Small Dog Knee Injury: Junior Stops Bearing Weight on his Hind Leg

Ruptured cruciate ligaments are a common injury in large breed dogs but small dogs can hurt their knee too.

In small dogs, the injury can sometimes resolve with conservative management–rest and medication.

Small Dog Knee Injury: Junior Stops Bearing Weight on his Hind Leg

Junior’s story

Junior is an active, nimble senior dog–a little rocket. Age didn’t slow him down much.

During one winter,t though, he suddenly stopped using his left hind leg; hopping around on three instead. When it came to stairs, his dad had to carry him.

At first, Junior’s dad thought that because of Junior’s age, arthritis was bothering him. Some days the leg was better, some days it was worse. This went on for about a month. Perhaps Junior should see a vet after all, even if just to get some medication to manage the suspected arthritis.

At the veterinarian

The veterinarian examined Junior thoroughly. Lameness can have many different causes. An unhappy joint could do it but so could other issues.

Starting from Junior’s toes and working his way up to the hip, Junior’s veterinarian didn’t meet any resistance which would indicate pain from touch or manipulation. His reflexes were flawless as well which ruled out neurological causes.

It was testing for joint stability which revealed the root of the problem. Junior’s left knee was unstable and wobbly.

The diagnosis

Further examination and x-rays confirmed cruciate ligament rupture.

With age, the chances of cruciate ligament damage increase because of gradual degradation of the tissue.

In large dogs, surgery is often the best way to deal with the problem but small dogs can sometimes respond to conservative management.

The treatment

Junior’s dad decided to give the conservative management a try.

Original story:
Junior, a twelve year old Japanese Spitz dog who stopped putting weight on his left hind leg

Related articles:
Why Is My Dog Limping? Causes of Lameness in Dogs—Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog
Talk To Me About Dog ACL/CCL Injuries

Further reading:
Nonsurgical treatment of CCL tears

Categories: CCL injuriesCruciate ligament injuriesJoint issuesKnee issuesReal-life Stories

Tags: :

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.

Share your thoughts