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Posted on 08-14-2017

Burke Veterinarian Provides Noninvasive Pet CCL Injury Treatment

The most common reason for hind limb lameness in dogs is partial or complete rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). Essential for stabilizing your dog's stifle (comparable to the human knee joint), the CCL usually ruptures or tears with jumping and twisting during play.   Signs of CCL rupture in dogs are effusion (joint swelling), pain, joint instability, odd posture over the hip and back area, limping and lameness.

All dog breeds are susceptible to CCL injury, though some are more vulnerable than others due to size and lifestyle. Rupture of the cruciate ligament may affect older dogs but is seen more in younger, more energetic dogs. If you notice these symptoms in your dog, our veterinarians at Burke Animal Clinic  strongly recommend bringing your dog into our animal hospital for a complete evaluation.

Noninvasive Pet CCL Treatment

Fortunately, treatment methods exist that do not involve pet CCL surgery requiring anesthesia and lengthy recovery times. We have treated many dogs with a noninvasive, non-surgical therapy called Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation (VOM) with great results.

VOM uses a combination of spinal manipulation and cold laser therapy to locate and treat problematic areas along the spine that may be the cause of pain in other areas of the body.  For instance, pain in the back can cause muscles to tighten, putting the leg in an abnormal position, which increases the risk of injury to the CCL.  VOM and cold laser therapy help the body get back to a more normal state for healing. 

When a painful stimulus is encountered, a pain cycle begins.  A tool called an Activator is used to block the pain cycle by introducing a subtle vibrational force. Spinal muscles are further relaxed using the Vetro Stim, which pulsates, promoting circulation and relaxation.  This allows the body to shift back into its normal position to allow healing to begin.  Cold laser therapy stimulates healing and reduces inflammation by exciting cells with an external energy (light) source.  

Cold laser therapy is a safe, concentrated form of light that can be modified to attain a variety of outcomes. Cold laser therapy for dogs with cruciate ligament injuries restores health to damaged tissue cells by stimulating their ability to grow, survive and heal naturally. Cold laser therapy is painless, noninvasive and recommended by our veterinarians for relieving pain, limping and lameness due to CCL injury or disease.

In addition to these therapies, there may be other therapies beneficial to your dog.  We practice integrative medicine and will work with you to come up with a plan that best fits the needs of you and your pet.

If your dog is showing signs of a cruciate ligament injury, please call today to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians at Burke Animal Clinic, 703-569-9600.

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