Limping and CCL Injuries - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Limping and CCL Injuries

Greetings,

As you can see, I'm new here; though, I've been lurking for quite some time. This forum is a great knowledge base. I had thought to start an introduction thread in the Welcome Mat section, but before getting around to doing that, my GSD, Lexi injured herself. So, I had thought that posting here would be a bit more prudent. Lexi is about 13 m/o and spayed. We adopted her at 7 m/o from a breeder that was closing shop. She's been pretty great and is a pretty typical GSD (though she sometimes acts more like a Golden). That's fine with us though; she's a happy-go-lucky pup with a good disposition.

Anyways, here is the breakdown of the weekend, I apologize for the long post:

On Saturday night (1/20) we noticed the dog was limping on her left, hind leg after playing with the cat, which basically equates to her standing there and getting smacked on the nose. We didn't have eyes on her at the time the injury happened, but this is not an uncommon behavior between the two of them.

Regardless, she wasn't putting any weight on it and seemed in quite a bit of pain. We looked her over and examined her leg. There wasn't any noticeable swelling and she didn't visibly react to any of the prodding. So, we put her to bed and kept an eye on her. She didn't sleep very well that night and was restless; I assume from the pain.

On Sunday, she was still favoring her uninjured leg, but the limp was clearly getting better and there was still no obvious swelling. Overall, she seemed in less pain as the day went on and, by the end of the day, she was walking with only a slight hitch.

On Monday morning I took her into the vet. Again, she was walking with only a slight hitch; even less so than on Sunday night. She wasn't in any noticeable pain. However, the vet was concerned it was a partial ccl tear (we also suspected this). She did not do a drawer test, but felt some instability in the injured knee's stifle. She prescribed two weeks of rest and Rimadyl and to see where Lexi was at after that.

However (the plot thickens), by Monday night, now 48 hours after her spill, Lexi is walking around with no noticeable issues. I did not give her any of the NSAIDS as it appeared she didn't need them. She was sleeping fine and generally back to her normal self.

Since then, we've kept it to a few short walks, no more than 10 minutes at a time and have tried, to only moderate success, to keep her on bed rest. We plan to keep this up for at least the next week. No issues or recurrence of lameness, but I've not been staring at the dog's hind legs constantly for the last 96 hours waiting for impending doom. I think I'm becoming quite loopy as any misstep by the dog, with her normal adolescent clumsiness, is being scrutinized.

So, has anyone had similar soft tissue injuries? Has the injury reoccurred later?

Did the vet misdiagnose? I'm under the impression than even a partial ccl tear wouldn't resolve itself in 72 hours. The vet didn't check the stifle on the uninjured leg, so I'm a bit questioning of her assessment of the injured leg. I'll also admit that Lexi is quite a soft dog, she near looked beat when doing the "three-legged cold dance" after her first couple of walks this winter before her pads toughed up. I suspect that the extent of her injury was slightly exaggerated due to this. I guess it also could be pano. She could have had a case of it before we got her, though we haven't noticed anything since then. She also didn't react to squeezing her tibia. So, maybe not?

Still, I'd love to hear opinions on this. Thanks in advance, like I said, this forum has been a great place to lurk. Very informative.

Chris
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 07:18 PM
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Generally if they suspect a ccl tear activity is restricted to leashed potty breaks, crate rest or leashed in the house, no walks. Our male had a ccl tear and we tried resting with no activity for several weeks only to have the limp return with a slow return to "some" activity. If I remember correctly damage to the meniscus can form with continued activity on a ccl injury, but it's been a couple years so not 100% sure on that.

I've also had another male tear a groin muscle that was pretty severe. His signs were very similar to our male with the ccl tear. This also required a fairly lengthy restricted recovery.
And as you already mentioned the possibily of pano. Vets are human and they "practice" medicine, sometimes they do get things wrong so it is possible your seeing something else going on. Rest sounds like a good idea regardless.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2018, 09:09 PM
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My current dog strained his illiopsoas muscle. It can present with limping. However, your vet said they felt some instability. I’d take your pup to a board certified ortho surgeon. They’ll know whether it’s the knee or the psoas muscle. It can be both. The dog immediately reacts when they test the muscle.
Unfortunately, my dog ended up with two knee repairs and then a miniscus surgery a year later. But his psoas is fine!
Good luck!!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2018, 11:33 PM
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^^^^ What Mary said. Been there with both the acl repair and pulled groin muscle on the same dog. Ortho will know.




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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2018, 07:37 AM
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I second an ortho specialist. As someone who went through almost a year of a misdiagnosed injuries leading up to the final diagnosis of a CCL tear with my competition dog, waiting longer to get to the bottom of it will do you no good. Hoping that in your case it was just a minor injury!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2018, 08:55 AM
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I know Ortho's are expensive but they will save you money and time in the long run because this is what they do.

And, "rest" of one week is not going to heal an acl. Rest from the ortho would be like 6 weeks. Even then, acl's don't "heal". Scar tissue encapsulates the tear but it will always be a weak point and most like will tear again.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2018, 11:00 AM
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You can save a little money with the ortho by showing up for your appointment with good Xrays burned to a disc by your regular vet. If your regular vet isn't skilled at getting good positioning, the ortho may not be able to use them, but if your vet sends good images, it will save you money and time at an initial consultation.

I think the initial specialist consultation rate in my area is around $125. It's really not a big line item when you're dealing with this kind of injury -- the big line item is the surgery, if it's needed, but you won't know until you talk to the ortho.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-27-2018, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M&J View Post
My current dog strained his illiopsoas muscle. It can present with limping. However, your vet said they felt some instability. I’d take your pup to a board certified ortho surgeon. They’ll know whether it’s the knee or the psoas muscle. It can be both. The dog immediately reacts when they test the muscle.
Unfortunately, my dog ended up with two knee repairs and then a miniscus surgery a year later. But his psoas is fine!
Good luck!!
Wow! Two knees and the meniscus, sorry you and your dog had to go through this. We had one knee done, tplo. 3+ years now . he's hard on his body during play, hope it holds up.

We suspected ccl tear with our younger male (Ollie) when it turned out to be illopsoas muscle. Our vet was able to determine this through his exam. I was surprised at the length of recovery. Rest time 8 weeks followed by restricted activity and stretching exercises for several more.

OP, I hope your pup is doing ok and you get some answers, ortho would be a good suggestion.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-28-2018, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses everyone!

It's been just over a week now and the dog is back to normal. We've gotten back to our usual amount of exercise slowly over the week with no limping or pain. I'd venture that it was a minor injury, played up by the fact that my dog is a pansy.

As everyone suggested, if it had been a CCL tear, she wouldn't have been better in a few days time. I had suspected that, but couldn't find that type of confirmation on the web. Again, thanks for that.

I'm not sure what the vet was thinking, perhaps she misheard my synopsis; thought the injury was already a week old? Either way, the last thing that I would want is to become a "self-diagnose-er"; that doesn't bode well for complicated fields such as veterinary medicine. There are a few ortho specialists in my area, I'll look into them if something similar occurs again.

If you have any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Thanks again, as I said in my first post, this forum is quite the knowledge base.
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