How To Prevent Knee and Leg Injuries in Dogs

Injuries happen in dogs, that’s just the territory that comes with being a dog owner. Learn how to better recognize and prevent knee and leg injuries in your dog.


Dogs live wild and free — they love to run and play about. Regardless of their level of activity, from participating in canine sports or just a leisurely trek in the woods, dogs are susceptible to sustaining knee and leg injuries.  


At MuttKnee, we know intimately the challenges that dogs, and dog owners alike face when it comes to knee and leg injuries. We craft custom knee braces for dogs to help them heal to get back to their active life, soon. Join us in today’s post as we examine knee and leg injuries in dogs and learn more about how to recognize and prevent them.


Knee and Leg Injuries in Dogs


One of the most common leg injuries in dogs is to the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), which is similar to an ACL injury in humans. This ligament is responsible for keeping a dog’s tibia in place while providing stabilization to the knee joint.


How can dog owners recognize a CCL injury?


A CCL injury in dogs can be recognized in a couple of ways — your dog may have a lame leg and may be unable to bear weight on it and it might be swollen, or it may be the beginning of an injury where they’re limping and being cautious of the leg in question. The best course of action is to take them to the vet for a physical examination and x-rays for a proper diagnosis.  


While a CCL injury impacts your dog’s quality of life it is common and can be treated, so your dog can live a healthy and playful life.


Patellar Luxations


Another common injury in dogs is a patellar luxation. This injury can occur when the kneecap is dislocated from the thigh bone. It can be remedied when the dog is able to relax and the quadriceps muscle is able to lengthen.


One of the most common signs that this has happened is a dog will hold their hind legs up behind them to help guide their dislocation back into the thigh groove.


Typically, dogs will be able to address this injury and treat it themselves but if it’s happening frequently, they may need to see a vet for further treatment options.


How To Prevent Knee and Leg Injuries in Dogs


Now that we have a better idea of how to recognize a CCL and patellar luxation injuries in dogs, let’s dive into how to prevent them. Below are tips and considerations to keep your furry best friend injury-free!


Pinpoint your dog’s risk factors.


Every dog breed has a predisposition to health concerns and it’s vital as a dog owner to understand these, especially pertaining to knee and leg injuries.  


Any dog, large or small, can experience knee injuries over the course of their life, but when you know these risk factors you can better prevent an injury.


Dogs that are a large breed, out of shape, or overweight are more likely to experience a CCL injury, while smaller breeds, such as Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas, are more likely to experience a patella luxation.


Keep your dog active.


Dogs of all ages require an appropriate amount of exercise, so it’s crucial to keep them active. Knee injuries often occur when dogs are out of shape or subjected to vigorous exercise that their bodies are not used to, just like in humans.


CCL tears are a weakness in the ligaments and can develop over time without any physical signs, yet sometimes just walking can cause the final tear and injure your dog.


Support your dog with supplements.


There are many wonderful supplements on the market for dogs that better support their joints and ligaments, namely MSM with glucosamine and chondroitin and fish oil.


Custom Knee Braces For Dogs


If your dog ends up needing support beyond rest and supplements, a custom knee brace from MuttKnee is a solution for CCL and patellar luxation injuries. Each brace is adjustable from high-quality neoprene to help heal and support your dog. Read more about this amazing dog brace here and here.

Dog injuries happen and it’s wise for dog owners to know how to spot them and how to prevent them!

To learn more about a custom knee brace for your dog, connect with us today!


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