How Common Is Knee Surgery?
Competing and working dogs damage their knees more often than any other joint. Surgeries to repair dog knees are so common that over a million dogs—at a cost of over 1.2 billion dollars—undergo knee surgery each year. Many of these dogs were engaged in working, herding or agility events.
Which dog breeds commonly have knee problems?
- Labrador Retriever
- Competing dogs
- Agility dogs
- Herding dogs
Some dog breeds are much more likely to need knee surgery than other breeds, perhaps because they have a genetic tendency to knee instability. Among these breeds are Newfoundlands, Labradors, and Rottweilers—all large dogs who may compound genetically unstable knees with the burden of being heavy.
Toy dogs also have knee problems, but frequently of a different type—toy dogs have knee caps (patellae) that slide out of place.
Any dog making quick turns/sudden stops, high jumps and repetitive movements, such as weave poles, is prone to knee injury. This includes most competing dogs, agility, herding, and working dogs.