Cranial cruciate ligament disease (CrCLD) is a degenerative disease that occurs in the hind leg of dogs and occasionally cats. Similar to the anterior crucial ligament (ACL) in humans, the cranial cruciate ligament is primarily responsible for stabilizing the knee. CrCLD can affect any dog, but it most commonly occurs in breeds such as the Rottweiler, Labrador Retriever, Newfoundland and Mastiff.
Genetics, aging of the ligament and poor physical condition are a few factors that can lead to the disease. Dogs suffering from CrCLD often show signs such as a limp in the hind leg, stiffness, muscle atrophy and swelling on the inside of the shin bone. If left untreated, it can lead to arthritis and a complete rupture of the ligament.
Surgical and nonsurgical treatment options are available. For surgical options, an osteotomy technique is often recommended in order to better stabilize the knee.