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Hello everyone looking through the posts I noticed that there isn't that much information about this type of injury here.
Some back story real quick. My boy is 4 years and a little over six months old. One day we took him and his sister to spend the night at their grandparents place because they have a Shepherd also and a huge backyard. He just spent the night there nothing that he hasn't done before. The next day we were getting ready to leave and I noticed he was limping not putting much weight on his hind right leg not thinking much of it since my 6 year old Shepherd has gone through her fair share of sprained legs I thought we'll have him rest at home give him about two days and see what happens.
After the two days it didn't get better, he would let mentouch his leg, toes, ankle and hip to see if anything is hurting him. Nothing. He let me move his leg around, stretch it back, push it towards his chest like a ham stretch and nothing, wouldn't make a sound. Dumbfounded I gave him another day to see if he would start walking normal again. On the third day is when I noticed the weird gait that's characterized by this type of injury. He would walk and and he would pick up his leg and about to step with it on the way down it would pop / jerk to the inside causing him to step inside. I made an appointment with the vet earliest was two days to be seen.

Okay so first things first we love going to our vet and trust them when they tell us things but even they can be wrong.

First vet observed him walk sedated him so they could manipulate the leg to rule out an CCL tear or dislocated bone and they took x-rays of his leg. They couldn't find anything other that he's showing signs of hip dysplasia and to start him on the appropriate nutrients. Also to give him two weeks of rest no play at all, leash walk to poop and pee and back that's it, no jumping on anything and watch for signs of improvement. Two weeks pass and no improvement. Made another appointment and saw a different vet at the same place updated him on everything I noticed we were there maybe thirty minutes and he confirmed it wasn't a CCL issue. He didn't want to sedate him again to take more x-rays and charge us more to find out nothing. He referred us to a dog foot leg doctor specialist.
Went to the specialist within 15 minutes she already knew what was going on. She had me walk him outside a few times to confirm and sure enough she pulled up maybe three videos on YouTube, that's it there wasn't that many, for Gracilis Contracture and they showed the dogs with same gait as mine some way worse. She whipped out two anatomy books and explained why what and how and that our dogs around ages 2-3 till 6 are the poster boys/ girls for this issue. I was so relieved that someone knew what was going on like freaking ecstatic.

Now the hard part she said that we might have caught it early that with (1)aggressive physical therapy we might be able to help him it might not put him at 100% but close to it and he would be limited at what he could do and how long.

Because what happens for this type of injury is a muscle tear in either in the Gracilis or the Semitendinosus muscle. I don't remember which one but one goes from the hip to the knee and one from the hip to the shin and they both run down the back of the leg. Either way they help the leg extend and contract. But if there is a tear the scar tissue forms causing the muscles to contract limiting their range of motion. so when the dog tries to walk and extends the leg to step it pops in looking all jankey. It looks painful to watch but it doesn't bother him only when it's faster than a walk.

(2) Surgery might Help but she said that maybe 50% of those that get the surgery revert back to they way they were before due to the scar tissue building up again within 6 weeks to 6 months.
(3) we can try stem cell treatment with either a combination of surgery and therapy or (4) stem cell treatment with just physical therapy or finally (5) platelet rich plasma plus surgery/ therapy or just therapy to promote healing.

For now we have an appointment with a vet therapist and a surgeon to get a more concrete diagnosis and too find out how what would be the best course of action for him. However, I've also read that there is no cure it all surgery because it can return and you're at square one. Also heard it might be more common in dogs that participate in sports I think it might called something different or reffered to differently. Any who I'll find out tomorrow morning and keep you posted. Fingers crossed.

P. S. If I can figure out how to post a video here through my phone I'll try to show you what it looks like.
 

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Sorry this happened to your boy, but wanted to thank you for sharing the details as it could very likely help others. Hopefully you can figure out how to post the video, as I'm sure that would help even more. I hope you find the correct treatment and your dog lives a full and HAPPY life!
 

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There was a good article on this in the DVG magazine a couple of years ago. The vet you consulted covered all the same treatment options. It is a very frustrating injury and I wish you the best outcome possible for your boy.
 
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The timing of this thread is crazy. My male Gambit has the same issue. He showed signs about a month ago, and at the time we thought it was a tendon in the groin that was causing his wonky gait in the rear right leg. I've had him on crate rest, do laser 2x's a week and stretch him out with massage. So far no improvement. One of his breeders long time friends shared with me her experience and then I started researching the gracillis myopathy. Yep, that is what he has. https://dogdiscoveries.com/dogs-gracilis-muscle/
I will have an ultrasound to confirm diagnoses but I know there is little to 'cure' it other than stem cell therapy.
I am happy he isn't in pain, but so disappointed we have to probably retire him from IPO.
I am also disappointed that two vets did not give me this information(one holistic that also treats equines). You would think they would be aware of this as it is fairly common in the breed as well as in horses.
I will follow this thread for more experiences. Thank you for posting it!
https://www.facebook.com/jane.bieghlerjean/videos/2079003728778830/ <video of Gambit's gait.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Hey everyone i wanted to update you all on our visit last week sorry it took so long for this. So we have three people look at him a surgeon, the physical therapist and another therapist guy. Long story short they confirmed again he has good knees and said with at home stretching with what we can I at the moment is taking him to therapy once a week he should show sings of improvement. It's not guaranteed but it can help. They said that surgery is not out of the question but it's not something we should be looking at right now only if he gets worse. They put him through different things like stretches on peanut medicine balls, reach for things on boxes and some ultrasound warm up thing. But he did really good I was actually surprised I thought he was going to just freeze up. We're going again this Friday and every Friday from then on so fingers crossed.

Ps. Also here's the video.

https://www.reddit.com/r/germanshep...gracilis_contracture/?st=JL3UBDGL&sh=b9b998af

Pps..here's a picture of him confused on a peanut and one just being him.
 

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I am hoping the therapy is helping for your boy. Gambit is not showing anything to prove the laser has aided his gait. I wish there was more input from others about this condition. Must be pretty isolated cases?
 

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Sorry to hear you are dealing with this, and I hope the PT helps! Coincidentally enough I actually had a lecture today that mentioned diagnosis and integrative treatment options for this.
 

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Just found this forum. My boy, Zeus, aged 4 has just been diagnosed with the same condition. I do hope your dogs are still enjoying full happy lives. I would like to know how much exercise they can safely have. Zeus lives to run and chase toys which I’m scared to let him do now. Any info would be really appreciated. Thanks
 
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