my dog was diagnosed with hip dysplasia as a puppy. since the diagnosis we have seen little symptoms, however, within the last two to three weeks, she has been in severe pain and barely moves her leg. Is this the normal progression or can it be some other factor causing the stiff leg and pain? /she will be 9 in /september
Type of Animal: English Springer Spaniel
Name of Dog: molly
she is currently on pain medication
Hello - I am Dr. Matt - I would be glad to help you with your question.Is Molly holding one of her legs up in the air all of the time?What pain medication is she taking?IS the pain medication helping at this time?
She isnt holding it up all the time but when it is down her leg shakes and she sits right down. She does mot even want to get up to eat or go outside. Sometimes she will walk on her leg for a minute or two anout an hour after medicine. The thing is, it is very sudden, she would have minor stiffness but this is so dramatic. I do not have the name of the medication with me.
Thanks for the additional information.I am very sorry to hear that Molly is having quite a bit of pain with her hind leg. Based on what you are describing, I do not think that this is caused by the hip dysplasia itself as usually arthritis pain from hip dysplasia would come much slower and over a longer time. Here are some of the most common disorders that could be causing Molly's pain at this time:- An injury to the muscles around the hip joint- A ligament injury which is the same thing people can have called an ACL injury in the knee- A bone or joint tumor- Any mass that is pushing on the muscles or nerves on the hind leg- A tick borne diseaseAt this point the best way to determine which one of these is most likely would be to have your vet examine Molly's leg and possibly take an x-ray. The most common possibility would be an ACL injury as many dogs with hip dysplasia can also injure this ligament in their knee due to putting more weight on the knee joint and keeping pressure off of the hips at times.Here is some more information on this injury:http://www.petplace.com/dogs/ruptured-cranial-cruciate-ligament-in-dogs/page1.aspxI would definitely keep Molly on the pain medication until she is examined by your vet to try to keep her comfortable. I would also recommend keeping her rested and prevent her from doing any excessive activity to make sure she does not hurt herself worse.Hope this helps -please feel free to reply if you have any other questions. If you are satisfied with my answer please do not hesitate to click on the "excellent service" button as this will compensate me for my time. Thank you in advance!
is there a way to definitively determine the cause? Or will it be trial and error?
Usually an exam alone can diagnose a ACL injury though if this is not found an x-ray will help rule out a tumor, ligament injury and any other bone disease. Blood work can be used to diagnose a tick borne disease. A muscle injury is a little harder to diagnose though most dogs will improve from a muscle injury within a week on pain medications.At this point I do think that your vet should be able to get a pretty good idea what is causing the limping just from an exam and an x-ray.
DVM - 10 years experience in canine medicine and surgery.