Why Does My Dog Have Hock Joint Instability?
Most U.S households have at least one pet, and many of those pets are dogs. Unfortunately, just like humans, dogs can suffer from injuries such as dog hock dislocations and instability.
The good news is that dog hock injuries are treatable. But how they’re treated depends on the type of hock injury.
What is dog hock instability?
To understand hock instability, you first need to know where the hock is. The hock joint on a dog is similar to the ankle joint on a person. The shin bone is connected to the hock joint, which joints the talus bone.
The talus bone is one of the bones in the paw and the fibula, or splint bone, runs along the length of the tibia. Just like in a person, ligaments run on the inside and outside part of the hock joint. This holds the bones of the hock joint together.
Dog hock instability happens when an injury has caused the bones in the hock joint to lose support. This can make it painful or even impossible for your dog to walk on that foot.
How do hock injuries differ?
There are two reasons why your dog’s hock joint might be unstable. The first is because of a bone fracture in the joint.
Fractures need to be treated with surgery using pins, wires, and screws to repair the fracture and to reduce the development of arthritis in the joint. Hock splints can help to support your dog’s hock joint while it’s healing.
The second reason why your dog’s hock joint could be unstable is because of a torn ligament. Like people, ligaments can be torn from overuse, running incorrectly on the leg, or another type of injury.
When a ligament is torn, it can’t securely hold the dog’s hock joint in place. This causes, you guessed it, hock instability.
If the tear is bad enough, your dog might need surgery to repair the tear. Surgery involves placing screws in the bones above and below the hock joint. A permanent suture will also be tied around the screws to help simulate a ligament.
Scar tissue will develop around this suture over time to secure it to the dog’s bone. A hock joint splint can help to support your dog’s hock during this healing process while scar tissue is forming.
Where can I find hock splints for dogs?
As a dog owner, it’s up to you to help relieve your dog’s discomfort when they have a hock injury. Back on Track makes pain relief and joint support for your dog that much easier.
Back on Track’s therapeutic dog leg wraps and dog hock splints are designed with injury prevention and recovery in mind. To learn more about our dog hock splints or for information on our therapeutic blankets and healing mattress pads, contact Back on Track today.