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Discussion Starter #1
My very active 4 year old collie mix returned from a hike with my husband last week almost 3-legged lame, holding up his right hind leg most of the evening, weight bearing occasionally and only a little. He also had a cut we think from ice or a branch about an inch below his hock on the same leg with minimal bleeding. We cleaned the wound and decided to monitor. The next day he was weight bearing with just a small limp and day 3 he was seemingly back to normal.

Day 4 we had family over for lunch and about 30 mins after some excited greetings with family members he again became 3 legged lame. When we checked his leg he also had some new mild swelling and heat around where the cut is, which we thought may be infection setting in. We took him to the vet that afternoon and the vet noted the lymph node in his right hind leg was swollen and suspected infection as well so prescribed him 7 days of antibiotics (apo-clav) and some anti-inflammatory meds (Metacam).

3 days after starting the antibiotics we saw no improvement, despite keeping him extra quiet. Brought him back to the vet on Saturday and vet did the 'drawer test' and took some x-rays. The drawer test was negative and x-rays were not conclusive of a CCL injury. The vet said that he was putting ++ pressure on the knee joint and there was no movement at all. He showed me the x-rays and did point out there was a small amount of fluid around the knee joint. He also did point out that the x-ray showed very mild dysplasia in the right hip, which he thought could be responsible for making that right leg slightly less strong. He left us with the dx of a 'possible ligament injury'.

For next steps, vet said he felt we did not need a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon just yet - actually he said the surgeon would likely push surgery despite having only clinical signs of an injured ligament - and has encouraged us try conservative management at this time. He gave us some supplements (glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin) and recommended 8 weeks of rest.

Currently, with another 2 days of quiet he's not favouring the leg at all but when turning, stepping over things, lifting his leg he will sometimes take a few painful-looking steps. Also there is a foot of snow everywhere and despite our best efforts he's still doing some bouncy things in the snow in order to get to a good pee/poop spot. He actually didn't poop for the last 2 days, but finally did last night before bed. I cringed as it was happening and he acted a little sore after, but he will not poop unless we give him a little rein.


Some questions about his presentation:

- Is there something other than a ligament injury that could cause fluid buildup around the knee joint?
- Is it possible that this could be related to his hip?
- Has anyone had a dog with a similar presentation that was something other than a ligament injury?

Some questions about management:

- Does anyone have any tips for getting a dog who NEVER poops on a leash to learn to poop on a leash - especially while limiting walking out/bouncing/turning a in a million circles?
- Stairs - we moved our bed downstairs so we can all be on the main level. There are still stairs in/out of the house. If this is a ligament injury, is allowing him to slowly go up/down a few stairs every day going to sabotage his recovery?
- Anyone with any knowledge about supplements for promoting joint recovery/health? The hip concerns me and I want to do everything I can to help manage this as well.
- He's a fairly slim jim so weight not an issue right now. Will adjust food according to decreased activity.
- Any other tips or ideas for us?

Thank you very much.
 

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Minor suggestions:
1. Glucosamine can take 30 days, before there are any results ... if any.
2. Cold laser treatments and acupuncture (independently may help) ... or they may not, and they can be expensive.
3. Hydrotherapy is usually helpful, and you can build your own bathtub and harness for exercise during cold weather.
4. Hyaluronic acid (talk to your Vet about it) may help.
5. Myristin - cetyl myristoleate (CMO) by EHP (Again, read the literature and talk to your Vet) ...
 

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My then 8ish year old dog (now 10ish) had what seemed to be a partial and then a full tear with subsequent surgery. Good news is that smaller (under 50 lbs) and younger dogs tend to recover better if you do end up needing surgery. Bad news of course is that young ones want to run more and do more.

For now--
On leash outside ONLY. He will learn to poop on a leash. Might take a few days and he might have an accident inside but just stand around on leash and wait him out multiple times a day.

Slowly walking a few stairs should have minimal risk. Make sure they are not slippery from water or ice. Keep on leash so he cannot bound down them at full speed. You can use a towel under the belly to assist but even just a day or two after Chester's surgery, I found it better to let him carefully step on his own

IMO, Cosequin DS max strength with MSM is the best joint supplement OTC.

Ask about occassional use of NSAIDs

And remember that dogs hide pain.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Minor suggestions:
1. Glucosamine can take 30 days, before there are any results ... if any.
2. Cold laser treatments and acupuncture (independently may help) ... or they may not, and they can be expensive.
3. Hydrotherapy is usually helpful, and you can build your own bathtub and harness for exercise during cold weather.
4. Hyaluronic acid (talk to your Vet about it) may help.
5. Myristin - cetyl myristoleate (CMO) by EHP (Again, read the literature and talk to your Vet) ...
Thanks hanksimon. Will look into these things.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My then 8ish year old dog (now 10ish) had what seemed to be a partial and then a full tear with subsequent surgery. Good news is that smaller (under 50 lbs) and younger dogs tend to recover better if you do end up needing surgery. Bad news of course is that young ones want to run more and do more.

For now--
On leash outside ONLY. He will learn to poop on a leash. Might take a few days and he might have an accident inside but just stand around on leash and wait him out multiple times a day.

Slowly walking a few stairs should have minimal risk. Make sure they are not slippery from water or ice. Keep on leash so he cannot bound down them at full speed. You can use a towel under the belly to assist but even just a day or two after Chester's surgery, I found it better to let him carefully step on his own

IMO, Cosequin DS max strength with MSM is the best joint supplement OTC.

Ask about occassional use of NSAIDs

And remember that dogs hide pain.
Thanks Shell. Re. the Cosequin-- this looks like a great option, except I understood the MSM needs to be a higher ratio? closer to Glucosamine. Do you know anything about this, or if MSM could/should be added to supplement? Also have you continued to supplement your dog even 2 years out of surgery?
 

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Thanks Shell. Re. the Cosequin-- this looks like a great option, except I understood the MSM needs to be a higher ratio? closer to Glucosamine. Do you know anything about this, or if MSM could/should be added to supplement? Also have you continued to supplement your dog even 2 years out of surgery?
I don't know about exact ratios. Basically, I have tried about 5 of the top recommened supplements for at least 2 months each and asked for 3rd party opinion on his movement.

He has arthritis in his right hip so I started supplements about 4 years ago. I had also seen them to good usw in ex-racing horses so even though studies are a bit limited, my vet and I both agree it helps Chester
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't know about exact ratios. Basically, I have tried about 5 of the top recommened supplements for at least 2 months each and asked for 3rd party opinion on his movement.

He has arthritis in his right hip so I started supplements about 4 years ago. I had also seen them to good usw in ex-racing horses so even though studies are a bit limited, my vet and I both agree it helps Chester
This is really helpful. Thank you so much!
 
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