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The knee joint in the dog is one of the weakest in the body. Just as sports players are frequently subject to knee injuries, your dog can also be prone to such injuries.
The knee joint is unstable because there is no interlocking of the bones in the joint. Instead the two main bones, the Femur and Tibia, are joined by only several ligaments. When twisting of the knee occurs, a rupture of the ligament called the anterior crutiate ligament occurs. When it is torn it creates an instability that makes it impossible to bear weight on the leg without it collapsing.
*Correction of this problem requires surgery*
A surgeon can replace the ligament and stabilize the joint so it can function normally.
If surgery isn’t performed within a few days to a week of injury, arthritic changes will begin that cannot be reversed even if surgery is performed.
Obesity and overweight dogs can be a strong factor in a Cruciate rupture; this ligament becomes weak from carrying too much weight causing it to tear. Obesity will also make recovery time much harder and longer, and will make the other knee prone to tearing. If your dog has a weight problem there are prescription diets that can help to assist in weight reduction for your dog.