AN Ellesmere Port vet is warning dog owners to be aware of a common condition which can cause their canines difficulties.

Animal Trust, the not-for-profit veterinary surgeons, are raising awareness of cruciate disease, a common condition that causes a dog’s ligaments to fray or fracture.

They treated over 200 cases last year.

The most recent case is that of Nala, a four-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier whose owner, Stephanie Carney from Liverpool, brought her to Animal Trust after noticing she was limping after a walk.

James Portsmouth, a vet at Animal Trust in Ellesmere Port, examined Nala and performed a TTA surgery to repair the ruptured ligament.

Commenting on the case, James, who has a particular interest in surgery, said: "Cruciate disease isn’t uncommon, and if left untreated it can cause dogs to develop other progressive conditions.

"In most cases, surgery is the best option and 90 per cent of dogs will make a full recovery.

"I’m so pleased to see how well Nala is doing and that she is back to her regular walks and activities.’’

Cruciate disease sees a dog's ligament degenerate over a period of time, eventually ending in rupture - often after the dog has been active.

It usually impacts dogs over the age of one and, while all breeds can be affected, labradors, boxers and German shepherds are likely to get it more frequently.

James is urging owners to look out for significant signs, which include; decreased activity levels, sudden limping, sitting with their back legs at an odd angle and difficulty getting up or jumping into a car.

He added: "In many cases, we can diagnose a rupture in a free consultation, for both for our own clients and those who would usually visit another vet. The sooner a pet is treated the better the outcome is likely to be.’’

Nala’s owner Stephanie said: "The service we received from Animal Trust was fantastic and I’m so thankful to the whole team for looking after Nala.

"She has recovered fantastically well and we’re enjoying our long walks again.’’

Animal Trust is open to everyone and offers free vet consultations with no eligibility criteria. Further information is available at