Cruciate Ligament Tear in Dogs

Cost of Treatment: $3,050 to $10,525

What it is: The cruciate ligament connects the femur to the tibia at your dog’s knee joint. A partial or complete tear in the ligament is one of the most common orthopedic problems in dogs, with injuries often stemming from trauma, activity, obesity or age. Certain breeds are also predisposed to the condition.


  • Slight lameness
  • Swelling in the inner knee area
  • Inability to bear weight on the leg

Treatment: Partial tears in the cruciate ligament may heal on their own if you restrict your dog’s activity levels and ensure the tear doesn’t worsen. Complete tears generally require surgery. Because cruciate ligament tears are such a common occurrence, pet health insurance plans may have certain restrictions when it comes to covering treatment. If the condition is a concern for your breed, look for a plan that covers cruciate ligaments surgery without any restrictions.

Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.


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