West Chester Veterinary Center
7330 Liberty Way, West Chester OH 45069 - Phone: 513-755-2273


ACL is a common athletic injury in overweight, large breed and athletic dogs. 

A ruptured ACL involves tearing a ligament in the knee joint which prevents forward motion of the tibia. This injury commonly causes pain, lameness and swelling of the knee joint.

Most human athletes are aware of the excruciating pain involved in even the most minor of tears to the ACL. In fact, you don’t even have to be an athlete to have experienced this pain (as this clumsy author can attest). But when this happens to our dogs, they need our help to identify, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate.

STEP ONE: if your dog exhibits pain, is walking with a limp or not bearing weight, schedule an appointment with the vet immediately and limit activity.

STEP TWO: Our veterinarians will do a thorough orthopedic exam and explain all of your pet’s options for the best outcome. Sometimes, an incomplete rupture may be treated with rest and pain medications. When surgery is necessary, our doctors are experienced in performing ACL surgery. If your pet does not require surgery, skip to STEP FOUR.

STEP THREE: The ACL surgery attempts to reconstruct the torn or damaged ligaments in your pet's knees, allowing him to have freedom of mobility without pain. In cases of full ACL rupture, which typically occur in larger breeds of dogs or obese dogs, the ACL surgery involves a complete replacement of the ligament. This is accomplished with a synthetic substitute that is attached to your pet's knee joint.

STEP FOUR: Critical to the success of ACL recovery, rehabilitation can take some work. The key is reducing the inflammation, and INACTIVITY is the initial phase. Following ACL tear diagnosis and/or surgery, we employ proactive and aggressive pain-relieving modalities and do everything possible to make the experience comfortable for them. We also emphasize physical therapy as we believe this leads to better outcomes. We guide owners through physical therapy with their dogs giving detailed instructions for low-impact exercises. Following these instructions are vital to improving your dog's mobility and overall health following an injury to the ACL.

We thank you for trusting the ACL Specialists at West Chester Veterinary Center for your pet care services. 

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