Arthritis or a Knee Injury? Oscar’s Lameness Story

Collies are like furry rockets. They have endless energy stores and are the happiest in motion. Oscar is no exception.

Arthritis or a Knee Injury? Oscar's Lameness Story

At one time, Oscar became a bit lame. X-rays revealed that Oscar had some arthritis in his hips. The problem responded to medical treatment, and before long, Oscar was back in the saddle. His limp has gone, and he enjoyed life the way he deserved–in motion.

Until lameness returned

This time it was not a slight limp but full lameness. After a trip to the beach, spent running in the sand, swimming, and chasing waves, Oscar was not putting any weight on his hind leg at all. Instead, he was holding the leg up and wouldn’t touch the ground with it.

Not that it slowed Oscar down a whole lot–he was still running around but using only the three good legs.

Sprained muscle?

Oscar’s dad didn’t discover any apparent injury and decided to rest Oscar for a couple of days to see if things resolve themselves. A sprained muscle can improve with a bit of rest. Time and rest, however, made no difference. Oscar still wasn’t using the affected leg. It was time to see a veterinarian.

The first suspect was a ruptured cruciate ligament

However common this injury is, Oscar’s knee didn’t feel swollen or sore. Oscar’s hip also checked out. If the hip was fine, and the knee seemed fine, why was Oscar limping so terribly?

With the prime suspects not panning out, Oscar’s veterinarian commenced a thorough examination, starting at the tip of Oscar’s toe, working his way up to the hip and spine.

Mystery solved

As the veterinarian was tweaking Oscar’s toes, Oscar yelped. Buried in the thick fur on Oscar’s feet, there was the answer–Oscar had a raw wound on the inside of his toe. Because no blood vessels were damaged, there was no bleeding that would alert to the injury. I was, however, painful enough to prevent Oscar from stepping on that food.

Whether Oscar managed to step on a piece of broken glass, broken seashell, or some other sharp object, it was the culprit behind his lameness. Oscar will be back on all of his feet in no time.

Related articles:
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: What is that Limp?

Further reading:
Canine Cranial Cruciate Disease: Updating Our Knowledge about Pathogenesis & Diagnosis

Categories: ConditionsReal-life StoriesSymptoms

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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