Musculoskeletal injuries and hereditary genetic disorders are not unusual in our pets. Our first consideration is to determine if your pet is limping, and in which limb or limbs. This seems simple and straightforward, when in actuality it can be difficult to ‘sort out’ a complicated lameness which involves multiple limbs, or a lameness which ‘crosses’ a system. An example of the former may be an older kitty with a torn cruciate ligament (knee) and an arthritic left elbow; an example of the latter would be an older dog with arthritic hips and neurologic weakness to both pelvic limbs. A thorough history and orthopedic /neurologic exam, followed by appropriate diagnostic tests, are necessary to determine the best course of treatment for your pet. An invaluable asset to you and your pet is having an experienced clinician.
Your pet may be limping, holding their leg up, or just having difficulty getting up or lying down. There are many causes for a forelimb or hindlimb lameness, including osteoarthritis.
This is a genetic abnormality which can result in hip discomfort, lameness, and arthritis. A combination of conservative and surgical treatments can improve comfort and function.
Cruciate Ligament Rupture
The canine CCL is analogous to the human ACL, and its rupture will result in lameness and possibly a meniscal tear. Over time, an unstable knee can become arthritic.