Willy's knee issue
Willy was at the vet today. He broke a tooth, snapped off the bottom part of it, and had a fracture of the rest, running up to and under the gumline. He had a dental (his other teeth are fine) and that tooth had to come out.
Because he was already under anesthesia, I took this opportunity to have x rays done. Willy has always done a "sloppy" sit, can't sit squared off. And he can't go from a sit to a down; instead he stands, bows and then lowers his rear end. Lately, he has also started not to bend or squat when he poops. His right leg stays straight, his left goes out to the side. In order to balance, he has to lower his head way down. Very awkward.
Here are photos and a short video (30 seconds)
And video: http://youtu.be/cfKas5NFl6o
X rays showed some arthirits in both hips, more in the left than the right. Right knee looks fine. Spine is fine. Left knee has a build up of fluid. It is not a luxating patella, that knee is sitting solid. So this suggests some sort of ligament issue. He does not limp; so the vet says it is not a complete rip of a ligament. It could be a partial, like a tear. No telling when he did this.
- treat with pain medication*, see if that helps
- refer to an orthopedic specialist
Willy is already on glucosamine and chondroitin, and we may add Adequan in future. He just turned age 9 years on Sept 5th.
For now, he is on pain meds* for the tooth extraction, so we will get to see if there is any improvement with that.
Edited to clarify: he is currently on Rimadyl for the tooth extraction. This is an NSAID - both pain relief AND anti inflammatory.
The part that stumps me is, what if the pain meds work "for a while," and then he has made things worse -- by which time he will also be older. I just don't know which way to go with this.
Sounds like you're caught between a rock and a hard place - damned if you do/damned if you don't. Maybe he will have to give up agility??? Perhaps see how he does on the pain med and rest, and then if he seems better, try a little agility? I don't imagine a strenuous course would be very good for him at this point.
Feel better Willy - ya hear??? :love: And be careful of those chompers.........:D
Is there any sort of brace or wrap you can do on that knee to help it heal better, and not get reinsured, like human athletes do?
Awww, sweet Wills! I hope you feel much better soon! I hope the pain meds help too (((HUGS)))
As I explore, learn and discuss this with folks, I realize, we know he has fluid build up; that suggests a ligament issue, but it is not definitive (could be something else). If it is a ligament, we don't know which one, and we don't know the extent of the damage. Starting to lean towards seeing the specialist, at least to learn more about what the issue IS. My vet said the specialist will likely start with an MRI. What didn't "click" with me is, THAT will be to id the issue more clearly.
Wills and Freedom, how is Willy's knee? Is it any better with the pain meds? Thinkin of you xxxx... elyse
Willy is recovering well from the tooth extraction. He joined us for walkies yesterday - Sunday. After 2 days of only being in the back yard. He was thrilled! He feels fine, lol, he even snagged a piece of a crunchy treat from Lacey. He has learned to chew on the other side for now. (Once it all heals, he can chew anywhere with no pain). That now empty space has 2 stitches in, which will dissolve over time.
I haven't seen any change in his posture. I have been researching and getting tons of info. Seems this (the fluid build up) is more likely due to arthritis. Since he has NO limp or change in his gait, not likely to be ligament related. Once person sent me a link to a youtube vid which shows how I can give him massage to help this. There is a Yahoo group called "Conservative Management" which is mostly for ACL and CCL tears, and several folks on there suggested I get acupressure for him.
Thanks for asking, Elyse.
We see a lot of ACL tears (full and partial) at our clinic, and some of our doctors do surgery to repair them. Partial tears can go either way - they can repair themselves, or they can fully tear. The *only* fix for a full tear is surgery. And if one knee goes, the other is likely to go, too. Some pets will have full or partial tears and never show any clinical signs. Animals are so amazing at hiding their ailments...
I'm hoping, for your sake, that it is just arthritis. But to err on the side of caution, I would try to limit his activities to preserve the ligament in case it is a partial tear... at least, until you get a definitive diagnosis. Forgive me if you've already stated this and I misread.
Thanks Jessika. At this point, I am thinking this is 'just' arthritis. He has no limp, no change in his gait. Shows no sign of pain, was jumping up on the sofa and down with no issues prior to last Thursday, when I've stopped him while I sort things out in my mind.
Glad to read that his dental appt went well. As for the "other", I dont have any info. Good Luck!