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Dr. Emily
Dr. Emily, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 867
Experience:  Associate veterinarian at a small animal clinic
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Rebecca,my 3 year old Dane has been lame in on hind leg

Customer Question

Hi Rebecca,my 3 year old Dane has been lame in on hind leg for almost a year now. He's has x rays but the vet couldn't see anything wrong. He runs and plays but runs funnily! When standing he will hold the leg up and not let it touch the ground, but he doesn't mind you squeezing his leg, toes or anything. If you put your hand on his rear/ lower back he drops down. He doesn't seem to be able to sit like a normal dog... He fakes it then either lies down or stands up again. Today is the first day I heard him yelp and whimper.. I think it was related to this problem. How can I help my poor boy?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 years ago.
Hello! My name is***** The individual you requested for this question is not currently available but I wanted to see if I could help so you did not have to wait further. Based on the description, my primary concerns are either hip dysplasia or a torn cruciate ligament in the knee. Hip dysplasia would have been visible on xrays unless in the very early stage. A cruciate tear is not always visible unless the pet is sedated and the knee is placed in certain positions. Then the secondary signs of joint damage and inflammation can be seen. Also the sedation always the knee to be moved in ways that cannot occur if the pet is awake. Do you know if this was done?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't know for sure but the vet did say that he was very stiff when they moved his leg about even under sedation. So I imagine this was what they were looking for. They said the his hips were fine. We gave him metacam for a few days and he was great, but once the course ran out he was worse than ever.
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry to hear that things were worse once the medication ran out. That is a very difficult situation. I do feel it is best to have his knee assessed either by a general practice vet that is comfortable assessing cruciate tears or by an orthopedic surgeon. Repeating the sedated xrays will be necessary. The last time they were done, it is possible he was not sedated fully if he was still tense with sedation. That should not occur with most methods used. What questions do you have regarding the procedure or the condition?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As he is, is he in any pain? He's a big gentle dog and doesn't really 'complain' about minor injuries so while he seems to take this in his stride is it possible he's living with pain daily?
Will surgery fix his knee? I want to help my dog but I want to make the best decision for him - from a dogs point of view what's the pros and cons of an operation as opposed to doing nothing or long term medication? He's 3 years old.
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 years ago.
If he is not placing any weight on the leg, then I it is likely painful. Sometime though, this pain is when weight is attempted ot be placed on the leg. Often with cruciate ruptures, they are not in constant pain -- but it is painful if weight is placed or if the leg is extended. Surgery is the way to fix the problem if it is a cruciate rupture. The procedure is called TPLO or lateral suture. The long term complication is arthritis development but this is less severe then what will continue to develop when surgery is not perfromed.
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Dr. Emily replied 2 years ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Emily

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