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Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16378
Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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Hi, I have an eight year old papillon ( female) who has a

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I have an eight year old papillon ( female) who has a habit of running wide circles and jumping from ( for her) fairly large heights. Two nights ago, she went outside as normal and must have jumped and given chase to a cat ( they were at having a stand off when we intervened!). When she came in, she was lame and reluctant to bear weight on her left hind leg. There was no pain on palpation and the knee joint seemed not to have slipped ( as has occurred in some of her other legs before). However, she is still reluctant to bear weight and is a bit lethargic and quiet, tending to avoid her normal routine and hiding. She will eat her treats and is still excited by the thought of a walk ( which we have avoided for now). I am taking her later to see the vet but am reluctant to allow an X-ray with GA. can she have mild sedation instead? She was quite unwell previously following GA's for both a dental scaling and for two other ops. I had heard that Papillons as a breed may react badly to GA's. your advice would be much appreciated. Kind regards, SW
Hello! My name is XXXXX XXXXX it will be my pleasure to help you with your dog today. Just like an in person consult, I have a couple questions....

Did the vet say he would have to use GA for any radiographs?

Is Summer normally agreeable for things like brushing or handling at the vet?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Lisa, thank you.
I have not spoken yet to the Vet, only to the receptionist. However, when Summer has had radiographs before, they always administered a GA ( though I was never given an alternative choice anyway). A couple of years ago, Summer suffered from an unexplained dermatitis of a front paw ( immediately following the annual vaccines etc) abd this necessitated two ops by Vet to try and cure. S was very unwell after both the GA's and surgeries and 2 yrs later, when I asked to be referred to a well known homeopathic vet, he explained to me that she was most likely having an adverse reaction to the vaccines which may well have caused the unusual skin response. He treated her with a long course of homeopathy and, since then, she has not had the problem ( dermatitis which returned the second year too after her vaccines). She also reacted a little to the GA given for routine dental cleaning a few years before. The Homeopathic Vet has indicated that it is best to avoid unnecessary vaccines ( she had her full course of early immunisations) or meds. She had been given numerous corticosteroids, antihistamines etc etc by conventional Vet following the initial paw issue 2years ago.
Regarding her temperament, yes she is a cooperative little dog and is handled easily. However, she get v scared now when she enters Vet practice!
Thank you so much for the additional information Suri. I really appreciate it.

Each vet practice tends to have their own protocols for certain things, and while in a larger or more aggressive dog, then GA might be necessary, but if Summer is generally agreeable, they should be able to take the radiograph without any anesthesia or sedation at all. Especially if they're concerned about the knee on the dog.

Of course, if they determine that she needs hip x-rays then she might need to be under anesthesia simply because to take a good x-ray of some body parts (such as the hips) it might require the dog to be lying on her back and to have both legs pulled inwards and down...which is very painful even under the best circumstances on a non-painful dog.

From your description of the chasing and then the lameness on that leg, I am a bit concerned that maybe she injured her Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL). The good news is that often, you don't need to actually take x-rays to find out if it's the problem. This is because ligaments don't always show up on radiographs...instead, the vet will and palpate the limbs to look for hallmarks of the torn ligament (legs with a ruptured or damaged CCL show a 'drawer' movement..which means the bones slide side to side and front to back, whereas an intact ligament doesn't allow for that sort of movement.

Of course, if your vet feels that he needs to x-ray that leg, then you should absolutely, positively explain to him your concerns about the GA. There are different sedation options that he could be looking into for her such as Dexdomitor (which I like because this sedation can be reversed with another medication...meaning if something goes wrong and she begins to have a bad reaction, the other medication will negate the effects of the Dexdomitor and wake her up), so talking to them about non-inhaled anesthesia options are available.

I hope this helps.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks so much Lisa. I really appreciate your advice. I will speak to the Vet when I take Summer in shortly about the sedation options shou ld we need a hip rad. I also was wondering if something more than a simple sprain may have occurred. It is unusual for her to have these sustained symptoms. Thank thou again for your thoughtful advice. Best wishes, suri
You're very welcome Suri!!

Please do me a favor....even after you rate/accept my answer, please let me know how it goes!
Lisa and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sure, will do. Thanks again.
You're welcome