My dog is 3 years old and is overweight. For 3 weeks now, she will not put any weight on her left hind leg. I took her to the vet and they didn't see any fracture, break or sign of dysplasia. Was on Rimadyl for 6 days and now on prednisone. She isn't getting any better. Is it possible with weight reduction and more exercise she will improve? We take walks and she will "run" at times but with a "bunny hop".
Type of Animal: Cockapoo
Age: 3 years
Name of Dog: Bailey
More exercise, less food and 2 trips to the vet with Rimadyl and Prednisone.
Hello, I am Dr. Peter a licensed Veterinarian. I would like to help. I need to ask you a few questions to be well informed and give you the best advice. There is no additional charge for information request.1- How did the lameness occur?2- Did the veterinarian do xrays or an orthopedic examination under sedation?
My pet just woke up one morning and was limping. She cannot jump up anymore. The vet did not think he needed to do an x-ray (either time). Could she have a progression of muscle atrophy that may move into the other hip?
Muscle atrophy does not occur with the history you are describing. A very common injury that occurs in the back leg of dogs is a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament (ACL in humans), to diagnose she will need to have an orthopedic examination under sedation and xrays. Important to also rule out fracture or a dislocated hip. Highly recommend to discuss with your vet about the above. In the meantime, rest her; activity should be limited to urinate and defecate on a leash, no running or jumping. Hope the above helps, if you have additional questions I will be glad to answer them. Dr. Peter
Thank you for your info. I did forget to mention that there is no swelling and she can and does move her leg any way she wants and there is no pain at any of the joints. She sits and lays on the leg all the time. I can, however, see that the muscle on the left hind part is somewhat smaller than the right now that she isn't using it. Not sure how to re-build the muscle if she won't use it.
The additional information you provide further supports a cranial cruciate ligament rupture. You see, this ligament is within the knee and you will not see any swelling nor will you be able to elicit any pain in most cases. The only way to rule in a rupture of this ligament is by sedating the dog and doing what is called a cranial drawer; trying to check the ligament with the dog awake does not work because the muscles will stabilize the knee. She will not bear Weight on the limb because it is painful to bear weight on the knee. The muscle atrophy is from disuse which should come back once she begins to bear weight on the limb. Which, she will need to have the ligament repaired surgically to restore function of the leg. Important to remember that a hip dislocation or fracture could have a similar presentation, for this reason your dog needs an orthopedic examination under sedation and xrays.
12 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.