Cruciate Ligament Surgery For Dogs

Your Dog's Health In The Hands Of Over 35 Years Of Surgery Experience.
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Bruce’s experience with us

Like Bruce, there are many dogs who experience a torn cruciate ligament. This causes significant instability in the affected rear leg to the point that no pressure can be placed on it. Like Bruce, many dogs have come to Hilton Vet Hospital and have regained athletic ability after treatment and rehabilitation. Here are a few clips to show Bruce’s progress. Within just one week Bruce was up and about with just a small limp.

Free second opinion consult.

This free consultation is with one of our surgeons to answer any questions. You will also receive an obligation-free estimate.

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Meet the Surgeons


Dr. Dario has a passion for surgery and internal medicine. Dr. Dario has brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the surgical team over the past two years that he has been with us. 


Dr Heinrich has a keen interest in orthopedic surgeries such as cruciate repairs and patella luxations. Having completed hundreds of Cruciate Ligament Surgeries, Heinrich’s passion is to make the least invasive surgery with the most effective recovery possible.   

Common Ruptured Cruciate Ligament Symptoms In Dogs

If any of the following are evident in your dog please call us immediately.

Acute or chronic onset of hindleg limping.

Favouring the use of one leg over the other.

Holding the injured leg up with only toes touching the ground.

How A Cruciate Rupture Happens

When the Cruciate Ligament in a human rupture, it is typically the result of an athletic injury. This can also be true for dogs, but more common for dogs is the gradual degeneration of the ligament leading to an eventual rupture.

Not only can this be more challenging for us to diagnose, but, as you can imagine, it’s also quite painful and not a lot of fun for your dog!

Cruciate ligament injuries in dogs are the most common cause of hind limb lameness in dogs, and the bigger the pup, the bigger the issue. For dogs, recoveries without surgery are rare, and delaying surgery often leads to increased cartilage damage.

If your dog appears to struggle when applying weight to one of its hind legs, then it might be experiencing ligament degeneration or rupture. If so, don’t delay! Contact us immediately using the form below to book an urgent consultation.

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What is Cruciate Ligament Surgery?

There are two types of surgeries to fix a ruptured cruciate ligament. An examination by one of our surgeons is required to identify which one is best for your dog.

Pre-surgery Consultation

We will have a consultation in which the vet will look for signs of a ruptured cruciate ligament to make a definite diagnosis.

Sometimes it will be necessary to sedate the patient to feel for a ruptured ligament along with x-rays. 

During this consultation, the vet will explain in detail what the exact diagnosis is and what procedure will be best to repair the ruptured cruciate ligament. 


Modified Maquet Procedure (MMP) for large dogs

This procedure involves making an insition into the bone and implanting a titanium wedge to change the biomechanics of the knee.

MMP is suitable for dogs between 10kg and 100kg. This technique allows for a very quick recovery. MMP is a great technique to provide good stability to the knee.
Click here to view PDF with everything you need to know for the MMP surgery.

Latero Fabelo Suture Technique (LFS) for small dogs

This procedure makes use of a strong nylon suture to stabilise the injured knee. It is less complicated than the MMP and very cost-effective.

It is suitable for small dogs up to 20kg. Recovery time is longer compared to MMP.

The Cruciate Ligament Surgery Procedure In More Detail

  • Your pet needs to come to the Hilton Vet Hospital on the appointed morning being fasted for 12 hours. Admission time is between 8 am and 9 am. You will be asked to weigh your pet and then tuck them into a hospital bed. They accept it much better if you are involved. You then stay with your pet while you complete the admission form. This will give your pet some more time to settle in before you leave. The surgery is done under general gas anaesthesia.


  • An intravenous fluid drip is placed to keep the blood pressure stable and make sure your pet wakes up feeling fully hydrated. As we warm the drip fluid, your pet will be comfortable and warm during the surgical procedure. Your pet will be connected to an advanced surgical monitor that allows us to keep a close eye on temperature, heart rate, respiration and oxygen saturation. The surgery is done under total sterile conditions to prevent infections.


  • Your pet will receive triple pain relief to make sure all pain is under control. Pain relief includes an anti-inflammatory that lasts 24 hours, a strong pain killer that lasts 6 hours and long-acting local anaesthesia that blocks the pain at the surgical site. On top of this, we also provide a pain killer that lasts up to three days which is applied as a patch on the skin. As soon as your pet is fully recovered from the anaesthesia and able to walk we will ring you and organise a time for you to pick up your pet.


  • Your pet might go home with an Elizabethan collar, to prevent her from licking the wound. We also provide pain tablets for the next few weeks.

What to expect after your dog’s Cruciate Ligament Surgery

  • Your pet will go home at the end of the surgery day.
  • Your vet will go through the required aftercare with you during the discharge consultation.
  • The first two days might be challenging for your dog as she has to deal with possible discomfort. You may need to assist your dog in going outside to the toilet.
  •  Your pet will soon regain strength and be able to start using the leg within a week. 


  • By the second week, the stitches are ready to be removed.
  • From here on, the patient will remain on anti-inflammatories for another two weeks or until your dog can walk comfortably. 

This is an overview of what most of our patients experience and we will always ensure that your dog receives the care it requires.

Find out more or book your dog in now.

Our team would love to find out how we can help you. Fill in the form with any questions you may have and a member of the team will be in touch.

Success Stories

Here are two recent cruciate ligament surgeries that we have compleated for Bruce and Keisha.

Bruce’s Cruciate Surgery Journey

Like Bruce, there are many dogs who experience a torn cruciate ligament. This causes significant instability in the affected rear leg to the point that no pressure can be placed on it. Like Bruce, many dogs have come to Hilton Vet Hospital and have regained athletic ability after treatment and rehabilitation. Here are a few clips to show Bruce’s progress. Within just one week Bruce was up and about with just a small limp.

Keisha’s Cruciate Surgery 

Keisha is a lovely 9-year-old Golden Retriever who needed Cruciate Surgery. After examination, the MMP Cruciate Surgery was the best choice and as you can see the recovery was fantastic! Hilton Vet Hospital sees great results for Cruciate Ligament Surgeries in Perth.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cruciate Ligament Surgery For Dogs

Can Senior Dogs Have Cruciate Ligament Surgery?

Yes, dogs of all ages can have Cruciate Ligament Surgery. As dogs age, there may be an increase in the risks associated with the surgery. Any risks associated with the cruciate surgery on your pet will be addressed with you during the consultation.

What Are The Risks Involved With Cruciate Ligament Surgery For My Dog?

Pre-existing health problems can put your pet under some risk. For this reason, we do pre-anaesthetic blood tests to make sure your pet is in good health and does not have any underlying health problems that could put your pet at risk during the procedure.

Complications like infections, swelling or injury of the surgery site are rare but can happen. We complete the surgery in sterile conditions and provide excellent aftercare information to minimize the risk of these complications.


Is General Anaesthetic Necessary?

Yes, Cruciate Ligament Surgery is a major invasive surgery and anaesthetic is not optional.

What If I Don't Go Ahead With The Surgery?

A cruciate ligament rupture will cause instability in the knee which will lead to arthritis over time. By not doing surgery, the continued instability in the will often lead to meniscal cartilage injury, which can be very painful. We highly recommend Cruciate Ligament Surgery for all ruptured Cruciate Ligaments in dogs.

How long Until My Dog Recovers From Cruciate Ligament Surgery?

Most dogs will be walking within seven days with a slight limp. The limp will slowly disappear over the following weeks. We expect all our patients to be back to full athletic ability within one to six months depending on the severity of the injury.

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