Which dogs are most at risk of CCL rupture?

Which dogs are most at risk of CCL rupture?

A new study from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has revealed that popular breeds such as Rottweilers, Bichon Frise, West Highland White Terriers and Golden Retrievers are at greatest risk of a knee injury known as cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) rupture.

A CCL tear in dogs is similar to an ACL tear in humans — an injury that is commonly associated with sporting activity. In dogs, however, most cases are characterised by gradual degeneration of the cruciate ligament, often resulting in sudden onset pain and lameness.

Led by the RVC’s VetCompass Programme, the study included 1,000 CCL rupture cases and a random selection of 500,000 other dogs without CCL injury. The researchers found that the breeds at most risk of CCL rupture, compared with crossbreeds, were Rottweiler (3.66 times risk), Bichon Frise (x 2.09), West Highland White Terrier (x 1.80) and Golden Retriever (x 1.69). Conversely, the breeds with the lowest risk were Cockapoo (x 0.26), Chihuahua (x 0.31), Shih-tzu (x 0.41) and German Shepherd Dog (x 0.43).

The average age at first diagnosis of CCL rupture was 7.4 years, indicating that CCL rupture is mainly a disease of middle-aged and older dogs.

Insured dogs and those weighing over 20 kg were more likely to have surgery for CCL rupture. Surgical management was less common among dogs older than 9 years and those with another major clinical problem at the time of diagnosis with CCL rupture.

“After centuries of reshaping by mankind, dogs now come in over 800 distinct and recognisable breeds [and] each has its own unique pattern of health and disease,” commented Dr Dan O’Neill, Associate Professor in Companion Animal Epidemiology at the RVC and co-author of the research paper.

“This new study helps owners of breeds such as Rottweiler, Bichon Frise and West Highland White Terrier to understand that sudden lameness in a hindleg could indicate a ruptured cruciate ligament that needs urgent veterinary care.”

If your dog needs veterinary treatment for an injury or illness, dog insurance from Purely Pets can help you cover the cost and ensure your four-legged friend gets the care they deserve.

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