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Ola Barrett
Ola Barrett,
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience:  Veterinarian at Lake Chatuge Animal Hospital
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All of a sudden one morning my nine year old chihuahua

Customer Question

All of a sudden one morning my nine year old chihuahua started not putting any wait on her right rear leg. I have to carry her up the stairs when she goes out to do her thing. She seems to be moving around better now but still favors that leg.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: Yes, but i did not see one nor did i see any sign of exterior injury. We live in the country and could not find any signs.
JA: The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Gracie
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Gracie?
Customer: She has never been spaded and she has very recently had a false pregnancy where she produces milk and her teets {especially the rear ones} got redish and huge. Her belly still feels really hard when i pick her up but i know she has not been out of our sight.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Ola Barrett replied 9 months ago.

Hello, I am Dr RB and I am a licensed veterinarian. I am so sorry to hear Gracie hasn't been feeling well! A few things first.. Does Gracie like to jump on and off of furniture? Most Chihuahua's are pretty active and it can be difficult to keep them still but when I hear of a sudden reluctance to use a limb, traumatic injury is usually at the middle of it. Being 9 years old, Gracie may have some of the early signs of arthritis in her joints. This may make her not as agile as before and more prone to injury herself! When dogs do not want to put weight down in a rear leg, the source is either hip injury pain or knee injury pain. Hip pain in an older dog can be from arthritis and can be worsened by injury. Knee pain in small breed dogs is usually due to a patellar luxation or an partial or complete tear to the cruciate ligament in the knee.

Patella luxation occurs when the knee cap will temporary pop in and out of the groove in the larger bone of the knee (tibia). Dogs that have a luxating patella will often run with one leg up and skip; sometimes you will see them kick one leg out to the side and then place weight back on the limb. It can become painful when the patella won't "pop" into place or if arthritic changes in the knee occur. Sometimes surgery is needed to help this.

The cruciate ligaments in our knee are involved in holding out knee in the proper placement. An injury can partial tear or completely tear one or more of these ligaments, thus making it painful to put weight on the affected limb. A partial tear usually results in less severe pain and can be treated with pain medication and anti-inflammatory medications in addition to rest. A complete tear in a cruciate ligament may require surgery.

My advice to you in the short term is to allow Gracie strict rest for several days. Keep her in a small room or crate for most of the day with only short walks outside to use the restroom. Don't allow her to run, jump on/off furniture or climb stairs, or any rough play. This will prevent her from furthering injury herself until you can make an appointment with your regular veterinarian. Once she is examined by her vet, he/she will be able to determine from the exam what area of the leg is likely the source of the pain. They may or may not recommend x-rays of the limb. Gracie may need some anti-inflammatory medications in addition to rest to help her feel better. Since she is 9 years old, I would also talk to your vet about starting her on a daily joint supplement to slow any progression of arthritis:)

I hope this advice was helpful to you! Please do not forget to rate my answer - I hope you found it to be excellent. If there’s more I can do, please use the reply tab and let me know. It’s my goal to provide you with great service. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!