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Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)

Welcome to Paddington Vet, your trusted partner in addressing ACL tears in dogs. An ACL tear, a common yet distressing injury, affects the crucial ligament that stabilises a dog's knee, leading to pain and immobility. Our experienced veterinary team is here to offer a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating this condition, combining thorough examinations, state-of-the-art surgical techniques, and personalised aftercare.

Understanding ACL Tears in Dogs at Paddington Vet

What Occurs When a Dog Tears Their ACL?

When a dog experiences an ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear, it means there's been a partial or complete rupture of the ligament connecting the femur to the front of the tibia at the knee joint. Such injuries are notably painful and will cause your dog to limp or be unable to use the affected leg immediately. These tears often result from high-energy activities like playing or jumping, particularly in overweight dogs, where the extra weight puts undue stress on their joints.

Identifying ACL Tears in Dogs

At Paddington Vet, diagnosing an ACL tear involves a thorough physical examination of your pet. A key indicator of an ACL tear is the presence of the cranial drawer sign, an abnormal forward movement of the tibia when the stifle (knee) joint is checked for stability. While X-rays can indicate joint changes associated with an ACL tear, they are not always necessary for a diagnosis. Early signs, such as slight ligament strains or partial tears, may improve with rest, weight management, and gentle exercise, potentially avoiding the need for surgery.

Options for Cruciate Ligament Surgery

For dogs with a complete ACL rupture, surgery is typically the best path to restoring leg function. Paddington Vet provides various surgical techniques for ACL tears, each selected based on your pet's individual needs and preferences.


Our options include:

  • Cora Based TPLO (CBLO)

  • Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO)

  • Modified Marquet Procedure (MMP)

  • Zlig (artificial ACL replacement)

Each technique has its advantages, recovery expectations, and costs, with no single "gold standard" procedure. Our goal is to tailor the treatment plan to suit each dog and owner.

Cost of ACL Surgery

The cost of ACL surgery at Paddington Vet starts at $2800, depending on the chosen surgical method. We strive to make this essential surgery more accessible by offering it at a competitive price, reflecting our high volume of procedures and commitment to affordable care.

We do offer payment plans through credit providers. Please see our payment plans section for more information.

Aftercare and Recovery

Post-surgery, your dog will need careful management, starting with crate rest and gradually increasing activity levels. Within weeks, most dogs significantly regain function, with many returning to normal activities within three months. Our team will provide detailed aftercare instructions to ensure the best possible recovery.

Considering Non-Surgical Options

For dogs with a completely torn ACL, surgery is usually the only option to prevent further joint damage and arthritis. Delaying surgery can lead to chronic pain and decreased mobility. At Paddington Vet, we're committed to offering cost-effective surgical solutions to help your dog lead a pain-free life.

At Paddington Vet, our priority is your pet's health and comfort. If you're facing an ACL injury with your dog, let us guide you through the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery process with the utmost care and expertise.

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