A large neighborhood dog slipped and struggled in the sand at the beach about two months ago. For a while, he could barely move on his own, had to be carried out to the lawn, and required a sling under his back half in order to go any where. He’s still staggering when he walks, although now he’s under his own power, but his gait is quite unsteady. Seems to be favoring his right back side. They keep saying he just must have pulled a muscle struggling in the sand. I’m baffled because I see dogs deal with injury in such a stoic fashion, and they seem to heal way quicker than people. Is this an unusual amount of time to still be recovering? Or am I just unfamiliar with large dogs? This guy is about three or four years old, I think. Dog Dopers?
Dollars to donuts, it’s a torn ACL.
My (old) dog did this, and I decided not to have it surgically repaired (he was too old, in IMHO). He eventually recovered enough mobility to lead a pretty normal life, but he always walked with a limp. He lived another two years or so after this happened.
Yeah, Blackjack tore his ACL a couple of years ago. He had surgery to reconnect, but they had to remove some of the added fiber that the tissue was supposed to grow into because he wasn’t healing right. His other leg had been injured in some earlier incident. He’s reinjured his leg several times since. Just last week he was helping me bring in the groceries and an evil rabbit taunted him and he chased it. Disappeared for only about 10 minutes and came home head hung low. We figured he just knew he was in trouble, but the next day he wouldn’t go up for a piece of bacon, just kept offering paws. We have some stuff to give him. A little bit for a few days eases the pain and reduces swelling. He’s likely to have problems for the rest of his life.
Yow! If that’s what happened, I really feel bad for him. Funny, his owner is a radiologist and she seems to not have this explanation readily at hand when talking about him. But it sounds like the hound has bad knees. ACL trouble. Many of us know what this is. Yow!
My vet did a very simple test - he took my dog’s leg, and (carefully) flexed his knee backwards past 180°. That’s all it took for him to make a diagnosis.
Radiology won’t reveal it. A vet will manipulate the joint and can tell if there’s too much movement. This happens to many large dogs. They will recover from the injury, but it causes excessive wear on the joint. Often it leads to the same thing happening to the other knee because that leg is picking up all the extra load. Happened to my own knees. Surgery is a tough call. Blackjack was 9 or 10 when he got injured, probably related to the old injury to his other knee, so we went for the surgery because he was otherwise in incredibly good health. He’s starting to show his age now, so another injury may be something he has to live with.
ETA: this place is teeming with ninjas today