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Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16502
Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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My bulldog has been not putting much weight on her right back

Customer Question

My bulldog has been not putting much weight on her right back leg while she's standing. Otherwise she runs, jumps and plays with no pain or issue. I only notice when she's standing that she taps her foot down repeatedly. I've noticed it over the last week or two, maybe once every other day. But its the same leg.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I massage it and she doesn't have any issue with me touching the area.
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 years ago.
HI there. My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to help you with your question today. Just like an in person consult, I have some questions of my own to ensure I give you the best advice possible...Does she ever seem to have any problems going up stairs or down stairs?Is she incredibly active normally?Does she seem to have any problems getting up from laying down?Does she ever kick that leg out behind her when she's running?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She's had no problems up or downstairs, seems completely active, runs everywhere. no problems getting up from laying down and no leg kicks. She's 4 years old. There have been a few incidents over the years that her leg has limped badly but has gone away overnight. Now she's not limping at all. She just ran down the stairs with our two other dogs and thru the house. its just that when i see her standing for a period of time its almost like her foot taps down repeatedly on her back right leg rather then standing on it. at times she stands fine too. Its been happening for about 2 weeks.
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the additional information. I really appreciate it.This really does sound like either a completely or partially torn CCL.The CCL (Cranial Cruciate Ligament...the dog's version of the ACL) runs on the outside of both back legs. It connects the upper bone with the lower ones, and has a nasty habit of breaking or tearing, usually without any warning or notice.Unfortunately, the only way to diagnose this is with a trip to the vet. Your regular vet will most likely take x-rays and palpate the limbs to look for hallmarks of the torn ligament (legs with a ruptured or damaged CCL show a 'drawer' movement..which means the bones slide side to side and front to back, whereas an intact ligament doesn't allow for that sort of movement).If it turns out that the problem is a damaged CCL, the only way to repair it is surgically, and there are 4 types of surgery that are used and you can read more about it here: that will explain it to you. Once you and your vet decide on which type of surgery is requires, recovery time is solely dependent on owner compliance and with the dog itself.Every clinic is going to give you different guidelines, however ours went like this, and keep in mind that in between every step in the process is a trip to the vet for a check up on the surgery site:First 2 weeks after surgery: On-leash only to go outside to potty and then back inside. Can be off-lead in the house, but stairs and jumping on couches, ect. is to be discouraged. If you are unable to limit the dog's movement in the house, confining to a crate is an option.Weeks 3-6: Short walks on leash only. Still no free exercise off leash. Weeks 7-12: Can be off leash while supervised. Stairs and couches are allowed. Should only walk, ect, short distances as to not stress the other three legs.After week 12, its on a dog-by-dog basis. Obviously if the dog is allowed to do too much too quickly, they do risk re-injuring the leg, which will require surgical repair.Of course, it SOUNDS like a long time to keep an active dog quiet...but 3 months really isn't much in the grand scheme of things. It's actually a little easier if you live somewhere that gets cold weather, as winter tends to keep people indoors more, but with determination and patience, it can be done even in warm weather with an active dog.As for success, I've seen really, REALLY great outcomes on these dogs. You have to keep in mind that she's probably painful all the time right now because of the torn CCL, so getting it repaired will eliminate the chronic pain and get her feeling better and returning to her normal, active, pain-free life.I hope this helps.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
she doesn't seem to be in any pain at all whatsoever. i can pull, grab, massage the leg and feel no different. she doesn't react to me touching it at all. she sits with her legs on either side. the only thing i have noticed is that she doesn't put as much weight on her back right as her left, and once in a while she will tap it. not frequently (1-3 times per day). afterwards she can run, and get up without issues. could it be anything else? should i give her tylenol to see if its perhaps just a strain she keeps hurting? id rather not go right to the dr if i can just see if something else helps first as she's in no pain.
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 years ago.
That's not unusual when it comes to the CCL. It's hard to illicit the pain response in some dogs, and bully breeds tend to be very stoic.It could be something like tick borne disease....and we NEVER give Tylenol, Advil, Or Aleve to dogs, even in small amounts as it's toxic.You could try 1 baby aspirin (plain aspirin) once every 8-10 hours and see if that helps give her any relief.