Does my dog have soft tissue damage?

<p>Hi, my dog, Wally (Corgi mix, 13lb) has started to limp about 3-4 months ago. We noticed after trimming his fur in the rear and cutting his nails. He would limp every 5steps and tuck up his left leg. He never really showed any signs of pain besides the tuck-up of the leg. However, he has a special situation. He has had FHO surgery on his right leg and usually walks fast/runs on only 3 legs. When he tucked his left leg, he would only pout it up for one step and then continue walking fast/running on 3 legs (with the left leg) We went to two vets, one who was not our usual vet, said that he had tore his CCL and would need surgery. The other vet, who performed the FHO surgery took x-rays and performed the drawer test. The x-ray's showed that the bones are healthy and he said he did not feel any movement for the drawer test. The first vet, on the other hand said he felt movement. We concluded with the vet that performed the FHO surgery that Wally did not tear his CCL because he showed no signs of pain, from the very beginning. He would not limp indoors and still run around inside our apartment. The only time he limped was outdoors on cement. He has gotten a lot better as we have limited him from running and jumping. He occasionally sneaks up the bed or couch though, but we try to stop him from over-exerting himself. The vet also said that it could be soft tissue damage, that would heal eventually with rest. He said it could also be his knee cap becoming loose, and he tucks it up to realign it. Would that be a permanent thing that he will do from now on? What do you think the problem is? Is it just a bad sprain, soft tissue damage, micro tear of the CCL, or anything else?</p>
Category: Health

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I was able to reach Dr. Edwards and here is his reply:

Thanks for your question regarding your 14lb Corgi mix boy, Wally who has been intermittently lame on his left hindlimb. There are a number of things that could be going on here ranging from the CCL rupture (partial or complete), a meniscal injury, a luxating patella or even just a bad ligament or tendon strain. It is impossible to tell you what the cause is over the internet, but I definitely would encourage for you to get the opinion of a board certified Veterinary orthopedic surgeon. If one Vet could feel a cranial drawer and the other couldn't - it could well be that he has a partial cruciate ligament tear. If this is the case, a lot of the time surgery is still necessary to stabilize the joint. When these knee injuries occur, there is also generally some damage to the meniscus - a piece of cartilage that sits flat on the tibial plateau in the knee. The only way to rule this out is by opening up the joint to have a look - or via arthroscopy. It is also important to rule out a medially luxating patella as this would explain the intermittent nature of this problem.

If you can get a referral to a board certified surgeon - they can carry out a full physical and often this enough for them to give you a diagnosis. Other diagnostic modalities may include CT or even arthroscopy as mentioned as above. Given this problem has been going on for 3 - 4 months now, I really would encourage you to follow this up and try and get a definitive diagnosis as to the cause of the lameness.

Best of luck with Wally and let us know how you get on.

Kind Regards,

Dr Edwards
Thank you so much for the prompt reply, please also give my thanks to Dr. Edwards. I will try to see a board certified surgeon soon. - Molly - 11 years ago

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