A torn ACL (technically a CCL in dogs, though ACL is used for colloquialism) is one of the most common injuries any dog can have. It’s costly to fix and often a traumatic experience for you and your dog, with a long recovery process. Sometimes, your dog may not even be a candidate for surgery, which can lead to conservative treatment methods like chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, massages, and more. Instead of putting you and your pet through all that, why not prevent a leg injury by using a dog knee brace?
Healthy Dogs Benefit from Knee Braces
A healthy dog can still hurt their leg. In fact, sprains, minor tears, and other injuries are some of the most common injuries among our canine friends. Torn ACL in dogs is commonly caused by a quick or tight movement when they’re running, or if they land wrong after a jump. Active dogs in the sporting and working classes usually have a higher risk of ACL injuries because they’re so active!
It’s also based on their breed. Studies have shown that some breeds, such as St. Bernards, Labradors, and Rottweilers are more predisposed to ACL and hip injuries. These predispositions can be hereditary (such as hip dysplasia), due to their size and weight, and level of exercise.
Older dogs and those that are overweight have a higher chance of injury too. A general rule of thumb is that the heavier your dog is, the more likely they are to experience leg, spine, or hip problems in the future.
Dog Breeds Prone to ACL Injuries
Breeds that are larger, high-energy, or known to have a genetic predisposition for hip dysplasia or leg issues are at a higher risk for ACL injuries. There is a general consensus some conditions have a significant rate of incidence and/or impact based on their breeds, but this does not mean your dog will have these problems; it just means that they are more at risk. Here are a couple of examples.
Due to their size, St. Bernards and Newfoundlands often develop knee issues either in puppy hood or later in life. Think of it like this: both dog breeds weigh around 40 pounds as young pups and grow to be 150+ pounds in under a year. The accelerated growth (in both physical structure and weight), combined with the energy of a puppy, can lead to overzealous movements and accidental leg injuries. Proper diet and exercise will tremendously help your pup grow at the right rate so they don’t injure themselves. Talk with your vet during their next checkup for advice.
Both are also genetically predisposed to rupture of the ACL and hip dysplasia (abnormal formation of the hip socket that can lead to lameness). If you decide to buy this dog from a breeder be sure to ask about their genetic history regarding hip dysplasia and ACL problems.
St. Bernards in particular are prone to obesity due to their lax nature, which can lead to hip or joint issues later in life, or worsen preexisting conditions.
Labrador Retrievers commonly develop arthritis and issues with their knees as they age. Labs are high-energy dogs that love to run and play. With this breed, ACL injuries can happen quickly due to their levels of activity and playfulness.
Rottweilers are also predisposed to tearing their ACL and hip dysplasia. In fact, nearly 20% of them have hip problems! Hip dysplasia can cause severe limping and lameness in a dog’s leg. This can lead them to shift their weight onto their other side, which significantly increases the risk of them injuring their ACL.
Supporting a Senior Dog’s Joints
No matter the breed, age always plays a role in your dog’s physical health. The older your dog is, the more likely they are to put on more weight and move less. Senior dogs average around 14-18 hours of sleep per day.
As they age, a dog’s joints get stiff and can get arthritic. You can’t prevent arthritis, but you can slow it down and ease their symptoms.
Arthritis can lead to muscle atrophy. If your senior dog is avoiding exercise, its muscle mass may begin breaking down and causing trouble standing.
As mentioned above with Rottweilers, a dog shifting their weight to one side of their body as they move significantly increases their risk of an ACL injury. Doggy Brace can help support your dog’s limbs so they can comfortably walk around and enjoy their golden years.
Using a Dog Knee Brace for Preventive Care
Do you know why an athlete wears a knee brace? It helps prevent excessive movement and rotation while supporting the athlete’s knee and reducing the risk of injury. The same is said for dog ACL braces! Doggy Brace products comfortably restrict movement while supporting your dog’s leg.
If your dog has a sprained ACL, they will avoid putting weight on their injury. They’ll overcompensate and put too much weight on their healthy leg instead, which increases their chance of spraining or tearing their other ACL. A brace allows your pup to comfortably put more weight on their hurt leg so they’re not dramatically shifting their weight onto one side.
As your dog ages, it’s extremely important to think about their physical health. An older dog may not be a candidate for surgery if they tear their ACL, which can lead to months of pain and a lame leg. An ACL or knee brace will provide the support your dog needs while encouraging them to move around and exercise.
An overweight dog can benefit too! A brace will help secure their hind legs while you’re working with your dog to shed the extra pounds. The added support greatly reduces the chance of overexertion and injury during this time.
If your dog is in the sporting or working class, a knee brace will discourage quick movements and high jumps that can cause ACL injuries.
In addition to all that, Doggy Brace offers affordable preventive solutions that keep your dog (and your wallet) healthy and happy. They’re easy to use and sizing them is as easy as measuring your dog’s leg and weight. If you’re interested, check them out today!
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