Now that you have spent nine months following the guidelines to help your dog to heal from their cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injury, how do you know it has worked? Our custom dog knee braces heal CCL injuries by helping scar tissue form and muscle mass return to their leg.
There are several indications that your dog is improving and healing. The first and most obvious one is your dog is limping less. You may find they are more willing to go for walks, climb the steps and jump up on the couch. They are more enthusiastic about life and want to play more. They move more confidently and have a spring in their step.
Talking a little more technically, their weight should be equally distributed between their two back legs when standing and walking. If watching them walk from the rear, the paw pad of the injured leg should be as flat on the floor as the paw pad of the good leg. They will no longer be doing any “toe touching” when standing or walking.
Remember when your dog first injured their leg and the thigh muscle atrophied? Well, now that your dog has been using that leg more, their leg muscles will be stronger. You should be able to feel more bulk when placing your hands around your dog’s thigh. While it may not be as muscled as their uninjured leg, you should notice significant improvement.
Finally, if you are still not confident that your dog has recovered from their injury, please contact us and your veterinarian to discuss your dog’s case.
Even though your dog has now healed from their injury, many families choose to continue using the brace when their dog is doing something strenuous, such as going for a long walk or to the dog park. This is great and even recommended for very active or senior dogs. It is analogous to an athlete protecting an injured joint with a brace. Seeing your dog recover from their CCL injury will help you relax and your dog live a happy, active life.