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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 31076
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My eight year old male Rat Terrier developed a sudden limp

Customer Question

My eight year old male Rat Terrier developed a sudden limp in his left back leg weeks ago while chasing some cats at a my horse's barn. He was running on a gravel driveway when this happened. He would hold his leg in the air and hop on his other back leg to walk and trot. When he would run, all four legs would touch the ground. He had inflammation or pain when I palpitated his leg and foot. After a couple of weeks, he started to get better with only 10% of his gaits affected by the limp.
Yesterday, while at the barn, he went after the cats again on the gravel and came back with the other back leg limping. He is now almost unable to use his back end at all to move and has a hard time getting out of a laying down/sitting position. I checked him again for inflammation, swelling, and pain. He gave no indication of these symptoms. I'm taking him to our vet this afternoon when I get out of work, but I would like know a little more before going in. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- Is he able to walk or is he dragging his back end?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He can walk, but is hopping in the back end. He as a hard time going up stairs and I usually pick him up.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Correction to the first post - He has NO inflammation or swelling.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Give me a few minutes to type your answer. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No thanks.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Friend, the first time he was injured it sounds like he had a soft tissue (muscle, tendon or ligament) injury. A very common injury to the hind limb in dogs is to the cranial cruciate ligament (ACL in humans). It is possible that now he has a similar injury to the other limb. Other possible causes are: A pinched nerve along the back as a result of a bulging disc, dislocated hip, etc.

To determine the exact underlying cause he will need xrays and an orthopedic examination under sedation. Treatment will be based on orthopedic exam and xray results.

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 excellent service." Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Peter