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Dr. Debbie
Dr. Debbie, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 5035
Experience:  Full time practicing companion animal veterinarian.
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Hi I have a chow chow who I think sprianed his knee or tore

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I have a chow chow who I think sprianed his knee or tore his ligament ( the vet suspects as well). When I took him to the vet , they tried to do the drawer year but because he was so tense the test was inconclusive. When I brought him home, I tried the drawer test myself but I didn't see or feel a slide of his tibia. Also i tried the tibia compression tear and I didn't see the Tibia come out of alignment. Strnagely enough after a day he was able to bear some weight on it when he walks and was able to scratch his face pretty hard with his injured leg. So im wondering , should I wait a few weeks to see if it gets better or do you think it is a tore in his ligament?


Usually if the tear is bad enough, they don't want to bear weight with it. I would let your vet know what is going on and discuss it, but since he has made that much improvement so quickly, I bet it will be okay if you let some time pas and let him rest to see how much improvement you get. I doubt it is a complete tear at any rate or he wouldn't be able to use it. Try to keep him off of it so it can heal and if at any time it gets worse or he seems painful just take him in then.


Please let me know if you have more questions,


Dr. Debbie

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I was wondering if the Tibia popped out of the socket, would I be able see a deformity in the shape of the knee?
Someone was stating that his tibia might not be in the correct space and that's why the drawer year was inconcusive as well when i tried to performed it
I would imagine how Much pain that will cause him... But like you said since he improved the possible ility of the Tibia not being in the right place is highly unlikely?

The tibia isn't actually in a socket like the hip is. It is held together by the cruciate ligaments and the small knee cap and patellar ligament run over the top of the joint. You don't really see a deformed look to it but it becomes "loose" or moves in ways it shouldn't be able to move if the ligaments are torn. It is very painful if this is the case and most dogs won't put weight on it at all. If he is improving in this short amount of time, most likely there isn't a serious tear.


Please let me know if you have more questions,


Dr. Debbie

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok that sounds reassuring. Since when I do try to manipulate his leg he has no signs of .pain or doesn't Try to move his leg away from me.

Would this kind of Injury turn into athritis?

Thank you.

If it is just a sprain, most of the time it heals with time and rest. If it is a more serious injury such as a tear of the ligament, it can cause some arthritic changes in the knee.


Dr. Debbie

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I forgot to ask another q.
The vet gave him rimadyl tablets for pain and I don't want to give it to him because I read a lot of info stating it could cause liver damage and even death.
If the dog is doing fine, doesnt look like he's in pain, does he still need the rimadyl?
If your dog is not in pain, you can get by without it. It is also an anti-inflammatory which may help the knee while it is healing (just like we would take an advil or a celebrex). Any drug you read about will scare you to death, so take that into account. You said that your vet did NSAID bloodwork so that means they checked your dog's liver to make sure it was safe to give. Rimadyl is one of many NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs). I wouldn't worry too much if your dog needs it, I would give it. Mostly we are concerned with Labradors or dogs that are on it for months and years.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I just picked up my chow from boarding him over the weekend. the caretaker said he didn't get any better and when i see him today, he is acting the same as the day i left him there. When i palpate his knees both at the same time; i feel the knee that is affected is a little bigger (feels harder) than the other side. I tried the compression and flexion test again and he didn't really like it and he looked like he was in a bit of pain. when he walks fast-- he walks on 3 legs and when he walks slowly he still limps. from what i see he puts very little weight on it. Also when he stands he puts very little weight on the leg too. Another point i want to make is that when i scratched his favorite part he shook his affected leg pretty vigorously as if nothing was wrong.... Also, when he lays down he doesn't seem to extend the affected leg as much as his normal leg.

Do you think this is just a healing stage? and i need more time for him to heal?
i'm just worried and don't know if this is what happens during healing or if i should be worried. Thank you so much for your help
From what you are saying now, I would take him in to your vet and let them reevaluate things. It sounds like it isn't healing as well as we originally thought.

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