CCL in Dogs

Your dog is running about, and suddenly cries. You rush over to see your dog limping and looking scared. Your dog has suffered a rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament, or CCL. Pawsitive Strides Veterinary Rehabilitation & Therapy in Des Moines, IA, takes a closer look at dog CCL.

What Causes Dog CCL?

There are several causes of a CCL rupture in a dog’s knee. One way is when a dog is running and suddenly changes direction. Another common way is by being overweight. The dog sustains a minor injury, and the excess weight puts too much pressure on the CCL, making it tear. Other causes include injury to the knee, luxating patella, or arthritis. Having one of these conditions and being overweight also makes a dog more prone to a CCL tear.

How Is CCL Diagnosed?

When you take your dog to the animal hospital, the vet will move your dog’s injured leg in a particular way to examine it. Your dog will also need X-rays. Your dog may need a sedative if he or she does not let a vet touch the leg. This is understandable, since your dog is in pain.

How Is CCL Treated?

Your dog’s knee has become so unstable that no weight can be put on the leg. Doing nothing can cause even more damage. It is possible for dogs weighing less than 22 pounds to heal on their own, with complete rest. However, most dogs with a CCL rupture require surgery at an animal hospital.

About CCL Surgery Aftercare

Your dog will need rest after surgery. Your dog can only do limited exercise for six to eight weeks. Veterinary therapy, such as walking on an underwater treadmill, can help give the dog safe, low-intensity exercise and rebuild strength after such an ordeal. Dogs can also benefit from a series of acupuncture sessions to help lessen pain and promote relaxation. Dogs often get so relaxed during their acupuncture sessions that they fall asleep.

Still Have Questions?

If your dog has suffered a CCL rupture and you live in the Des Moines, IA area, contact Pawsitive Strides Veterinary Rehabilitation & Therapy at (515) 575-9655 to make an appointment today.

Contact Us

Send us an email


Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

2911 Ingersoll Ave. Des Moines, IA,50312


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


12:00 pm-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm