Please stop the Motrin since it is toxic to dogs. You need to make sure you do not give any over the counter medictions. The dog needs to see a Vet since the Leg may have a deep seated bone infection. A sprain will not cause the leg to be rock hard. The swelling and hardness will usually come with an infection and not a sprain. Because of giving Mortin it is important to see the Vet. not only for the leg , but for blood work to be sure that there are no residual effects from the motrin affecting the liver or kidneys. Joan
I will opt out and will open this question up for other experts to try and help you. I understand your being hesitant to have the dog back to the Vet with the bad experiences. I hope someone will be able to help. Joan
I'm sorry to hear your little Corgi is having problems with her leg.
Being an active girl, and being an older girl, there are a couple of major concerns here. I am curious as to where this swelling is occurring first of all. If indeed the entire back leg (as short as it may be in a Corgi) is 'rock hard', there is a chance of there having been some internal bleeding going on. Thus, Joan strongly suggested stopping the motrin, which I adamantly agree with. Motrin is not safe for dogs, even in low doses. And any aspirin-type medication can slow bleeding time, which can hurt this problem, not help.
Second, with an active dog, injuries can occur to the joints which can cause some severe swelling within the tissues, which only with proper medicating from the vet (often SAFE anti-inflammatory meds along with pain medications) and strict exercise restriction, can this heal properly. As you'd like to see how this does at home, although not the best idea, I strongly suggest then to keep your dog strictly confined except for short leash walks to do her business. Try cold dry compresses to the swollen area 3-4 times a day for 5 minutes at a time. Even when improvement can be seen, continue the exercise restriction. Even sprains, though they do not present this way, take time to heal. Fractures take longer, and tears of ligaments and more severe fractures will not heal on ther own and without proper treatment lead to severe arthritis.
Another concern if this occurred quite rapidly is a bone tumor or a tick borne illness causing fluid build up in the leg (common in many areas of the U.S.) This is not something you'd be able to try treating nor figuring out from home, but either can become deadly.
My best suggestion is to follow Joan's above suggestion and seek a vet. I certainly understand your hesitation and in your best interest I would seek a different vet than you've seen in the past. And we are always here for you to help you understand what the vet is saying. Decisions do not need to be made asap when suggestions are given, and a vet cannot treat a certain way without your approval. YOU are essentially in charge of your pet's care, and you can choose to only accept treatment on what you are comfortable with. But indeed your dog's symptoms are quite severe and not the norm for just a run-of-the-mill sprain which can heal in a day or two.
I wish you and your dog nothing but the best, XXXXX XXXXX he's back to his normal self as quickly as possible. Don't hesitate to reply if there is anything myself or Joan can help you with.
Christine, LVT, NYState
Unfortunately, tick borne illness and tumors were my first worries as well. Doxycycline is the best antibiotic to be on, but it can cause stomach upset/ vomiting. Swelling in the legs from this problem could sometimes require hospitalization, and at least pain medications. Your vet may want to send the xrays of the leg along to a radiologist whom may be able to spot first signs of osteosarcoma or chondrosarcoma (bone or cartiledge tumors), or indeed, it could be elsewhere blocking blood flow, especially if the paw appears cold at all to you. However, if not and this leg, however swollen, is functioning/ moving/ warm, blood is indeed fully flowing through it. A tick borne illness like ehrlichia/ anaplasma can take some time to see a difference with the meds, but keep them up, as they are the best treatment out there, along with treating any symptoms that appear, which you should discuss with your vet (i.e. strong pain meds).
With this type of swelling it is most likely not an allergic reaction, and the sad part is without some major diagnostics you will not get a definitive answer. If your vet sent out a tick panel, certainly that could help, but a CT or bone scan may be needed to search for evidence of a primary tumor. She definitely needs to be on a strong pain killer, which it doesn't sound like she's got on board.
As your vet about tramadol or a fentanyl patch so at least she has relief while waiting for answers.
You can't give it without letting your vet know about it, as it could interfere with concurrent meds and things they are looking for though. Otherwise it won't hurt the leg any further and if eases your mind, as your vet (phone call), and the dose would be 1mg per pounf of body weight.
Her not using the leg to walk is a symptom of pain. Dogs with severe swellings and no pain would use the leg out to the side and still put weight on it each step. Her symptoms make me wonder if the primary problem is from the shoulder, with fluid build up draining to below the elbow.
I am so glad Christine was able to offer you some help for your baby girl. I have been following the story and her care since I opted out. Glad she is doing better and the Vet was able to help you. Joan