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Cruciate Ligament Repair


Ruptured cruciate ligament is the most common knee injury we see in dogs. In fact if your dog shows sudden rear leg lameness the chances are that a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament is the cause rather than some other issue. Typically the dog will have a rear leg so sore that he can hardly bare any weight on it. If left alone it will appear to improve over the course of a couple of weeks, but the knee will show swelling and arthritis will set in quickly leading to further serious complications.

If your dog shows signs of rear leg lameness, don't be tempted to put off a trip to the vet. We see the injury mostly in the larger breeds of dogs and it can happen in young dogs playing roughly who take a bad step to older dogs due to repeated low level injury. Dogs knees are very much like human knees but in dogs the tibial plateau often slopes backward which puts repeated low level stress on the cruciate ligament causing eventual rupture even in dogs that are not particularly active. In human knees the tibial plateau is perfectly level so we don't suffer from repeated low level injury and our cruciate injuries are mostly sports accident related.

We diagnose cruciate ligament ruptures by demonstrating abnormal knee motion through manipulation of the joint. Additionally the quadriceps may show muscle wastage and the joint may have reduced range of movement and pain. X-rays are also used to look for signs of arthritis or damage to the bone as the cruciate ligament can sometimes break off a bit of bone at the attachment point. X-rays are also used to determine tibial plateau alignment problems.

Depending on the breed and injury we have a number of surgical options available. In larger, heavier dogs specialist surgery may be indicated to ensure better outcomes.

Without an intact cruciate ligament, the knee is unstable. Wear between the meniscal cartilage and bones becomes abnormal and the joint rapidly develops arthritis. Bone spurs develop resulting in chronic pain and loss of joint motion. This is degenerative disease which can begin as soon as 1 to 3 weeks after the cruciate rupture and cannot be reversed once it has started. So if you suspect your dog has a rear leg injury, please make an appointment to see us as soon as possible so we can assess your pet rather than waiting to see if it will get better.




  • I was using another Vet. Can I change to Sanford Vet Clinic?

    Yes you can. Call us for an appointment and let us know you are wanting to change to Sanford Vet. We will organise to have your pets medical records transferred to us. It's that easy.
  • Do I have to pay on the day?

    Yes, all consults and procedures have to be finalised on the day or when picking up your pet.
  • Do you have payment plans?

    Yes, for more complex procedures or surgery we can organise finance through VetPay. Ask our nurses for more details.
  • What are your opening hours?

    We are open extended hours 6 days a week for your convenience.

    Mon - Fri 8:00 am to 5:30 pm

    Sat 8:00 am to 12 noon

    Sun Closed

  • Do you have Puppy Pre-School?

    Yes we do, it's highly recommended. Puppy Pre-School is run on Thursday evenings. Classes start at 6.30pm with another at 7.30pm but bookings are essential. Call us to book your puppy in today!

Opening Hours & Booking Button

  • Mon08:00 AM - 05:30 PM
  • Tue08:00 AM - 05:30 PM
  • Wed08:00 AM - 05:30 PM
  • Thur08:00 AM - 05:30 PM
  • Fri08:00 AM - 05:30 PM
  • Sat08:00 AM - 12.00 NOON
  • SunClosed

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Providing Veterinary services to Geraldton, Beachlands, Beresford, Bluff Point, Cape Burney, Deepdale, Drummond Cove, Glenfield, Karloo, Mahomets Flats, Meru, Moresby, Mount Tarcoola, Narngulu, Rangeway, Rudds Gully, Spalding, Strathalbyn, Sunset Beach, Tarcoola Beach, Utakarra, Waggrakaine, Wandina, Webberton, West End, Wonthella, Woorree.

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