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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5542
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My Rotweiller has joint problems...her leg makes a cracking

Customer Question

my Rotweiller has joint problems...her leg makes a cracking sound when we walk...
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
Hi! Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and would like to try to help you and Berta today.Which leg is cracking when Berta walks? Also, has your vet prescribed an NSAID for Berta? (These are medications like ibuprofen but made for dogs).
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
its her right hind leg and no prescription has been ordered.... I have been giving her 1/2 baby aspirin every other day
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for responding!Is she limping on her right hind leg? Can you isolate the cracking sound? Is she licking one area excessively. . .this can also indicate pain.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
no licking and we've isolated the cracking sound to that leg.... she struggles to get up from both sitting and laying positions and she can barely walk until she adjusts to being on her feet....she also has trouble going up the stairs more than going down stairs... she started sitting crooked with her left hind leg out from her hips
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
I know then definitely that she would benefit from NSAIDs right now. These can be expensive, but the least expensive NSAID is meloxicam for humans. This is a 7.5 mg pill. Your vet would have to prescribe this, and Berta's correct dose will have to be determined.To diagnose Berta, I'd recommend an orthopedic exam of her back, hips and right knee and tarsus (ankle). Berta will probably have to have sedation/light anesthesia for the exam, and then based on the exam, she'd also be sleepy enough to be positioned very well for the desired x rays.How long ago was she examined and x rayed?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
between 30 and 45 days ago she was ex-rayed but it was done only on her right hind leg
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
She is so obviously painful now. Was she making the cracking sound 30-45 days ago?
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
Also, the way she is sitting with her left leg out sounds more like it is her left hip causing the pain.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
yes....she had problems walking and sitting prior to 45 days, but the cracking started around that time which caused me to take her for the ex-ray.... they gave her some pills that did make her fill better, but no prescription refill and the cracking sounds got louder since then.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
are you in my area (Los Angeles) and also, how long can she stay on the NSAIDs.
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
I am in California, but in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of San Francisco. Thanks for asking, tho'.Dogs can usually take NSAIDS for life, but they do need to be monitored to make sure they are not getting liver or kidney damage from this. There are also several different NSAIDS available, so if one doesn't work, another may. Which NSAID was she on?Also, want to say that joint disease doesn't show up on x rays until the arthritis has caused calcium deposits, or if there is actually a joint malformation.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
one last thing...would you venture to guess the cracking noise is arthritis?
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
Yes!
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
Do you know which pain medication she was on?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't have the bottle with me but it began with an R
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
would an operation help?
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
Must have been Rimadyl. Once we knew which joint was causing her problems, then there is most likely a surgery that will help. We have to get Berta a very thorough orthopedic exam and indicated x rays. Again, a light anesthesia will probably be needed to accomplish this.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes that was the medication. Can you recommend a doctor? I live in the greater los angeles area.
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
I'm so sorry, but I'm not familiar at all with veterinarians in LA. However, with how young Berta is, and how painful she seems to be, I think it would be great if you can find a Veterinary Surgeon, a specialist. It is pretty likely just based on what you have said that Berta will need some surgery. I could look online for such a specialist near you. What is your zip code?