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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18533
Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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Recently my dog has had intermittent issues with her left rear

Customer Question

Recently my dog has had intermittent issues with her left rear leg. About 4 weeks ago she was briefly running on 3 legs and not using her left rear leg. Last week she did not use her left rear leg to go down stairs. Just now she had issues going up some stairs and jumping from the back seat of a car to the front seat. She is a Yorkie/Norkolk mix, about 6 Yeats old
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 2 years ago.
Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 15 years. Thank you for your question. At this point in time, a rear leg lameness as you are describing could be due to one of the following reasons.
1) Stifle/knee injury - this is in all honesty the most common. Could he have torn a cruciate ligament, or another ligament in the knee? Tearing or partial tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament is the most common. With partial tears, the animal can exhibit a temporary lameness and then after some rest seem to be as good as new. They will usually re-aggravate the injury, or tear the ligament completely. Your veterinarian can diagnose the problem by checking for a cranial drawer sign which may need to be done under anesthesia or sedation. Here is avery good link discussing an ACL tear further
2) Orthopedic injury. This is an actual fracture of any one of the bones in the back leg. This is always a possibility and can usually only be confirmed by radiographs. The fracture may be such that an obvious swelling or abnormality is viewed and sometimes not. This doesn't seem as likely given this history.
3) General soft tissue injury - this is like a deep muscle bruise or twist of a joint - similar to a sprain or strain. Pretty common and usually gets better with time and rest.
4) Arthritis flare up. Some can have acute stress or over activity that cause arthritis to flare up to a more visible level of discomfort. In a smaller breed dog, could there be some degenerative hip issue.
5) Luxation of the knee cap intermittently. This is a one of the more suspect things given she's a smaller breed. They can have intermittent issues when this is present. Here is a good link on it.
6) Some degenerative / inflammatory joint issue. Autoimmune situations can cause this as well as infectious ones like Lyme disease.
In all honesty, with your little one you have two options. Veterinary exam now to further evaluate the source of the lameness or give some time and rest to see if it improves. If choosing to rest and see how that helps - you need to restrict all activity to so that it has a good chance to not be further traumatized for a couple days to see how that helps.
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 2 years ago.

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

Dr. Bruce