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left hind leg lameness


shysheperdess
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My 3 year old dog is having some weird lameness issues with his left hind leg...it's not really noticable when he's moving...but when he has layed down for awhile, immediatly when he gets up..he hold up his left hind leg and hops for awhile...once he seems to stretch it out or be up for awhile it goes away...

 

Had him checked out by a great vet...hips and spine are excellent(had x-rays done)..doesn't seem to be the knee...no noticable swelling...she prescribed some anti-inflammatories and ordered leash walks/rest for the next 10 days..

 

Have him scheduled for a chiropractic and acupunture appointment...we have a busy trial season ahead and with the snow hopefully melting soon here in the midwest some hard training ahead..

 

Anybody have any experience with this kind of lameness?? Suggestions??? Should I be more concerned??

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You don't always get swelling with a torn CCL in the knee. My ACD has had TPLO in both knees and just this week had to have the plate/screws removed in the one leg. Anyways, if after the crate rest/leash walks, if the lameness is still there or returns I would go to an ortho vet. Regular votes are pretty good but ortho is not their specialty.

 

And yes, when getting up from laying down and lifting a leg and hopping for a short time but then seeming fine can be a sign of a CCL injury.

 

I would also look at the toes. It could be a strained/pulled muscle... then again, it couldn't hurt to be tested for a tick borne disease at some point.

 

Sorry not much help but so many vets do miss the CCL as the real issue. The limping can come and go for a long time. It happened with my ACD for 2 yrs before the CCL finally tore 100%. The ortho vet said all the symptoms leading up to it meant she probably had a slightly torn one the entire time.

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My late Katie had a similar issue a couple of years ago. She was intermittently lame, holding up her back leg, hopping and then it gradually became worse. X-rays and physical exam were all normal. My vet recommended a course of Rimadyl and the dreaded cage rest for two weeks and then limited activity for a couple of months. Although limited activity was stressful for us both, it seemed to work and she never limped again. This may not want to be you want to hear in light of your upcoming training schedule but it may be what your dog needs in the long run.

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From the responses, it could be several options. My advice is to have your dog examined by an ortho vet. A general vet does not have the specialized training to adequately diagnose or treat. Having an injury-prone dog (due to his lack of respect for his own body :rolleyes: ), I have come to really appreciate my ortho vet - particularly after my dog's first injury which my general vet diagnosed (incorrectly) and wanted to go ahead with 2 major surgeries which would have required about a year in rehab. Thank doG that I got a second opinion (my dog had an iliopsoas strain which required crate rest for ~2-3 months).

 

Speaking of iliopsoas strains, it could cause similar symptoms as you describe. (MyTDogs - I could not link to the article. Will you please try to repost? I would like to read it.)

 

Sorry about this happening just before the upcoming trial season. I feel your pain as a similar thing has happened to me.

 

Jovi

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Speaking of iliopsoas strains, it could cause similar symptoms as you describe. (MyTDogs - I could not link to the article. Will you please try to repost? I would like to read it.)

 

Thanks Jovi for the heads up! I try & check links to be sure they work- I guess I forgot on this one....It should work now.

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This sounds quite like what I experienced with Celt two years ago. He came out of his crate on three legs (one hind leg up) for no apparent reason, as he had been doing nothing much physically for several days. He would walk out of the lameness in just a very short distance from his crate.

 

This persisted and I took him to a vet, who prescribed a few days of anti-inflammatories and reduced activity. It improved while on the meds but came back after. The next vet looked at him, did a sedated drawer test and x-rays, and felt that he had a partial ACL tear, and set up an appointment with an ortho vet for a consulation and surgery.

 

Fortunately, the ortho vet examined him and the x-rays, and his record, and felt it was a soft-tissue injury. She cancelled the surgery appointment, and sent him home with two weeks of anti-inflammatories and three weeks of total crate rest (only out to potty on leash).

 

He was sound after two weeks of medication and rest, sound after the third week of rest, and remained sound as I eased him back into activity, first with walks and later with exercise (and, I have to admit, I did not follow a protocol, just kept increasing until he was back to his normal activity).

 

He has remained sound since, and I will always be grateful for the ortho vet who saw no need for surgery, and did a great job avoiding something major and expensive for Celt.

 

Here's hoping your problem is as easy (and inexpensive) to resolve.

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Look for a iliopsoas injuries/strains as well.

 

AHHHHHH....I hate this injury! I hate the word ilispsoas...although I didn't know how to spell it. I sure do see the aftermath of a "small" tear or strain in this area. Not much to do about it and then just when you think it's all better...it's back!

I guess it's better than a knee but I'm just saying.....

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I agree with getting an ortho vet to check out the problem if you can't overcome it with rest. A trial dog of mine once had a hind leg problem that kept coming back after rest periods, this went on for months. The ortho vet took a careful history and went right to the problem. This dog's problem wasn't particularly common, and after she got back on the field eventually wound up having to retire early from competition because it also developed in the other leg.

 

"Rest and leash walks" can be good advice, but sometimes a more exact answer is required.

 

Ray

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I did not mean to imply that a visit with a good ortho vet could or should be avoided by rest and medication. Quite the opposite - in Celt's case, it was the ortho vet who prescibed the medication and crate rest that worked for him, for his particular injury. But, as we all know, there are many different reasons for lameness, and we were fortunate in that Celt's injury was easily and simply resolved.

 

I hope I didn't mislead anyone.

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FWIW: I have had it go both ways in that Torque's first injury was diagnosed as something MAJOR by a general vet (2 separate surgeries with ~6 months of rehab for each one) while the ortho vet diagnosed a "simple" iliopsoas strain which took about 3-4 months of rest and rehab. Much better than the 12-14 months of rehab and $$$$$$ for the surgeries. On the other hand, Torque had a shoulder injury diagnosed as a "simple" (there's that word again) soft tissue injury by a general vet, but when the symptoms did not clear up after crate rest, leash walks and Rimadyl, a visit to the ortho vet led to a diagnosis of a torn bicep tendon which was confirmed by the resultant arthroscopic surgery.

 

I treasure my ortho vets (yes, unfortunately I have had to use more than one) and have come to appreciate their specialized knowledge. It has been an education that I could do without (i.e. I would prefer that my dog doesn't hurt himself), but I feel that I am a better dog caretaker because of these experiences.

 

Jovi

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Thank you EVERYONE for your suggestions....I am going to see if the lameness goes away after his 10 days of rest....I am praying it does...

 

We do have an appointment with a canine massage therapist...I have heard, depending on the person, they can be good at localizing problems...

 

Also..do you need to get a refferal from a vet to go to an ortho vet?? I know there is a wonderful rehab center within driving distance but don't you need some sort of diagnosis first??

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I sought out the specialist that was recommended by a friend. No referral was needed. (I think the referral requirement is something that may be mostly used by insurance companies that insure humans to prevent patients from running to a specialist before getting checked out by their primary doc first.) I would ask around and see if you can find out what your friends' experiences might be and if they feel they could recommend someone. I drove about 250 miles one-way to see this vet. He was working in a group practice with other ortho vets. A couple things I liked about him at our encounter was the history he took, not jumping to conclusions and tunneling in on the wrong thing but listening to all the details. Another thing was the fact that his first recommendation wasn't surgery (important to me because he's not going to make money from resting the dog, he makes money from doing surgery). He offered surgery, though, if the rest didn't work. I told him after giving the history that I wanted a diagnosis and a plan when I went home and that's exactly what I got. He took x-rays only to help confirm what he already knew, not to go on a fishing expedition.

 

The treatment was 3 months of crate rest and leash walks. Afterward she needed to be reconditioned slowly before I could work her on sheep again. This worked, but it took many months to get my dog back in the field. He told me right up front that the condition was in both legs so we might have trouble with the other leg later on. If he was to operate right away the recovery was going to be 6 months in a crate and no guarantee of success. So he actually did have the best interest of the dog at heart. Her other leg did start acting up some months after we went through all this, and rather than put her through the regimen again I retired her from competition and used her for less strenuous things.

 

I was happy with our experience. The vet was very professional and his competence was never in question. Good luck with your dog.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello!!! New here!!! My dog had almost similar symtoms pop up recently!!!

 

Started out by taking him to the vet, had his hips and spine, right hind leg x-rayed, found nothing...felt everywhere..didn't think it was the knee, couldn't find anything...rest and anti inflammatory meds....

 

Had him see a Canine Massage lady...she didn't feel it was his Iliopsoa muscle...couldn't find any heat or soreness..felt it was a pulled hamstring(muscle was super tight and knotted, etc.) and said I could return him to normal activity....after resting him a week prior to this with no lameness..lameness came back as soon as I returned him to normal activity...

 

Went back to resting him..lameness went away..

 

Saw another Canine Massage person, came highly recommended...she was wonderful...spent almost 2 hours on my dog...said his right hind leg muscles were atrophied and this was probably popping up from an old injury as it takes 6-9 months for muslces to atrophy....she thinks it's a problem with his spine...something is not right there causing the manafistation seen in holding his leg up...gave me some ROM and strengthening exercises to do and told me to leash walk him...movement is good for healing especially the back...just not high impact running or twisting/etc.

 

We are trying a full 10 days now of leash walks and anti-inflammatpry meds..re-checked with my vet..said if he is still having problems after that...ortho vet will be next call..

 

also did a tick borne panel...will get that back today...

 

Fingers crossed for us :)

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Hello!!! New here!!! My dog had almost similar symtoms pop up recently!!!

 

Started out by taking him to the vet, had his hips and spine, right hind leg x-rayed, found nothing...felt everywhere..didn't think it was the knee, couldn't find anything...rest and anti inflammatory meds....

 

Had him see a Canine Massage lady...she didn't feel it was his Iliopsoa muscle...couldn't find any heat or soreness..felt it was a pulled hamstring(muscle was super tight and knotted, etc.) and said I could return him to normal activity....after resting him a week prior to this with no lameness..lameness came back as soon as I returned him to normal activity...

 

Went back to resting him..lameness went away..

 

Saw another Canine Massage person, came highly recommended...she was wonderful...spent almost 2 hours on my dog...said his right hind leg muscles were atrophied and this was probably popping up from an old injury as it takes 6-9 months for muslces to atrophy....she thinks it's a problem with his spine...something is not right there causing the manafistation seen in holding his leg up...gave me some ROM and strengthening exercises to do and told me to leash walk him...movement is good for healing especially the back...just not high impact running or twisting/etc.

 

We are trying a full 10 days now of leash walks and anti-inflammatpry meds..re-checked with my vet..said if he is still having problems after that...ortho vet will be next call..

 

also did a tick borne panel...will get that back today...

 

Fingers crossed for us :)

 

Good Luck with your dog. Sounds like you are on the right path. But I should say that often it may take longer than 2-3 weeks of rest to completely "cure" a pulled muscle (if that is what it is). [As an aside, an experienced handler recently told me that the iliopsoas strain is an injury that "keeps on giving". i.e. usually people don't let their dogs rehab long enough (2-3 or 4 months) after an iliopsoas pull, so the dogs become lame again.]

 

ROM and strengthening exercises are an excellent idea - and I try to do them even though my dog is no longer injured, although I probably don't exercise my dog with ROM and strengthening exercises as often as I should.

 

Jovi

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My two year old has developed this. I was actually coming to the forum to ask about it. It is the same leg as the OP. I was hoping that it was not the hip thing that BC's are known for. If she gets rest it seems to get better.

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UPDATE!!!!! I got lucky enough to have a VERY well known and well respected rehab vet look at my dog...he was diagnosed with an Iliopsoas strain and will be spending the next 6-12 weeks in rehab...leash walks only, certain strengthenging exercises, anti-inflammatories and ultrasound therapy...plus hot and cold packs to the Iliopsoas muscle...

 

Pulled from all the trials...bummer...but glad we got an answer and can get my guy on the road to recovery...

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UPDATE!!!!! I got lucky enough to have a VERY well known and well respected rehab vet look at my dog...he was diagnosed with an Iliopsoas strain and will be spending the next 6-12 weeks in rehab...leash walks only, certain strengthenging exercises, anti-inflammatories and ultrasound therapy...plus hot and cold packs to the Iliopsoas muscle...

 

Pulled from all the trials...bummer...but glad we got an answer and can get my guy on the road to recovery...

 

It's always so much better when you have a solid answer, even if it is a bummer. We did the iliopsoas rehab thing last summer. 3 months of crate rest and gradually building leash-walking, then a slow return to normal activity. He got muscle relaxants and laser, plus lots of range of motion exercises and stretching.

 

It wasn't fun, and it was super frustrating at times- his rehab vet said she thinks it is one of the most frustrating injuries to deal with- but he got better in the end.

 

Best of luck to you guys!

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