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smanimalvet, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1111
Experience:  Practicing vet with focus on advanced medicine and surgery.
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My dog is favouring one side. Her left hind leg is often limping.

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My dog is favouring one side. Her left hind leg is often limping. I've watched what looks to me like a hamstring pull when she was running and slipped on ice. It looked exactly like a sprinter pulling up after a hamstring tear. I'm concerned because its not going away. She's a three year old Golden Retriever and is active, can jump high when she's well. But it seems like she keeps re-injuring the leg. Is there any-thing I can do? The vet hasn't been much help and pain killers cost a lot.
Hi there and thank you for using JustAnswer.

I agree with you, this sounds very much like a soft tissue injury due to its nature of getting better and then recurring. Orthopedic injuries are typically lameness that stays present all the time. The most common recurring soft tissue injuries we see in the hind leg are an ACL ligament tear or a tear/strain in the psoas muscle group. These muscles are located deep and cranial to the thigh.

For an ACL injury, the recommendation is often surgical repair of the knee. Your vet should be able to diagnose this on physical examination; x-rays won't show much besides swelling in the knee. For a muscle tear or strain, the best treatment here is rest. I know that isn't easy with a young dog but it might be a necessity if you want her back to 100%.

I would recommend strict rest and relaxation for at least 2 weeks. this includes only short leash walks, no running or jumping, and keeping stairs at a minimum. Anti-inflammatories will also help. You can look into generic equivalents to some of the more expensive pain medications. Your vet should be able to help you find those and they are often much more affordable.

I hope that helps. Most of these soft tissue problems will heal themselves if you give them time. If you do the above and Matilda is still favoring that leg, I would be more concerned about the possibility of a ligament damage.

Dr. B
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the second opinion. I feel better about it. However, my wife may need more answers.

Thanks again.