My dog, Tucker, has been keeping weight off of his right rear leg for almost a month now. At first we thought it was just a muscle strain so we waited a week or two before bringing him in. It didn't resolve on its own so we took him to his vet to have him checked out. She did a physical exam and X-rays of his back legs. She didn't feel anything abnormal and saw no broken bones or tears, but did see a bit of inflamation in his right rear knee. She told us to limit his activity for two weeks and she put him on painkillers for a week.
It is now two weeks later and nothing has changed. He has been on a tie out when outside so he doesn't run around the yard, we try to keep him calm indoors and I even stopped taking him on walks this last week in hopes of resting his leg. Yet he still won't put any weight on it and will hold it either off the ground, or rest it gingerly on the ground, or limp. He doesn't, nor ever had, any swelling and doesn't show any signs of pain if we touch it.
So what do we do? More X-rays? I know Bullmastiffs can have "growing pains", but Tucker has been growing at an extremely slow pace and is only 65 lbs at nine months. I never saw what caused his injury. Is this able to heal? Help!
Please have an evaluation by a veterinary orthopedist. You can find an orthopedic veterinarian at a veterinary teaching hospital, or a referral hospital.
Growing pains can be caused by synovitis, or panosteitis. Panosteitis is visible on X-Rays. Your dog may have an undiagnosed congenital abnormality, or tear/partial tear of a ligament. Cartilage, ligament and other soft tissue abnormalities are often not visible on X-Rays, but an orthopedic surgeon should be able to make a diagnosis.
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