Understanding Knee Issues with Dogs

Many dogs develop knee issues as they age, especially smaller dogs due to the heights they have to jump on and off the couch and bed. It can be difficult finding out when there are knee issues with your dogs and now that they are older you need to keep a close eye on them. There are a few different ways in which this can be handled. We are about to help you understand any knee issues with your dogs and explain when you may benefit from a dog knee or leg brace.

What Causes Knee Issues with Dogs

When your dog has knee issues it can commonly be referred to as patella luxation. The kneecap, also called the patella, is the highly movable bone in a dog’s knee. It fits in the femur bone groove and as the knee is flexed the kneecap slides up or down. Once there are knee issues, or patella luxation, the kneecap no longer glides in the groove.

Knee issues are most common with smaller dogs. While they are common in larger dog breeds, it is more often small dogs that face knee issues. Dogs who are overweight with poor nutrition and little exercise are also prone to knee issues. When adopting or buying your dog you want to be sure you understand the breed and what their exercise limits are as a puppy. Depending the breed it is not good for them to run too much or exercise too much before reaching the age of 6 months to 1 year in order to prevent long term joint damage.

When you are wondering if your dog has hurt its knee there are a few symptoms to pay attention to:

  • Limping
  • Swelling
  • Wincing and pain as the dog walks
  • Placing more weight on one leg than the other
  • A popping noise during the time of injury

If you are unsure if your dog has torn their ACL or just sprained their knee take them to the vet. The sooner you take your dog to the vet the better because they will be able to tell you just what steps need to be taken.

There are multiple options for your dog throughout the time of injury, and your vet will tell you which options are best for you. These options include physical therapy, surgery, or non-surgery options. If the knee issues with your dogs are not too severe your vet may recommend a knee brace for your dog as well. Below we list out your non-surgical and surgical options that may be given to you.

Non-Surgical Options:

  • A knee brace
  • Supplements
  • Physical therapy

A knee brace is a great option for your dog since they often help to stabilize the knee and keep the joint in place. These are a great alternative to surgery to help any knee issues with dogs and keeping all ACL injuries in check. When looking into supplements for your dog your vet will likely suggest proper nutrients for your dog’s bone health. You want to be sure that your dog has good bone growth and health, collagen, and antioxidants. Another option for knee issues with dogs is physical therapy. Dogs can greatly benefit from physical therapy just like you can! If your dog needs knee surgery it will certainly be complemented with physical therapy, but also may be recommended instead of surgery depending on your dog’s injury.

Surgery

If your dog’s knee injury is severe enough it may be necessary that he/she has surgery. The cost of surgery is dependent on many different factors such as your vets price, the severity of injury, and potentially the area in which you live. Consider insurance for your dog to help with the cost of potential surgeries and issues that may arise as your dog ages. The average recovery rate of dogs with knee surgery is over 93%. With proper rest and exercise your dog is likely to recover in 3 months.

Conclusion

As your dogs age you need to be sure their exercises change as well. No different than as you have age your exercises have certainly changed to help keep your bones and body healthy and safe. When your dog reaches old age you want to be sure they are not overly active potentially leading to knee injuries. If you think there may be knee issues with your dog take them to the vet as soon as possible to avoid any long-term damage. Listen to your vet closely for their recommendations on whether your dog needs surgery, a knee brace, or physical therapy. When looking for a high-quality knee brace order from us to keep your furry friend in good shape!

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