Joint stability in the stifle (or true knee) is maintained by 4 ligaments, which criss cross over to give the knee support, flexibility and movement. A common injury, which occurs to, the joint, caused by sudden twist of the knee, slipping on surfaces, obesity, trauma, breed predisposition and general wear & tear.

Four grades of damage:

  • Grade 1: minimal tear or sprain of a ligament with a degree of internal bleeding
  • Grade 2: Partial tear of the ligament
  • Grade 3: Complete rupture of the ligament
  • Grade 4: Ligament tears and takes with it small pieces of bone

Symptoms include:

  • Lameness / Limping
  • Crying out in pain
  • Unable to weight bear equally
  • Inflammation/swelling/heat
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Reluctance to straighten leg

Benefits of Clinical Canine Massage Therapy – Grades 1 and 2:

  • Minimising pain
  • Decreases and minimises area of overcompensation and pain referral
  • Increases mobility
  • Encourages normal weight distribution
  • Strengthening of injured leg

Massage can’t be performed on Grades 3 & 4, but following surgery it can benefit by:

  • Encouraging equal weight bearing on all four limbs
  • Builds muscle to stabilise the leg
  • Increases mobility of the affected leg to minimise damage to the good leg
  • Increases recovery time after operation and makes recuperation time more comfortable
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