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The causes of knee injuries in pets

by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 20. April 2016 02:19

Just like great athletes or weekend warriors, dogs can and do get injured on a regular basis.  And much like their human counterparts, one of the parts of the body most susceptible to injury is the knee. 

“A dog’s knee is also known as a stifle, and there are two common types of injuries to the stifle that may require surgery,” says Traverse City veterinarian Dr. Eric Peck. “We see dogs with dislocated kneecaps and torn or stretched cruciate ligaments on a regular basis.” 

In dogs, the stifle is the joint that connects the upper leg bone with the lower leg bone.  The ligaments connecting this joint are very strong and because they are attached in a crisscross fashion, provide a wide range of motion and stability for your pet.  

“Dogs can suffer torn cruciate ligaments primarily in two ways.  Athletic dogs really test their boundaries by over-exerting themselves which can lead to injury, but other dogs can sustain ligament damage if they are overweight, neutered and middle-aged,” added Dr. Peck. 

Depending on the severity of the injury, sometimes a dog can be fitted with a leg brace, placed on strict rest and given anti-inflammatory medicines to heal the stifle.  However, and especially in larger breeds, knee surgery is the best option to help your pet make a full recovery.   

Just as with humans, each case is different and relying on your vet’s best judgment is always the best way to approach finding the best way to heal knee issues in your pet. 

Located in Williamsburg and providing pet chemotherapy services to Traverse City, Elk Rapids, Acme, Kalkaska and nearby communities, Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital is a fully equipped regional facility serving the routine and emergency needs of pet owners since 2009.

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