Did you know that the cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) is the “glue” that holds your furkid’s hind leg together? The fibrous tissue attaches the thigh bone to the shin bone while also stabilising the knee joint. It absorbs shock and bears weight, allowing Fido or Puss to run, play, and leap into your arms. Things can get tricky when the CrCL ruptures—and that happens more often than most paw-rents think.
Usually noticed as sudden limping after overexertion, CrCL ruptures are one of the most common causes of non-weight bearing hind leg lameness in dogs. Dr Eugene Lin, veterinarian and founder of The Animal Ark Veterinary Group, shares that depending on the severity of the tear, a furkid may not be able to bear weight on the affected limb, and/or display signs of mild lameness—almost like it’s standing on just three legs. Dr Koh Cher Ling, associate veterinarian at Landon Veterinary Specialists adds that partial tears will progress into complete tears over time, and that a high percentage of furkids with CrCL disease also develop it on their other knees.
Is your pet at risk?
Traditionally, large dog breeds and overweight furkids are more prone to CrCL disease, as their extra weight accelerates progressive damage to the ligaments. However, Dr Lin shares that there has been an increasing number of petite pooches suffering from the painful and debilitating joint condition. Other factors (besides weight) contributing to the ruptures include ageing and degeneration of the ligament, genetics, and skeletal conformation.
A cut above
Unlike other joint diseases that can be managed with lifestyle adjustments and more rest, CrCL ruptures often require surgery. For small and sedentary dogs (below 20kg), extra-capsular suture stabilisation is recommended. Sutures using special “thread” are made externally on the knee, thus stabilising it. For large and active furkids, paw-rents may opt for either tibial plateu leveling osteotomy (TPLO) or tibial tuberosity advancement (TBA), which involves the thigh or shin bone being cut and repositioned with the help of implants and/or orthopaedic plates.
Although invasive, going under the knife can help alleviate pain, slow down the development of knee arthritis, and create a stable knee for weight bearing. Without surgical intervention, knee joint degeneration is likely to continue, says Dr Lin.
Lifting the burden
The costs of such veterinary treatments are significant—according to Dr Lin, they can run up to $5,000 to operate each knee—and the surgical fee often does not include extras like GST, hospitalisation, pre- and post-operation imaging, aftercare and more.
If you already feel the pinch, here’s some great news: Happy Tails pet insurance has got you covered! All three policy types (Fur, Furry, and Furball) under the scheme cover CrCL rupture surgeries, and differ in the coverage sums (for more information on the policies, click here). As an added boon, pets enrolled before four years old can enjoy the lowest co-insurance level of 20 percent throughout their lifetime.
“We have received several claims on CrCL disease with varying bill amounts, and the largest bill amounted to over $8,000 in total (including room and board, and surgical costs). More than $6,000 was paid out to the satisfied policyholder who submitted the claim just seven months after purchasing the Furball policy for her three-year-old Maltese,” says a representative from the Happy Tails team. With Happy Tails, you can rest easy while ensuring Fido lives life to the fullest!
Ready to register? We’ll sweeten the deal for you:
Sign up for any Happy Tails pet insurance from 15 August 2016 to 14 September 2016 and stand a chance to win a pair of movie tickets to The Secret Life of Pets, treats for your furkid by Nestle Singapore, and a pet ID tag by Pet Widget! Click here to find out more.
This ad is not a contract of insurance. Full details of the terms, conditions and exclusions of this insurance can be found in the policy wording on our website at www.aonhappytails.com. Happy Tails is arranged by Aon Singapore Pte Ltd and underwritten by MSIG Insurance (Singapore) Pte.Ltd. © 2016 Aon Singapore Pte Ltd, Co Reg No. 198301525W. All Rights Reserved.