He presented to our AdelaideVet Prospect clinic in April this year. His parents noticed that the previous night he seemed uncomfortable and sore in his back leg, not wanting to put it down. The next day there hadn’t been any improvement, so they brought him to us for a check.
His general demeanour was still bright and happy, although a bit nervous to be in the clinic. His check up was ok, except for one sore left hind leg. The stifle (knee) was swollen when compared to the right one and he had a positive test when checking the integrity of the ligaments (called a cranial draw test). Goggles was diagnosed with a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament.
The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in dogs runs between the tibia (shin bone) and the femur (thigh bone). This ligament helps to stop unwanted rotation of the stifle and to prevent excessive flexion or extension of the joint. Injury to the CCL can happen via slow breakdown (such as from ageing or conformation abnormalities) or fast (via trauma from running, jumping or sudden direction changes)or a combination of both.
Once CCL instability is present, the joint changes and it starts to develop osteoarthritis.
After the diagnosis for CCL rupture for Goggles, he was started on anti-inflammatory pain medication and booked if for surgical correction. He had surgery with Dr. Foreman where a titanium wedge was placed into the stifle, correcting the instability. The following day, post surgery, he was able to go home. There was a long rehabilitation period that Goggles’ owners had to follow. This initially involved very limited movement which slowly started to increase over the following 8 weeks. With regular post-operative checks and slight increases to the duration and type of activity, we saw a great improvement with his comfort and mobility.