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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19294
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My 11 year old golden Sammie mix 110 lb fell and injured his

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My 11 year old golden Sammie mix 110 lb fell and injured his back leg or foot about 5 hours ago. He is not crying but won't put it down and cannt move easily. He allows me to feel it but I don't know what to look for and it is 4 am. He has cancer in his front leg and is on Tramadol and Metacam. Do I take him into emergency? Anything more I can do? I gave him a Tramadol at 11 and 3 (he gets 6 a day) and a partial dose of Metacam at 11. Thanks for any help
Hello, I'm Dr Gary. I've been practicing veterinary medicine since 2007. I look forward to helping with your questions/ concerns.

The most common cause of rear limb lameness in medium to large breed dogs is ACL injury in the knee. This is the most likely cause of the lameness here. The ACL is the stabilizing ligament in the knee. ACL tears cause pain initially then instability leading to intermittent to chronic lameness or non-weight bearing.

Diagnosis is made on physical exam by palpating the instability or "drawer" in the knee. Radiographs (x-rays) also help as there will be joint swelling, bony deposit build up and arthritic changes associated with the joint.

Treatment is surgical. There are two common procedures:
1. Lateral Suture Technique- a large fishing line type of suture is placed around the joint to stabilize the knee. This is less expensive and a less invasive procedures. There is potential break down of the suture as a complication but it's uncommon.

2. TPLO- this is a more recently available procedure where the shin bone is cut and rotated and then a bone plate attached to change the overall dynamics of the knee joint and stabilize. It is a more invasive procedure and more expensive. The benefit is that these guys will start using the leg a little sooner.

Either procedure offers near 100% recovery in 4-6 months. Either procedure will lead to more arthritis of the joint. Without surgery, it will be a source of chronic pain and instability. Keep in mind that ACL injury is a degenerative disease in dogs rather than acute injury as it is in people so many dogs (30-40%) will eventually tear the ACL on the other knee as well and need surgery on that in the future.

I don't think you need to run to an ER vet, but I would have your vet evaluate the leg when they open and determine if this is the cause. They'll then decide whether surgery is the best option at this time with his other health issues.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you,
The pain seems minimal though he is not sleeping. I do not think surgery is a great option for dodger. I will take him in, but is he I pain when no weight is on it? Should I give him his regular morning dose of meds or can I give extra if he is in pain?
The reluctance to put it down is usually more due to instability than actual pain. When we palpate for instability, that is when we'll often get a pain response.

I would go ahead and give his normal doses of his pain meds this morning. You can go up on the Tramadol if you find he's still uncomfortable.
Dr. Gary and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Dodger,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Dodger. How is everything going?

Dr. Gary