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ZooCVT
ZooCVT, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1528
Experience:  25 + years of experience w/ sm. animal, fish, exotics, orthopedics, ophthalmology and zoo medicine.
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Dogs swollen knee

Resolved Question:

My dog’s front "knee" is slightly swollen and hard, not soft, not warm to the touch. I can squeeze the knee and she seems fine. The only time it bothers her when I mess with it, is if I try to flex her foot towards her tummy. She’s four years old. She developed a slight limp that happened occassionally about four months ago, but now has this swollen knee for about a week and a half. She otherwise acts fine, is stiff in the mornings, and after a hearty round of play. Do you know what this could be?
Submitted: 12 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  ZooCVT replied 12 years ago.
 
It could be a few things...she could have torn or injured her
ACL(anterior crutiate ligament) previously and over time has become
inflammed/irritated. Might be some arthritic changes going on. She
could also have a luxating patella...this is where the kneecap pops in
and out because the goove that it sits in is very shallow...and lastly,
she may have just whacked it and it has some edema. I am leaning
towards the ACL problem. I would keep her confined and restricted
exercise until your vet takes a look at it and does x-rays.


Customer: replied 12 years ago.
Reply to ZooCVT's Post: Could ACL be the diagnosis if it's the joint on her foot? It's not the "knee" per se, it's the carpal bones on her left leg that seems swollen. Thanks so much!!!
Expert:  ZooCVT replied 12 years ago.
 
Then no...the ACL would involve the knee. If the swelling is
lower(ankle area)she may have soft tissue damage or possibly even a
slight fracture. I would continue to keep her confined and restricted
exercise until an x-ray can be done.


ZooCVT, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1528
Experience: 25 + years of experience w/ sm. animal, fish, exotics, orthopedics, ophthalmology and zoo medicine.
ZooCVT and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 12 years ago.
 What breed is it?

Dr.V

Customer: replied 12 years ago.
She's a Flat-Coat Retriever Mix:)
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 12 years ago.

 <<My dog’s front "knee" is slightly swollen and hard>>


The description is confusing, what you are describing, if on the front leg, is the carpal region or wrist of the dog.  Unilateral lameness of a chronic nature (over 7 days) is something, as ZooCVT has stated, needs xrays.  The stiffness in the morning and after play is supportive of degenerative changes in the carpus, but as you probably know, not the most common areas to have problems in a larger dog.  The firm swelling of the joint can signify the connective tissue changes that are occuring to stabilize the joint as well as the intrajoint swellings.


For the night you can give a regular strength Aspirin with food and preferably with a tsp of Maalox 20 minutes prior to the Aspirin. This will help with the swelling and discomfort, but I recommend in support of ZooCVTs suggestion, that a vet exam and xray is needed.


Dr.Vamvakias