Cruciate Ligament Rupture in Rottweilers

Acute injuries usually lead to lameness with the dog refusing to put weight on the affected limb. The development of the chronic form is not as pronounced because the degeneration of the ligament develops slowly over time and is only noticeable when symptoms start to manifest. More often than not, the chronic form is first diagnosed in annual checks before the owner spots some signs that their rottweiler will indicate that there is something wrong.

The acute form is often suddenly painful. But with adequate rest and time the pain and lameness usually subside in a few days’ time.


On the other hand, the pain associated with the chronic form of the disease is slow in onset and is associated with the response of the body to the injury by laying down new bone to provide stability to the defective joints. This response of the body usually results in osteoarthritis which is accompanied by more pain, muscle atrophy on the affected limb and lameness.

Cruciate ligament injury can be predisposed by underlying knee problems such as previous injury to the limb or medial patellar luxation( MPL). There are also certain breeds of dogs which are prone to developing the disease.

Aside from painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications, injuries to the cruciate ligament are effectively treated by surgery. A proper rehabilitation regimen, weight management, and joint supplements are also important components in the management and treatment of cruciate ligament injuries.

There are many surgical procedures which are employed to correct injuries of the cruciate ligament. The most common surgical procedures are also referred to as “leveling osteotomies” and include Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) and Tibial Osteotomy (TTO).

These procedures aim to stabilize the knee by correcting the conformation of the bones to accommodate the weight-bearing points of the joints. A metal plate is then inserted to help achieve an artificial stability and balance.


Extracapsular Repair is the most common procedure employed for cruciate ligament injuries. However, it has been observed to be more successful in dogs weighing less than 25 pounds. This procedure involves the use of suture material or artificial bands to stabilize the injured knee.

Another surgical technique which can be undertaken to correct the condition is Tight Rope surgery which is very similar to extra-capsular repair.

Dogs suffering from injuries to the cruciate ligament are best examined by a board-certified veterinary surgeon. They are highly-trained professionals who can assess the extent of the injury and recommend the best surgical procedure to correct the condition. It has also been proven that cases which have been handled by boar-certified veterinary surgeons have higher success rates.