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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Does anyone have lots of knowledege about cruciate ligaments? I bread a litter of Great Danes and one of them (18 months old) has just had an operation for a stretched cruciate ligament (the owner had taken 5 months from noticing a problem until the operation!!!!). The specialist has told her that the other leg also shows signs of this and so will need the operation in the future, I do not find this surprising, as the dog would have been putting most of his weight on that leg for some months now.

The reason I ask this on a Labrador forum, is that the owner has told me that the specialist has said this fault would have been there at birth and therefore she is telling me it's herediery. She has quoted a recent article in Dog World, that looks at studies being done at Liverpool University in to cruciate problems, comparing the Greyhound, that rarely has this and the Labrador, which does. I have only been able to get hold of some excerpts from this article and it seems they are saying there is a pre-disposition in some breeds, to me this does not mean it is an inherited condition!

Just wondered, as Labs are also prone to this, if anyone can throw more light on the subject for me!

Debbie
 

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Hi Debbie

Im so sorry to hear about the problems with your dog.

My eight year old Golden Lab Sasha became ill in November 2003 following a cruciate ligament injury. At first it was misdiagnosed as Hip Dysplasia, so after 5 or six months, I went back to a different vet only to discover this injury and 6 months worth of arthritis!

6 months after the initial surgery, Sasha was recovering well when she suddenly became lame in the other leg. Again, one vet tried saying it was HD, but I was more stubborn this time, and eventually, she was again operated on for a cruciate ligament injury.

Although this sounds really grim, cruciate ligament injuries are the most common injury across ALL breeds of dog. Since Sasha first became ill, I have met and spoken with so many dog owners who have been through some sort of cruciate ligament repair/operation, but funnily enough, I had never even heard of it before Sasha was affected.

I did alot of reading when we first knew of Sasha's injury, if only to put my mind at rest. The internet offers alot of wonderful information, including from the Slocum clinic that actually pioneered the TPLO surgery that Sasha has now had twice - http://www.slocumenterprises.com/Articles/cranial_cruciate_ligament.htm

I also read alot of real life experiences and after doing my research, I felt better and I understood more about what we were dealing with. I also learned that the injury reoccurs in the other leg in 30% of cases, if not more.

I have to say that not once has it been mentioned that these injuries could be hereditary, so I would approach this matter with caution. Like I said, my specialist says it is the most common injury that they see now.

If I can be of any more help please get in touch :)
 

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Ligments

Hershey snapped his cruciate ligament last april and was diagmosed really quickly he had an operation was a bit poorly for a couple of months but now a year on he is running around like a nutter again. The only thing that has effected him is the winter he seems to have a bit of pain now and again when it is really cold but since it has warmed up he is back to jumping and running and acting like a loopy choclate lab.... and I am glad he is back to near normality.... :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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Anthea has just about got this covered so I’ll just give a little detail.

The Cruciate Ligament is in the knee and secures the Femur to the Tibia and as it sounds is in the shape of a cross. Torn Cruciate Ligaments are the injuries of sportsmen and sporting dogs often caused twisting heavily loaded limbs. I’ve known several cases where a dog has jumped a fence and got caught up and left suspended, hanging by a leg. Sometimes the ligament does not tear adrift, rather it stretches, not quite so serious but still serious enough!

The above injuries are easy to understand, but sometimes there is no accident to be pointed at. In these cases, what is usually found is the Tibial Crest, the area across the top of the tibia, is not flat, rather, it is sloping. What this means is that an abnormal load is placed on a small part of the ligament instead of being spread all over. Unfortunately, because it is due to the abnormal shape of the bone there is a hereditary proponent in it. It has been found to run in families.

One further point. Some time ago I came into the back end of a conversation on an American working gundog site. The talk was about a link between inoculations and CI injuries. A letter had been written to Dr Jean Dodds and the reply was most interesting even if not a definitive answer. It appears that there is SOME reason to believe that something in the inoculations causes a slight temporary “Hardening” of the CI which could mean that it is more at risk during this time. The effect seems to last for something like a couple of weeks. Fact? I don’t know. But what I do know is that I make sure to take it easy with my dogs during that two week period!

Regards, John
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Many thanks for the feedback. Your point about some dogs having an abnormal bone structure is very interesting John, as is the possible link to innoculation. I'm not saying for sure that in this case it is not possible that their may be a hereditery link (who can ever be 100% sure), I can only say that I know back to the great grandparents and there hasn't been a cruciate problem in the line.

In this case the owner first called my last Nov. and said her vet suspected hip displacia and I recommended she see a specialist ASAP. I then read on a forum in Jan. a post from her asking for advice and mentioning now her vet suspected wobblers. I contacted her again and asked her to get to a specialist. She finally went in Feb. and was told it was the cruciate ligaments. dispite my insistence that this needed to be rectified ASAP, due to the pain it must have been causing the dog, she choose to wait until after her holiday and has finally had the op. this week. Now she has said the specialist believes it was a problem there from birth. I am rather inclined to wonder if she is looking for someone to blame!

Debbie.
 

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I would stress that the possible link to innoculation came from an American site where they innoculate for conditions we don't have such as Rabies, Heartworm and the like. So whether there is a risk with our innoculations I don't know. I just prefer not to take the risk.

Certainly CL injury is not hereditory in most cases, but there is reason to believe there is in some.

Regards, John
 
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