We have a just turned 6 year old yellow. She weighs about 57lbs and is very athletic and has been her entire life without any issues. Her main source of exercise is ball chasing and swimming, and until we lost our almost 11 year old to mouth cancer, they played and played and played endlessly in our backyard - this was just a month ago that we lost our pup - so they were playing endlessly in March.
About 2 weeks ago, our friends were here with their lab, they played a ton, and when their dog jumped into the back of their SUV, Emmie followed - she has never EVER had issues jumping - she's a freaking spring board! But when she did - she held her back right leg up, whined for a second, jumped off, and immediately laid down on the ground for a few minutes. Within a minute or two, she was acting normally.
Over that time, I've noticed she is more reluctant to jump up on the couch, our bed, or into the car - BUT she is exercising normally (and jumping up a few onto the dock for her daily dock jumping/swimming, ball fetching), playing normally, and the other day, we were fostering a pup, they were playing funky, and it seemed the same thing happened to her again, but within moments, she was acting normally.
I started her on Rimadyl the other day, and kept her quiet for 2-3 days until I couldn't keep her quiet any longer -- SHe was back exercising and playing with our foster better than ever with NO issues.
Well, this morning she jumped up onto our HIGH bed (hadn't done that in weeks), and I knew immediately that it happened again - she jumped off, held her back right leg up for a few moments and was fine again.
Does this sound like a luxating patella? Just seems weird that it would come on so suddenly like this with NO history EVER in her life of any issues, etc...
And also curious about a partially torn ACL?
I have to also mention that she is on a course of doxycycline due to a positive Lyme test back in early June. We had chosen NOT to treat her, but when she had this issue, I started her on it just to be sure...
To confirm if it's a cruciate tear your vet will have to give a mild sedative and do a drawer test. If it's a partial tear she will have to have cage rest and restricted activity for about a month (leash walks only). Some partial tears do heal but usually end up with a complete tear and then have to have a TPLO.
I have also been doing some reading and came across a iliopsoas muscle strain - which tends to happen in agility dogs...Emmie isn't an agility dog (haha) but she is jumpy and is quite agile due to her smaller stature - though is really like a brick
We are resting her now that our foster pup is gone with short walks and did let her swim yesterday - no ball chasing or frisbee. Our new pup comes on the 16th and I am keeping her quiet until then. She has no pain, limp, trouble getting up, etc - so I think if it is anything, it is a partial tear. My friend is a human orthopedic doctor and looked at her legs, and thought she had very good flexibility, no withdrawing when her leg was manipulated and appeared to have very good stability in that leg...but she doesn't know dogs.
If she continues on this path or limps again, I will be bringing her in, but for now, she is on rest and started a dose of cosequin ds.
From what I've been told, luxating patellas are really not very common in Labs. The CCL tears, however, are. I would doubt if she had the same symptoms, same leg (?), that you are dealing w/a muscle strain or partial tear.
I'd recommend finding a good ortho vet for a diagnosis. If it's a partial CCL tear, please look into holistic vets in your region as I have been told prolotherapy is doing wonders for partial tears. That is a much quicker fix (and STRONG) than the crate rest route. One of my girls who is now 10.5 had a severe neck injury (basically whiplash) when she was ~15 mos old. Once we got it dx'd and got some prolotherapy done, she's been 100% ever since. Went on to finish her JH, CDX and a couple agility titles. Never had to be retouched again. I am a strong believer! Anne
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
If it is only a partial tear, I'd love to stay away from the surgical route if at all possible, due to the fact that if it is, it isn't bad since she has absolutely no other symptoms, and has not had any further "issues" since Monday morning. We are not crate resting her - just no running, jumping - I did let her walk to the water yesterday, swim a bit, and then walk home. She is going a bit nutty - looks at me funny wanting to play ball.
The only issue I have seen is with her right rear leg, and I've noticed her holding her leg up, all on a jump up to something - about 3 times in 3-4 weeks.
I am going to go look into what you suggested! We live in Maine, so not a ton of options here.
Good luck. You may be surprised about the availability of holistic vets though. I would think that it'd be easier to find one back there than where I live.
Just a sidenote, but WSU vet school has told a few lab owners over the years that the 2 worst culprits for CCL injuries were balls and frisbees.... due to the twisting motion on landing/pick up. My first lab loved frisbee, but as she aged and I saw it was probably hard on her back (she was longer backed),I put the darn thing up and never looked back... I figure I run enough risk w/ field work, agility (which I've now also given up due to MY back, lol!), and such.
Hopefully it's nothing, but worth checking out. Do you have her on any joint supplements?
Also thinking aloud here, I wonder if there is any chance she could have tweeked her spine or pelvic area? That can sometimes cause symptoms further on down the body.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
She is definitely an agile dog due to her smaller stature - 55-57lbs. We don't do frisbee, and she does like to fetch balls, but try to do that into the water - but sometimes if I get can't get down to the water, I'll throw it for her.
I just started her on Cosequin DS.
And it's funny you mentioned her spine/pelvic area because I have been doing some reading on iliopsoas strains (groin) and it sounds as if the few "symptoms" she has had point to that. I am totally not convinced it is her knee because she has shown no other signs - no lameness, no limping when getting up, still wanting to run, not holding her leg differently, etc.
I have been letting her swim some because everything I've read with the iliopsoas says not to crate rest them and to let them do light activity.