Rajah is a very high-energy dog—so, she is really great at being a working cow dog! However, she still manages to have a lot of extra energy to burn, which can be burned off by chasing Frisbees, balls, sticks, swimming—you name it, Rajah will race after it. However, all of this activity managed to cause some wear and tear on poor Rajah, and she ended up rupturing both of her cranial cruciate ligaments (CCL)—a ligament that connects the thigh bone to the lower leg bone and stabilizes the stifle joint, which is essentially a “knee”.
Rajah’s mom took a pay cut to move back to Wyoming, and she knew she couldn’t afford the surgeries, but she also wanted Rajah to have a full, happy life of chasing, and working on the farm. She reached out to Fur Kids Foundation for help, and we were more than happy to assist with the surgery for one of her knees, which was done at Red Hills Veterinary Hospital. By next spring, her mom will have enough money saved to fix Rajah’s other knee.
Most owners of dogs with CCL injuries first notice a sudden onset of lameness or limping in one or both rear legs. Most of these injuries happen when a dog is running, jumping or engaging in other playful antics. Often an owner will report that their dog stumbled and then came up lame. According to PetWave, other symptoms include:
- Abnormal posture, especially over the back and hip areas
- Atrophy (withering away) of the muscles of the affected limb
- Lameness or weakness in one or both hind legs
- Limping or reluctance to use one or both hind limbs, which worsens with exercise and improves with rest
- Reluctance to rise, run or jump, especially in the morning when they first wake up
- Sitting at an odd angle, with a hind leg slanted off to one side
- Swelling around the knee area
Regardless of the severity of the injury, the signs of CCL damage usually become worse if they are not treated, because the pain felt by the dog increases as the stifle joint progressively deteriorates. Also of note, all breeds and both genders are susceptible to this injury; however, Rottweilers, Labrador Retrievers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Newfoundlands and other active, large-breed dogs have an an increased risk of suffering from CCL rupture. Rupture of the CCL can happen in any dog at any age, but it seems to occur in young, active pups. When a cruciate ligament ruptures in one leg, there is an increased chance that the CCL in the other leg will eventually become compromised, probably because of the increased weight that will be required to support the other leg as it heals.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pup, Fur Kids Foundation encourages you to take them to the vet for a full examination.
Fur Kids Foundation was recently awarded a $3,500 grant from the Banfield Foundation® to be used to help the Gillette, Wyoming charity with their emergency veterinary assistance program. This funding helped the Foundation grant money to help Raja’s mom with her vet trip. If you would like to help Fur Kids Foundation continue to help families with animals, please consider making a tax-deductible donation. The money helps families during a time when they may not be able to afford adequate veterinary care. Check out more Success Stories.
On August 22, 2016, we got an update on Rajah! Check out what Rajah's mom wrote!
Dear Fur Kids,
Thank you so much for your financial help in Rajah's CCL surgery. She is doing great, doctors have said she is recovering so well and they are happy to see how well she has responded to the surgery. Thank you again for all your help in making my dog a healthier pup and me a happy owner!
Felicia and Rajah