Veterinary Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine

The Revolutionary Way to Treat Partial CCL Tears in Dogs

Discover How Partially Torn Cruciates in Dogs are Treated with Regenerative Medicine

Modern Medicine is certainly changing the ways to treat early stage cruciate (CCL) injuries in dogs but the key to avoiding surgery (if that’s what you prefer) is by identifying the small signs your dog shows that a full injury is on its way.

We see numerous – second opinions for cruciate injuries and sadly even when partial tears are diagnosed – the most common advice given to these people includes:

  • Wait until a full rupture occurs and then do surgery –
  • Go on pain meds and anti-inflammatory drugs and see how it goes
  • Restrict activities and see if it heals

The chances of a successful heal however is minimal and even if it does seem to improve – it is by the development of fibrous tissue which in turn leads to arthritic changes down the track.

CCl injuries are a most common orthopaedic injury in dogs – particularly large breeds – active or ageing dogs. It is the equivalent the ACL injury in Humans.

How Can You identify Early Injury?

Limping or skipping even if intermittent can be a sign of developing cruciate injury and it’s when you see your dog do this – that you should have your vet perform a thorough knee exam.

If a partial tear is diagnosed and you want to go down the non – surgical path then you need to act quickly before more damage occurs.

We (like Dr Sherman Canapp in the video) diagnose partial tears through a musculo-skeletal exam and / or more accurately by inserting a small needle scope into the joint to determine degree of damage.

“Bentley’s” partial cruciate tear was treated with stem cells and PRP and he is now in our rehab program In a few week’s time we’ll be going back in with the fine needle scope to check healing progress.

CCL Canine Cruciate Ligament Surgery

Treatment With Regenerative Medicine (Stem Cells)

If your dog has been diagnosed with a partial CCL tear and you prefer to go down the non -surgical path then you MUST WATCH Veterinary Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Specialist Dr Sherman Canapp talk about this on The Pet Show (USA) with Dr Katy Nelson.

While this contains the full episode of the Pet Show – skip through the ads and other local stories to find the interview with Dr Canapp. Highly recommended for you if you have performance dogs, active dogs, senior dogs or just big goofy dogs like Bentley!

As Australia’s experts in Regenerative Medicine and VOSMA affiliate – we use these same techniques as explained in the video.

Further Reading

Partial Cranial Cruciate Ligament Tears Treated with Stem Cell and Platelet-Rich Plasma Combination Therapy in 36 Dogs: A Retrospective Study

Regenerative Medicine for Soft Tissue Injury and Osteoarthritis

Hydrotherapy for Dogs

Why Hydrotherapy – Underwater Treadmill is not for all Dogs

Underwater Treadmill or Hydrotherapy is not a complete Rehabilitation Program

We get regular enquiries from people who have been advised to book their dogs in for Underwater Treadmill therapy to assist in recovery after orthopaedic surgery or other musculo-skeletal conditions.

While aquatic therapies such as Underwater Treadmill (UWTM) or pool swimmingHydrotherapy for Dogs can be extremely beneficial as part of a rehabilitation program – they are not suitable for all musculo-skeletal conditions.

Aquatic therapy should not be seen as a standalone therapy for these cases. Instead it should be a small part of a larger rehabilitation program incorporating multiple modalities & therapies.

We’ve had dogs referred to us for UWTM that couldn’t even stand following spinal surgery – let alone walk. In these cases – UWTM therapy ALONE is not a good starting point for therapy.

Others have just had orthopaedic procedures which involve healing of delicate tissue and internal implants – in these cases – the powerful forces generated by walking through water in a Underwater Treadmill would have done more harm than good. This is because – at this stage we need to concentrate more on strengthening the stabiliser muscles rather than the locomotor muscles.

What is a Rehabilitation Program?

A rehabilitation program is one that is made up of modalities & therapies that are specifically selected based on your pet’s condition. The program may or may not initially include any aquatic therapies such as UWTM or swimming. These may be introduced at a later stage in the program.

How do I know Hydrotherapy is right for my Dog?

In the Human world – your orthopaedic surgeon or Doctor doesn’t prescribe a recovery plan. They would refer you to a Physiotherapist who creates that program for you.

In pets – it works the same way.

Our Certified Rehabilitation Veterinarians conduct a full Rehabilitation Assessment from which a tailored program is prescribed. This might include multiple modalities – specifically designed for your pet’s needs.

We encourage you to seek out a qualified professional – a Rehabilitation Veterinarian or an Animal Physiotherapist to assess your dog first before just booking a Hydrotherapy session in yourself with a place that has those facilities.