Q:

How is a torn ACL in dogs treated?

A:

Quick Answer

Dogs with a torn ACL should visit a veterinarian for a thorough examination to determine the proper treatment for the injury. Common treatments include medications, surgery and rest. The torn ACL may require several months to treat successfully.

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Full Answer

  1. Schedule an examination

    Dogs should be examined by a veterinarian to determine the exact location and severity of the tear. The veterinarian may recommend X-rays or other tests to determine which treatment offers the greatest chance of a successful recovery.

  2. Provide the recommended treatment

    Dogs that are under 30 pounds should be encouraged to rest as much as possible to allow the torn ACL to heal. The dog may be prescribed pain or anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the pain and swelling associated with a torn ACL. Dogs over 30 pounds, and those with serious injuries, may require a combination of rest, medications and surgery to repair the damaged ligament.

  3. Provide continued treatment

    After surgery or other medical procedures, the dog should rest as much as possible. The veterinarian may recommend applying ice packs to the incision site, or the dog may need to take additional medications until the injury heals. Gentle exercises are often recommended, and the dog should maintain a healthy weight after surgery to promote healthy joints.

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