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petdrz., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7352
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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My dachshund is limping on s right back leg. He is 5 years

Customer Question

My dachshund is limping on his right back leg.
He is 5 years old and has a lot of muscles. I exercise him at least an hour every day (walk, run, hike, etc...). Around a month ago, we left our house for a short trip and came back the same night, found him limping his right back leg. Directly, went to the vet and were told that it is soft tissue damage.
It unfortunately did not recover after a week and we wanted to see another veterinarian. She suspected that Fudge has a back problem and the suggestion was some massage initially and then acupuncture.
We decided to go see another veterinarian and told that he has a problem with the knee and if no progress is seen, he needs a surgery.
Both my wife and I are very confused. His energy is there but he is not able to stand too long. We have been resting him for the last 3 weeks and it seems like it is not recovering. In fact, it is getting worse.
Here are what I see with my dog:
-His energy is normal
-He can walk for a while but then gets tired/feeling not comfortable
-When he stands, that leg almost shakes.
-He developed a funky sitting that he cannot really sit on it anymore.That leg is, when he is sitting, almost looking towards to the other leg (make me feel that he is not controlling it anymore)
-No swelling (taking medication now)
-No crying/feeling pain
Any help is highly appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  petdrz. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy work with you but need a bit more information in order to better assist you if you don't mind.

Have any of the veterinarians xrayed his back and hindlegs?

Was a full evaluation of his nerve reflexes performed? Were there any abnormalities noted?

Thanks and I will respond further after you reply. There may be a slight delay while I formulate and type a thorough response or I may be offline, but if so, I will respond as soon as I am able.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Dr. Z,
He is a very active dog and we were told that he needs to be sedated for the X-Rays. We asked if it is necessary and the response was "Not really".
About the nerve reflexes, we did not hear anything about that from any vets we seen so far.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Especially, the vets defending soft tissue damage and the knee problem said that X-Rays would not show it clearly.
Expert:  petdrz. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the reply.

It is true that at the initial presentation, if a soft tissue injury was suspected, xrays would not have made much of a difference and the treatment of choice is usually strict rest and pain medication/anti-inflammatory for a week or two. If however, there was no improvement and if it appears the symptoms are worse, an xray is essential to make sure we are not missing anything.

A soft tissue injury would show no abnormalities, and depending on what is injured on the knee, that may or may not. That being said, and keeping his breed in mind, it would beneficial to look for signs of an intervertebral disc problem, especially since it occurred so acutely. Type one disc disease (due to a ruptured disc) can present with any combination or severity of signs including pain and loss of function. Type two disc disease (due to a bulging disc) is usually less severe and more chronic in nature. I worry that the fatigue, abnormal sitting posture and leg trembling may be his way of manifesting pain. And while it would seem not to present acutely, degenerative joint disease (aka arthritis) can often show many of these symptoms. Changes due to DJD would be evident on an xray, and may be suggestive of disc disease in some cases, so it would be worthwhile to at least take a look and to make sure we were not missing anything else that is not a common.

There are certain tests that can check his nerve reflexes (a toe pinch, a knee jerk reflex, a foot placement test, etc) and if any of these were not tested they should be as they can help to localize the source of the problem, especially if it involved the spine or nerve roots. At this point in time, I would consider getting input from a specialist, either in orthopedics or neurology if any of the nerve reflexes were involved. Even if it turned out that the problem was soft tissue in nature, orthopedic veterinarians have plenty of experience in rehab with these patients.

Here is a link with more information about disk disease in dogs. LINK HERE

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.

My posted replies are for general education only and not meant as a diagnosis. Only after a thorough veterinary examination can a diagnosis for your pet be made and specific treatments be advised or medications be prescribed.

Dr Z