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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19747
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My dog has a bone spur on his knee cap, causing him to limp

Customer Question

My dog has a bone spur on his knee cap, causing him to limp around and not put any pressure on that foot, is there any cure or procedure that can cure bone spurs, and he is barely 3 yrs old.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 8 years ago.

What kind of dog is this?
How was the bone spur diagnosed?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He is a pitbull and we took him to a vet in Bismarck ND and they took x-rays and said he has a bone spur growing on his knee cap and there is nothing they can do.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 8 years ago.
Ok thanks,

Did you see the spur?
Does it look like extra bone growth at the lower/ far end of the knee cap on the x-ray?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
yes I did see the spur and yes that is about where is was
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 8 years ago.

This is something we call an "osteophyte." What I'm guessing is that your dog has a torn ACL in the knee joint and that extra bone growth is secondary to the instability of the joint. Common clinical findings in an ACL tear are instability, knee pain and reluctance to use the limb or non-weight bearing lameness. Common x-ray findings are bone growth at the far end of the knee cap, on the sesamoid bones or accessory bones of the calf muscle behind the knee, at the top part of the tibia (shin bone) and also swelling or extra "grey" in the joint. On palpation, you can also usually get "cranial drawer" which is instability of the joint.

What I would do is get an opinion from a veterinary surgeon as this is a disease that requires surgical correction. There are two common procedures- the lateral suture technique and the TPLO. I prefer the lateral suture as it is much cheaper and offers the same long term results. You can expect full use of the limb by 3-6 months following surgery. Most dogs are actually walking pretty well on the limb within a month of surgery.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.