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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19324
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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I have a golden retriever coming up to 10 yrs old. the day

Customer Question

I have a golden retriever coming up to 10 yrs old. the day before yesterday I noticed he had a weakness in rear leg. This was after a long walk/run around with my son. He lives for his walks (4 times a day) but this morning was walking very slowly as if struggling. I'm hoping its just a pulled muscle and not something more serious.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'm Dr Gary. I've been practicing veterinary medicine since 2007. I look forward to helping with your questions/ concerns.
In an older large breed dog, one of the most common causes of a rear leg lameness is an ACL tear in the knee. This will cause a lameness or even full non-weight bearing in that leg. The diagnosis is made by feeling for instability. Treatment is surgical to re-stabilize the knee, just as it is in people.
The other differentials would be arthritis flare up, bone tumors or a soft tissue injury. If it's just some arthritis or a soft tissue injury, then rest and pain meds would be all he needs. X-rays help to rule out bone tumors or point to an ACL tear.
Here is a nice link on Cruciate (ACL/ CCL) tears in dogs:
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=1975
I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.