When to Euthanize a Dog with Torn ACL

Dogs typically love to jump, run, and scuttle around. So, when an injury prevents them from doing so, life becomes boring and dull for them. One of the common factors that can deprive your dog of an active, healthy, and happy life is a torn ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries). A torn ACL is a tear or injury in one of the two ligaments in the center of the knee. This article discusses in detail salient questions about torn ACL.

When to Euthanize a Dog with Torn ALC

Canine ALC can be utterly painful and can even get increasingly worse if not treated in time. Torn ALC will impact on your dog’s quality of life negatively because of pain and weight gain. Many dog owners have had to resort to euthanasia because of their inability to pay for torn ACL surgery or due to lack of insurance. It might also be as a result of the fact that the ACL surgery did not yield expected results. So, if the situation is that your dog’s discomfort and pain defies the efficacy of the injections and medications available and that you cannot afford the surgery, you might have to euthanize your dog. It’s advisable to check with your vet before you make any decision.

Read more: How long is a Chihuahua Pregnant for?

Causes of Torn ACL in Dogs

The primary cause of ACL is intense internal rotation of the tibia when the joint is partially flexed. ALC is also caused by trauma, running, and planting the hind limbs while the momentum of the body continues to move forward.

Symptoms of Torn ACL in Dogs

Torn ACL is an injury that causes the instability of your dog’s joints, thereby causing pain and discomfort. One of the common signs that your dog is having torn ACL is lameness and stiffness in both rear legs of your dog. Other symptoms include swelling, knee thickening, sitting abnormally, etc. However, there are certain breeds of dogs that are more susceptible to torn ACL such as Labrador retrievers, Golden retrievers, Newfoundland, and German Shepherds.

Treatment Options of Torn ACL in Dogs

Given the huge cost of ACL surgery, you might have to consider traditional, non-surgical treatment for dogs, which include massage, use of leg brace, anti-inflammatory supplements, physical therapy, improved diet, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, etc. However, the efficacy of these conventional methods is also dependent on the breed, age, weight, etc.

Can a Dog Live With a Torn ACL?

Your dog can still live with a torn ACL while taking medication and painkilling injections as prescribed by your vet. These serve as good alternatives to expensive torn ACL surgery. The medications and injections will help to improve the affected dog’s limping and ease off the acute knee pain. As your dog copes with the torn ACL, his knee joint will get firm and stiff as scar tissue grows. This might also result in immobility and muscle loss, making locomotion more challenging and strenuous for the dog.

Can a Dog Walk or Run with a Torn ACL?

Your dog cannot walk or run with a torn ACL since this is an injury or tear in critical points that enable mobility and stability. Once your dog falls victim to this condition, he will be limping or will be confined to a spot depending on the severity of the injury. 

What to do if You Can’t Afford ACL Surgery for Dog

If you cannot afford surgery torn ACL surgery, euthanasia is not always the last option you have. There are other non-surgical conservative methods in which your dog’s crushing injury, pain, and discomfort can be managed. These conventional ways include leg brace, medication and injections, and physical therapy.

Are There Dog Supplements for Torn ACL?

Supplements for Torn ACL are part of the variety of conservative treatment methods in treating torn ACL. These supplements, such as glucosamine, fish oil, and turmeric also help your dog recover from the pain and discomfort of a torn ACL. Acupuncture,¬†swimming, and massage are other traditional methods that have proven very helpful in improving your dog’s quality of life, mobility, and wellbeing. These supplements can be added to the affected dog’s diet.


  • https://orthodog.com/article/dog-acl-tear-no-surgery/
  • https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/acl-injuries-in-dogs/
  • https://www.topdoghealth.com/can-a-dogs-acl-repair-itself-without-surgery/

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