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ACL Injuries in Dogs

Treatment for ACL Injuries in a Dog continued...

Conservative, non-surgical treatment for ACL injuries is typically only used for dogs weighing less than 30 pounds. This includes rest and anti-inflammatory medications for six weeks to two months, followed by a gentle program of exercise and, if obesity is present, weight loss. Without surgery, the knee joint will be subject to degenerative changes.

ACL surgery for dogs includes a number of different techniques that aim to provide stability to the joint. Depending on the procedure used, it may take two to three weeks before your dog is able to bear weight on the injured leg, and, in all cases, exercise is usually restricted for at least eight weeks to allow for adequate healing. It can be very difficult to keep your dog quiet during the rehabilitation period, so you may find it necessary to keep your dog in a crate when you are not available to supervise his activity.

Your veterinarian will be able to advise you about icing your dog's knee and performing gentle range of motion exercises to help with your dog's rehabilitation. Although this healing period can be a difficult time for you and your dog, strict adherence to your veterinarian's recommendations will provide the best outcome and will be the quickest way to get your best friend back on all fours.

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WebMD Veterinary Reference

Reviewed by Elizabeth A. Martinez, DVM on July 01, 2012

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