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My dog was running yesterday night and all we heard was a…

Customer Question
My dog was running...

My dog was running yesterday night and all we heard was a yelp and she had her back right leg up and has had it up ever since

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with your dog?

She will sit on that side and lay down but you can tell she is uncomfortable

Veterinarian's Assistant: Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help your dog. What is the dog's name and age?

It's not lethargy it's her back leg

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
12/1/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19,040
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok thanks
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

I am so sorry to hear about your girl's sudden right rear leg lameness. Thank you for the pictures, her stifle or "knee" joint appears swollen.

With the history that you have given me and the pictures I would be highly suspicious of a cruciate ligament injury. The cruciate ligament crosses the knee it keeps that joint stable. If it tears there is no stability to the joint and the secondary inflammation is quite painful. it can happen suddenly with the smallest slip, especially one that causes a twisting motion to the knee. I suspect that she may have slipped or twisted her leg last night and tore the ligament completely given her unwilling to even put her leg down and bear any weight now..

Ideally surgery would be done to give her knee normal stability because without surgery secondary arthritis formation will occur sooner and to a more severe degree then with surgery. It is also more likely that she will rupture the cruciate ligament in her other knee because she will be putting more stress and strain on the other leg. But I understand that that several thousand dollars isn't always financially feasible for everyone.

With very strict rest the knee will form scar tissue and gain some stability with time but it won't ever be normal and it will be arthritic. When I say strict rest I mean cage rest, no running, jumping, climbing stairs or playing for at least 6 to 8 weeks. She needs to go outside to eliminate on a leash so she is not overly active.

I also recommend weight loss if she is overweight to decrease stress on her knees.

Long term for joint pain and to keep arthritis formation as little as possible I do recommend using a combination of a glucosamine/chondroitin product (examples are Dasuquin or Cosequin) and an omega 3 fatty acid (like 3V Caps or Derm Caps). These work synergistically and improve cartilage health and joint fluid quality and quantity as well as reducing inflammation. They can take several weeks to see full improvement but some dogs do very well with them alone to control pain and inflammation. They are available over the counter.

Another option is a product called Duralactin. This is an anti-inflammatory product derived from milk proteins and it also has omega 3 fatty acids incorporated into it which can be very helpful. See this link for further information: http://www.duralactin.com/products_canine.htm

If that's not enough her veterinarian can prescribe drugs that are more potent for longer use. Veterinary drugs we can add include a nonsteroidal like Metacam, (as he is already on), Deramaxx, Previcox or Rimadyl. If those aren't enough we can add another drug in the opiod family called Tramadol and/or another drug called Gabapentin.

If a veterinary visit and surgery are not an option you could try a few days of aspirin. Aspirin does cause stomach and intestinal irritation and ulceration as well as clotting problems so it should not be given for more than 2 to 3 days consecutively and should always be given with a meal. If you choose to continue to use it watch for lack of appetite, vomiting, blood in the stools or dark tarry stools and stop immediately if you see those. Do not use aspirin if your dog has liver or kidney disease or a history of a sensitive stomach or clotting problems.

The dose for aspirin is 5mg to 10mg per pound orally every 12 hours (about one 325mg to 1 & 1/2 325mg aspirin for a 60 to 70 pound dog every 12 hours). Always give with a meal. Do not use for more than 2 or 3 days in a row.

Be aware if you choose to use aspirin and it no longer helps your veterinarian will be limited on what they can give as there must be a 5 to 7 day washout period between different nonsteroidals or nonsteroidals and steroids.

If you want to read more about cruciate ligament injuries here is a link to an accurate article about cruciate ligaments: http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/musculoskeletal/c_dg_cranial_cruciate_ligament#.Ulop6M7n_IU

Other possibilities are a fracture or a tumor in that leg but cruciate injuries are much more common in big dogs.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

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