Supporting Recovery After a Dog CCL Rupture

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Any dog, regardless of age or size, can encounter a CCL injury. A CCL rupture is one of the most common orthopedic injuries in dogs. Although commonly referred to as the ACL, a dog ACL does not technically exist. Dogs have what’s known as the CCL, or cranial cruciate ligament.

A dog CCL rupture occurs as either a result of trauma in acute cases or degeneration of the ligaments within the joint in chronic cases. There are two CCL ligaments, one running from the outside to the inside of the knee (stifle) joint and the other from the inside to the outside of the knee joint, crossing over in the middle.

Much like a human athlete, an acute injury occurs when an active dog runs and suddenly changes direction, causing an excessive knee joint rotation with shearing forces placed on the cruciate ligaments.

Chronic cruciate ligament damage occurs due to weakening the ligaments from repeated trauma or arthritic disease. The condition progressively worsens over time until a CCL rupture occurs.

What is a Dog Brace?

Designed specifically to provide support, a dog leg brace assists your pup in moving with less pain while recovering from an injury or surgery. The brace will stabilize the injured area and promote healing while allowing your pet mobility. 

A dog leg brace is designed to be easily removable, fully adjustable to fit your dog’s needs, and is made of waterproof materials that are easy to clean.

Are There Specialized Dog Braces for CCL Injuries?

Dog CCL braces are designed to be worn comfortably for an extended time while supporting your dog’s mobility goals when recovering from a CCL injury or surgery.

How Does a Dog Brace Help?

 A dog knee brace stabilizes a dog’s femur and tibia bones while minimizing the stress placed on the cruciate ligaments or CCL. It will help your pet recover from an injury or surgery while preventing further damage and allowing mobility.

Preventing Injury

When your dog wears a leg brace, it restricts movement that causes excessive rotation or extension of the area, preventing further injury. A dog leg brace will help prevent overextending the injured area while providing the support necessary for mobility. When dogs have an injury, they tend to favor the injured leg and overcompensate on the healthy leg, which can increase the chance of injuring or rupturing the CCL in the healthy leg. A brace helps your dog to comfortably distribute the weight more evenly, even on the injured leg.

Certain types of dogs are more prone to injury than others. The extra weight on obese dogs can lead to additional joint stress, causing early arthritis and reduced activity.


A brace explicitly designed for a dog ACL or CCL injury stabilizes the injured area. Stabilization is necessary to prevent further injury and to allow your dog movement while healing.

Quicker Recovery

While your dog is wearing the brace, it will provide the necessary support to the injured area, which helps to prevent further injury and ensure that your dog will have a quicker recovery time.

Decrease Pain

A custom CCL brace will aid in supporting dogs afflicted with arthritis to walk with reduced pain. The brace helps shift the dog’s weight more evenly, allowing the dog to walk more normally. The brace also prevent tibial thrust caused by the ruptured CCL ligament. The additional support provided by the brace will help decrease the pain caused by arthritis.

Encourage Movement

The specialized polycentric hinges in the brace replicate the complex motion of your dog’s knee (stifle) joint. These joints match your pet’s natural joint movement and flexibility, allowing your dog to move more naturally while reducing pressure on the joints.

Good For Both Large and Small Dogs

Dog leg braces come in all sizes. The important thing is to make sure the brace you select is measured to fit your dog. Measurements must be taken to ensure that your dog is equipped with a brace that fits securely but is not too tightly.

Can a Dog Brace Also Be an Alternative to Surgery?

A dog leg brace is used to help prevent further injury and aid rehabilitation after CCL surgery. Whether it can be considered an alternative to surgery is something that you will have to discuss with your veterinarian.

Smaller dogs that weigh under 22 lbs have a more successful chance of healing without surgery, while larger dogs will usually require surgery to correct a ruptured CCL successfully.

Sometimes surgery is not the best option for a pet due to advanced age, pre-existing health conditions, or if a dog is sensitive to anesthesia. In these situations, a leg brace designed for an injured CCL will provide support yet allow your dog mobility while recovering.

Ensure that Your Pet Stays in Optimal Health with OrthoPets!

Deciding to help keep your pet as physically active as possible is part of being an excellent caregiver to our dogs. Doing whatever it takes to help them heal or avoid injuries and pain sometimes means adding medical technology to your pet’s health accessories.

Whether it’s a brace for a small dog or a large dog, a young dog, or an old dog, OrthoPets can help guide you toward the correct selection for your pet’s needs. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is ready to assist with getting your furry friend fitted for the perfect CCL brace. Contact us today, and get your pet moving in the right direction.

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