My dog is a spaz and need some thearpy
November 7, 2007 11:35 AM   Subscribe

My dog has apparently hurt himself somehow. Sprain? Bruise?

One of our dogs came in from outside and seemed to step funny, then start crying when he tried to walk. I thought he had a splinter or stepped on something sharp,but there is no visible injury. I manipulated his foot and his leg, simulated putting pressure on it and nothing seemed tender. He laid there a minute, tested it and went on to bed.

This morning, he was his usual self, jumping everywhere, running, then again, he came running around the corner to go inside and he all of sudden couldn't put pressure on his leg again, cried a little, I was able to help him slowly walk into the bedroom and into his crate and I repeated the manipulation. With him lying on his stomach I found that if I pulled his leg out in front of him, that it was painful. I poked around and found that in his underarm (for lack of a better description) I could feel a couple of ligaments that were strained. I don't really know what this is, but from my basic massage skills it feels like what I would "rub out" on a back massage.

Is this a vet situation or a doggie massage, make sure he is more careful situation?
posted by stormygrey to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
i would go to a vet. dogs are pretty good about concealing sprains/ligament tears, but then as they age the injuries become chronic. This kind of thing is much easier to fix at the time of injury.
posted by alkupe at 11:40 AM on November 7, 2007

Vet visit.

I really hope he didn't tear his ACL.
posted by jamaro at 11:45 AM on November 7, 2007

My girlfriend's cavalier apparently had a birth defect called a luxated patella. The symptoms match what you posted, though I'm not a vet. Essentially, the dog's knee joint had worn through the cartilage, and bone rubbed on bone when the ligaments fell out of their proper seating (which was only every now and then, though progressively worse once it started) and the knee was flexed.

Since she was just a puppy, we went ahead with surgery to correct the defect (~$600) to prevent the arthritis from becoming even worse.
posted by J-Train at 11:56 AM on November 7, 2007

Vet visit. My dog just tore her ACL and get's her final evaluation tomorrow before we decide on surgery options. (Any advice welcome from those who have been through that, actually.) It may not be the ACL, but it sounds like something that could be diagnosed if it's gone on for two days.
posted by rainbaby at 12:24 PM on November 7, 2007

Other causes of limb pain: eating macadamia nuts, lyme disease, rocky mountain spotted tick fever. My dogs have had them all and all require a vet's attention.
posted by andreap at 12:46 PM on November 7, 2007

I had a step father that had a German Shepard that knocked one of it's hips out of joint; maybe this is something like that. In any case, if your pet's in pain, take it to the vet.
posted by Pecinpah at 1:43 PM on November 7, 2007

I agree with everyone. Take him to the vet.

My dog had a similar situation several months ago. He thought his legs were hurting and had trouble walking, but the vet said that it was likely that he either pinched a nerve in his neck or had arthritis there. It turned out to be a pinched nerve, and he got better with rest and pain medication.
posted by ignignokt at 5:22 PM on November 7, 2007

My wife is a veterinary nurse, and this sounds like a luxating patella to her, too. It may require surgery, but maybe not (the vet will be able to determine what "grade" it is, and whether it needs surgery or just rest. If your budget and location allow, you may want to see an orthopedic specialist.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:46 PM on November 7, 2007

Vet vet vet, please vet. It could be all sorts of things other than an ACL/CCL tear, but if it is a tear (or partial tear), it will only get worse without a vet's care as your furbuddy tries to cowboy up and hide the fact that he's in pain.

(IANAV, but I've been through 2 partial CCL tears with my furbaby.)
posted by somanyamys at 6:45 AM on November 8, 2007

Luxating patellas are pretty common in small breed dogs, including mine. Last year at right about this time we had surgery to repair one of her hind legs. It was the vet's hope that having one leg repaired would help alleviate some of the stress on the other leg making surgery on that second leg not necessary. So far that's worked out but we suspect eventually we'll have to get the other leg operated on as well. Prior to surgery we were using doggie pain killers and a supplement recommended by our vet.

So yes, vet visit it definitely recommend so you can know what you're dealing with and you hopefully will be able to minimize the damage to the leg, pain to your dog and the lightening of your wallet. Our dog's surgery was very expensive.
posted by mjones at 9:01 AM on November 8, 2007

After much x-raying and prodding, he has been prescribed a week of crate rest and some anti-inflammatorys. There is no obvious tear or joint issue, so lets hope that lots of rest and love and non spazziness will solve it.
posted by stormygrey at 6:41 PM on November 9, 2007

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