"Henry" - Retriever with Cruciate Disease
The most common cause of hindlimb lameness in the adult canine patient is now attributable to "cruciate" disease. The anterior cruciate ligament provides the knee with stability particularly from twisting. As a result of a genetic predisposition or design fault this joint begins to degenerate and develop osteoarthritis sometimes at a very early age in particular breeds.
The resulting deterioration within the environment of the joint appears to have a deleterious effect on the large fibrous ligament that is so important to maintain stability of the knee. Over time the ligament frays, tears and eventually ruptures. The frequency with which this condition now occurs has led some pet health insurance companies to limit the cover for this problem to avoid paying out for all the required treatment.
''Henry", at only three years of age, had been having persistent left hind lameness issues for a few months prior to his visit to Fairfield. After his clinical examination and the confirmation of the knee problem I was able to explain to his owners the likely outcome. Sure enough after a matter of weeks his cruciate ligament had failed completely and his knee had become very unstable.
This rapid deterioration of the mechanics of the knee accelerates the degenerative process and the subsequent vitality of the joint. Fortunately, "Henry's" recovery from surgery has been rapid. Perhaps a little too quick, as his enthusiasm to return to his previous level of activity has reminded me of the few harsh words I received myself from the physiotherapist department regarding my own recovery last year. Consequently, I can't be too critical of his enthusiasm but simply hope and trust in his owner that he can mange his rehabilitation in a more controlled manner than I!