

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