Most Common Dog Breeds Susceptible to Dog Knee Surgery

Most Common Dog Breeds Susceptible to Dog Knee Surgery

One of the most common injuries to a dog’s knee is the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) rupture, which can be partial or complete. This injury, also known as a CCL injury, is equivalent to an ACL injury in a person. Simply put, it’s just another name for the ligament located within the knee.

Most dogs that sustain a CCL injury must undergo surgical correction to fix the rupture and stabilize the knee. Surgery helps to correct the tear and provides stability to the knee, also referred to as the stifle.  Surgery also helps minimize the development of arthritis down the road.

There are a variety of surgical options, but one of the most common and successful types of surgical correction is tibial plateau leveling osteotomy.

You’re probably wondering what types of dog breeds tend to be prone to CCL rupture and needing TPLO surgery, right? While any dog can be affected, some pets are over-represented with needing TPLO surgery.


Newfoundland dogs seem to be especially prone to needing CCL repair from a rupture.

They appear to have a genetic predisposition to injuries to the CCL.  An estimated prevalence of more than 20% of dogs of this breed suffer a CCL tear.

Newfoundland dogs tend to be rather large, which increases the possibility of them developing a CCL injury. Males can weigh up to 150 pounds, with females usually in the range of 100 to 120 pounds.

These majestic dogs tend to have soft eyes. These dogs tend to have a double-coat, with the outer layer of the coat being long, flat, and course. The “Newfie,” as the breed is affectionately called, has one of several colors: black, grey, brown, or black and white.

The single most important characteristic of the Newfoundland breed is its sweet temperament. They tend to have an affinity for children and are generally both trainable and trusting. While these are some of the largest dogs in the world, they tend to be rather friendly and gentle.

Labrador Retrievers

In some studies, Labrador Retrievers have been shown to be 2 to 5 times more likely than other dog breeds to develop a cruciate injury.

The majority of these dogs tend to rupture their other leg’s cranial cruciate ligament within several months of the first. They also tend to be older than some other dog breeds when they develop their CCL injury, usually between 7 and 10 years old.

Labrador Retrievers are considered one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, particularly in the United States, where they generally rank first in popular dog breeds list. These pups tend to be large, weighing between 55 and 80 pounds. Labrador Retrievers tend to have a wide head, a thick tail that is constantly wagging, and have various colors: yellow, chocolate, and black, although some breeders are attempting to breed a silver color.

Labradors, or Labs as they are called, are friendly dogs. They will often socialize well with other people and dogs, but they have bounds of energy. It is sometimes this athletic potential that makes them prone to CCL injuries, as they bounce up and down, run vigorously, and play games such as fetch.

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers

The cousin of the slightly more popular Labrador is the Golden Retriever, also considered one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. Like their cousins, these medium sized dog breeds tend to be prone to cruciate injuries.

The hallmark of the Golden Retriever is its golden coat, which lends itself to the breed’s name. The coat is long, with a feathery tail, and this tail tends to move with “merry action,” according to breeders and breed fanciers. These dogs tend to weigh in between 55 and 75 pounds, although some are definitely larger.

Goldens, as you’ll find many people calling the breed, are outgoing and friendly dogs. Typically eager to please their families, they are quick studies. They were originally bred as a hunting and waterfowl dog.  But nowadays, these dogs are generally found with families. Usually joyful and playful, these energetic dogs will give you a run for your money, enjoying outdoor activities and playing games.


Rottweilers are prone to developing CCL ruptures, and there seems to be a genetic basis for their injuries.

These dogs tend to develop cruciate injuries at a younger age than many other dogs, and they are prone to developing cruciate injuries in both of their hind legs rather than just in one. In some studies, it has been estimated that Rottweilers are 3 to 7 times more likely than an average dog to develop a cruciate rupture.

The Rottweiler is a large and stoic dog. Females tend to be a little smaller than males, with dogs usually ranging from between 80 and 135 pounds. These dogs are tall. Males often reaching 24 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder. Females are usually shorter and narrower. They have a short, black coat that tends to be thick, with rust colored markings.

The “Rottie” has a fearsome appearance.  However, they are confident and calm, rather than being unduly aggressive. Descended from the Mastiffs kept by Roman legions, these excellent guardians tend to be playful and even silly. While they can be territorial, proper training helps to utilize their behaviors positively rather than in a negative way.

In Summary

There are many dogs that are prone to developing cruciate injuries that require a TPLO procedure.  These large breed dogs are especially prone to knee injuries and surgeries:

  • Newfoundlands
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Golden Retriever
  • Rottweiler

When dogs injure their cruciate ligament, surgery is often a must, sooner rather than later. In most cases, surgery ensures each dog gets back to good health and on their feet quickly.

The TPLO procedure allows for a rapid recovery and may be especially useful in dogs that have torn both of their cruciate ligaments since the recovery can be so quick.

Your veterinarian can help decide what procedure is best for your dog.  But as a reminder, TPLO surgery should be considered any time a large breed dog sustains a cruciate injury.

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