What is Cruciate Disease?
Cruciate disease is the most common orthopaedic disease in dogs and often requires surgical intervention. Inside the canine knee are two crossing ligaments joining the femur and the tibia. These are known as the cranial and caudal cruciate ligaments. The cranial cruciate ligament, in particular, is an important stabiliser of the knee joint, preventing forward motion of the tibia out from under the femur. A complete or partial rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament leads to joint instability and lameness. If left untreated this can result in severe arthritis as unnatural movement damages protective joint cartilage.
How is cruciate rupture diagnosed?
During an examination, your veterinarian will feel both knees and test for unusual instability in the knee joint. If your veterinarian suspects ligament rupture has occurred they will recommend taking x-rays under sedation to further assess the knee.