We can all agree that prevention is better than cure and since we are a community committed to the health and performance of dogs worldwide we wanted to share our Top 5 Tips on Preventing Join Injury In Dogs.
According to ASPA Pet Insurance, The most common non contact injury is knee joint injury. A non contact injury refers to an injury that the dog sustained without any external force (as an example a dog being hit by a car is a contact injury)
Why Knee Joint Injury?
A dogs back end is responsible for 80% of their movement and the role of the canine knee is crucial for optimal canine movement. The main job of the knee is to absorb and distribute the forces from the ground through to the dogs head. While the knee is one of the strongest joints based on the large muscles in the surrounding area, it is also one of the most unstable joint as there are no interlocking bones in the joint. Instead it is held together only by several ligaments, including the cruciate ligaments, which allow it to move back and forth like a hinge, but restrict its side-to-side motion.
WHAT CAUSES KNEE JOINT INJURY?
One of the most common causes of knee joint injury is by jumping, skidding, twisting or turning awkwardly. Limping is often the first sign of a problem and the structures that are most commonly injured are the cruciate ligament and also the meniscus. The cruciate ligament attaches the upper and lower parts of the dogs leg together and the meniscus acts as a shock absorbing cushion in between them. Injury to the knee can be highly problematic for three reasons: It will completely disable your dog from exercise, it can cost thousands of dollars to treat and it requires a long recovery process.
How to Prevent Knee Injury
1. Health Test
A well structured knee will always be able to absorb more punishment than an unsound weak knee. It’s the breeders responsibility to ensure that their dogs are health tested and that their breeding is producing dogs that are improving in their physical ability. It is also your job to select (when possible) a dog that is as sound as possible.
2. Do not Over exercise
While we are advocates of canine exercise, it’s important you do not over exercise your dog past their threshold. An example would be a dog owner who only walks their dog around the block but who one day decides to take their dog for a 1 hour game of fetch. This is over exercising. The dog is not ready to withstand the stress of such an increase in intenisty or volume. You must remember that any exercise you do with your dog must be monitored and gradually increased. For help with your dog’s exercise regime take a look at our >>12 Week Canine Conditioning and Nutrition Program.
3. Avoid being Overweight.
Dogs who are over weight naturally cause unnecessary pressure and load on their joints. You can maintain a healthy pet or fit weight very easily by just basic hand walking and monitoring your dogs daily food intake. For more help on what is the ideal weight for your dog check our >>5 Point Body Composition Assessment.
Of course there are many more steps you can take to prevent joint injury in your dog however these are our top 3. While they are simple tips to use, they are also simple not use. If you make sure to implement these top 3 tips you will greatly minimise the risk of knee join trauma to your dog.
What questions do you have? Comment below and we will personally respond to you.
Keep them fit
P.S. Your dogs Health and performance is only as good as the knowledge you have and the tools you own. Check out our Top 3 Canine Tools for Boosting your dogs fitness using the Link Below.