Genetics do factor in sometimes on whether our dogs will have a CCL tear or not. Such as, I don’t see tears as much in sporting breeds like springer spaniels or setters, but do in rotties and newfies. Not saying I have never had a sporting breed like springer or setter come in with an acute injury, but I don’t feel their genetically prone to the issue like other breeds are.
The following breeds have much higher chances of CCL injuries, including bilateral injuries. Mastiffs, Newfoundlands, akitas, St. Bernard’s, rottweilers, Chesapeake bay retrievers, American Staffordshire terrier, and laborador retrievers. Also Golden retrievers seem to also be affected more often that smaller breeds.
Toy breeds tend to have luxating patella issues, where the kneecap moves back and forth, thus causing concurrent CCL tears secondary to the LP issue. We do see a fair share of chihuahuas, maltese, shihtzu’s, and Pomeranians as well.
So what if your dog is on the list? What can we do? Well, there are a few things you can do. First off, don’t spay and neuter before they have reached maturity (~14 months), feed a breed appropriate diet with no bye products. Diet correlates to muscle and ligament growth so much, which is why it is so important to start your puppy out the right way, on a good diet. Preventing your dog from jumping in the air to play fetch, or turn corners too sharply.
Instead, roll the ball on the ground for them to run after. Getting them on a good bone supplement may help, we need to feed those growing ligaments all the goodies we can, and sometimes they need more than their food will provide.
Bones with marrow are great, bone broth is great, shark cartilage is good. There are many things you can give that are good for your pup. Taking your dog on regular leashed walks, and exercising them properly will also help. Especially with our more lazy breeds, you know who you are! 😊
Dogs with more bowing in the knee tend to also get tears more frequently, such as rottweilers and any staffy breeds. Again, try to keep these pups from jumping or rough play, as that can put stress on the joints.
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