Dog .. soft tissue injury???
Emma is 8 almost 9 year old retriever mix .. beautiful girl! She weighs about 56 lbs but is really the size of a medium dog she is stocky. This all started a few months back when we took a trip from Fl to PA. She did some extra playing in the mountains etc. She started with a stiff leg when she got up from sleeping (back leg) it would do a little cracking and popping and work itself out within a few minutes of walking and be fine. About 3-4 weeks ago she could not walk on it.. it was VERY sore! A little background she is a timid shy but wild jumper She always over jumps.. we play ball she trys to catch it the minute it goes in the air jumping to high.. she jumps extra high when jumping in the car and started this new habit of jumping from my bed to her bed across the room. I would assume she did something at one of these times. She didnít want to put any weight on it and would hold it up if she did a trot across the room etc. I took her the vet .. to be specific Banfield because they were open on the weekend when it happened (not a fan). They said arthritis possible sprain prescribed Rimadyl and Tramadol. I only did a few days because it upset her stomache and have read AWFUL things online about these medications. A week later went to my vet.. again.. sprain same medication. They did the drawer test etc. Fast forward 2 weeks almost 2 weeks ago I took her for X-rayís.. now she had improved a bunch!! No longer held it up all the time and started to walk on it more and more but was still limping. Per my vet her X-Rayís were text book nothing not even a drop of arthritis.. diagnosis muscle strain .. again same medications.
I did a bunch of research online and decided to get another opinion at a local vet who also specializes in Natural treatments. He did a complete exam very thorough.. drawer etc. Said her ACL felt VERY tight etc. Everything in her leg felt fine (there has never been any swelling or anything painful to touch). I showed him her X-Rayís from the other week and he said there was a minimal amount of arthritis around her knee and a little fuzziness around her femur which would lean towards a ligament injury ( I will never understand how 2 vets can see the same thing and it be so different).
This vet prescribed a chinese herb medication (Bodysore) and it is to do the same thing as Rimadyl (which I will not give her) but it is all herbal no chemicals etc. I really have never researched these types of treatments and do not know if I really believe in it or not. 1 day in she was better now 4 days in she barely has a limp improved 90%!!! She is to finish the 30 days of the herbs.
The next step for this vet is to set up a consult which I did for next Tuesday and then work on a plan of acupuncture and possibly some adequan.
Okay so here is what I just canít seem to understand.. if anyone has had a similar situation I would love to hear your story, advice, thoughts, tips etc. The herbs are obviously working.. they are geared toward attacking anything and everything causing inflammation and some pain relief. The fact that she has improved to almost 100% would you think it is the herbs masking the injury and she is truly not better? If it was a torn ACL which they didnít find on the Drawer or evidence of on XRAY would she be able to improve that much from just herbs??
I was thinking I would continue the herbs and her restriction (not crate .. she goes on a very short slow walk in the afternoon and evening on leash about 10-15 min MAX.. no jumping running etc.) IF she improves to 100% over the next 1-2 weeks on the herbs I was thinking this may mean her injury is healing. If she doesnít improve then go forward with trying some acupuncture etc. I know the recommendation for torn ACL ( I keep going to this because I know it is one of the major injuryís) is surgery and I think I would want to try conservative management because she is a little older and has never had any anesthesia or anything and I just worry about going down that road.
Any thoughts on what you would do in this situation? One other note both vets who looked at the X-ray ensured me there is no evidence of bone cancer and no evidence on physical exam either. I have been to 3 vets.. I believe the last vet has been the best and would love to follow through with him. Would a soft tissue injury in the back leg other than an ACL take up to a month or more to heal?