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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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I have a working dog who appears to have done her hamstring.

Customer Question

Customer: I have a working dog who appears to have done her hamstring. She is carrying the leg but at rest it drops right down on the back joint. She is a very active quick dog but is also 7 years old. What to do ?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Its the back leg and as I say at rest it drops right down. She doesn't appear to be in any pain. Is this fixable ?
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $19) to post your type of question to Dog Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: Yes
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 11 months ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian in the US who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm sorry to hear that your dog has been carrying that leg up. I'm very concerned by your description that the back joint is dropping to the floor when she bears weight.

If it looks at all like the pets in the pictures on this website, then this is something that is going to require surgery:

http://www.vetsurgerycentral.com/gastroc_rupture.htm

A ruptured gastrocnemius is not something that's going to get better on its own. The treatment will depend on the severity of the rupture and the location. A minor tear might possibly be managed by rest and immobilization of the leg for a couple of months. In a case where surgery is absolutely not an option, a vet might consider splinting the leg into an anatomically correct position and hoping that it can scar down enough to bear weight, but this is a sketchy proposition, as cast sores develop readily and frequently will limit our ability to immobilize the leg properly.

So this is fixable, but probably not at home. Even though she doesn't seem painful outwardly, the fact that she's not willing to bear weight is evidence of pain. There is no other reason for a dog to not bear weight on a leg besides pain.

Please let me know what other questions I can answer for you.

~Dr. Sara

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Expert:  Doc Sara replied 11 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Doc Sara