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favoring a rear foot -- what to worry about?

2112 Views 17 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  lawhite
We have started to notice that Kali is favoring her L-rear foot. It is very slight, you have to really look to notice that she is not putting weight on it when she is waiting for the ball to be thrown. We started to watch her when we noticed that she was not jumping on the bed, and when we tried to get her up on it she refused (never saw THAT before). so it seems that she does not want to put static weight on it or push off of it, but she seems to walk and run without anything noticeable. When i feel at her foot she seems a bit concerned, but there is no crying out or anything like that.
The only other thing to "report" is a week or two ago we were playing ball in our yard and while i was not watching her something happened because she came back to me limping and a little distressed. I rubbed her leg down and touched her whole leg and she relaxed, and seemed fine afterwards.
Anyhow, We are keeping her activity low and need to decide what else to do. If it is a stress fracture will they actually cast her foot? Is there anything else i should start worrying about? was a nice couple of months with no vet visits....
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How old is she? Could she have just injured it playign? Our dogs have overdone it at the park before and limped slightly the rest of the day, and then been fine the next day. Hopefully it's no big deal.
she is 5. i think she might have injured it playing, but it would have been a week or more ago, which is sort of concerning. not having noticed it, she has been super-active in the nice weather, so it has not had any healing time.
Gracie's been favoring her left rear leg as she's been running, jumping, sliding more than the past few months - you are probably right about extra play time with the nice weather. Try as best you can to rest her. If the leg is obviously painful or really impeding her mobility, give the vet a call. Maybe some aspirin is all she'll need (but I don't like to suggest aspirin without the vets approval and dosage requirement). Good luck!!
This is exactly what happened to Penny!

The most common rear leg dog injury is a pulled/torn acl, the knee ligament. The vet can preform a 'drawer test' to feel for laxticity in the joint.

From your description it sounds like a pulled or partial tear where certain meds and time can heal. If it was completely torn you would have to get surgery. It can completely tear and or develop arthritis if strict rest isn't adhered to.

I found another good thread I linked in my post.

It has been 11 weeks since Penny chased a ball
but she is coming along nicely
. The vet said her leg is better and that we can now ease back into exercise.
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This is what happened to my dog Massie, too. She jumped for a frisbee, came down wrong and tore her CCL. I couldn't find any swelling or tenderness but my vet tested her knee and found the problem right away.

It could be minor things too so I would take her in and have her checked out. Hopefully it won't be anything serious!
did you do surgery with penny? I am dreading acl or ccl just because of that "11-weeks since she has played ball" Although we have all sorts of other things to work on, so no time is wasted...
i guess it is off to the vet with us.
I did the surgery with Massie but regretted it. She was older and never really recovered from the surgery. Chama tore her CCL about 2 years ago (at age 11) and I didn't even consider surgery. I did put her on house arrest though and upped her supplements. She recovered pretty well considering her age.
Penny's vet did not feel like surgery was necessary. He said that since she was still using the leg, combined with what he could feel in the 'drawer test', that she either pulled or partially tore the ligament- it wasn't a total rip which is what calls for surgery.

His treatment plan was two weeks of deramaxx anti inflammatory medication, weekly adequan injections for four weeks into the hurt leg and 6 more weeks (it had already been 5) of strict rest. He said that most cases that present like hers and follow the above plan improve without surgery.

She has improved for the most part. She can get up on things without pain, but I still notice her not putting all weight on the hurt leg. The vet said at this point part of that could be behavioral as he can feel the injury has healed and she can support her weight on the leg when he lifts the alternate.
well, called the vet and he got us some metacam for the inflammation. He said to try it for two weeks and see how she is doing, and if she gets worse or does not improve, we will do xrays etc. I guess it is a waiting game now.
How's Kali doing with the metacam? Where in NJ are you?
she is doing ok. i can't really say that i have seen a big difference in her leg issues but it is such a subtle thing, it is going to be hard to see small changes. I did notice she seemed to be planting more when she urinated instead of lifting the leg (yes, i have a girl who marks and lifts her leg when she pees...)

We have an appt for next week to take xrays etc to see what to do next. (we are up in south brunswick)
Originally Posted By: lawhiteWe have an appt for next week to take xrays etc to see what to do next.
Xrays do not show ligaments, but simple manipulation often can show if there is a problem.

"Both stifle joints may be radiographed for comparison. X-rays may show joint swelling and various degrees of arthritis depending on the length of time the rupture has been present."

Before I paid for xrays I would have the vet do a physical. In my readings the 'drawer' test is most often used to diagnose ligament injuries.

If it is a ligament injury ask your vet about the adequain injections as I believe they really helped Penny heal. She had weekly injections for four weeks. I had waited for 5 weeks before the vet saw her and it was another 4 weeks or so later before I saw improvment. I am just now easing her back into exercise.

It takes a lot of rest and time- try explaining that to a dog!
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The xrays are to rule out any joint/bone issue. i would hate to find out she broke her foot or some such thing! He will also be doing the manipulation/physical examination as well.
and yes, it is hard to explain to kali why there is no ball play, although she is handling it better than i thought she would.
well, i took kali in for xrays today. Her hips and joints are fantastic! which is awesome. they also could find no problems with her ligaments using the drawer test. so it looks like it is most likely a muscle pull. She also tested positive for lymes so we are treating her for that just in case. Looks like we are in for some more low activity ahead. But at least there is nothing catastrophic.
I've found that lots of rest is making a huge difference for Gracie (and her drawer test was positive). It's harder on us than it is no them needing to stay down. Right now with the heat and humidity, Gracie is thankful for the AC, laying on the couch or just laying on my swing. Keeping fingers and paws crossed that everything stays fine!
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That's good news! Hope you see improvements soon!
good news. yep.then today we went swimming and she fell into the pool...(slipped while turning). she went totally under but came up fine and swam back to her ball and to the ramp. sigh.
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