PetMeds® Dog Experiencing Lameness in Back Leg

dog-lameness-back-leg When a dog starts holding up one leg, this is a symptom of lameness, and is usually due to some soft tissue injury, trauma, or musculoskeletal orthopedic problem of the particular limb. Occasionally neurological problems of either the discs in the neck or lower back or hip areas can also cause pets to hold up one leg. Certainly tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can also cause lameness of one or more limbs. Ligament problems such as tears of the cruciate ligament of the hind leg, as well as tumors can also cause lameness.

In small breeds a luxating patella is one of the more common causes of acute or intermittent chronic lameness of either of the hind legs. With patella luxations, there is usually a defect or shallow groove in the tibia bone right below the knee or stifle.  If this groove is not well formed, then the tendon of the quadriceps muscle (known as the patella tendon) will tend to slide in and out of this groove causing varying degrees of limping or lameness.

For pets with mild cases of patella luxations, the tendon will often pop back in on its own or with a subtle manipulation by the veterinarian or animal guardian. In more serious cases, surgery is needed to deepen the groove of the bone. To help increase the overall health of bones I recommend supplements like Super Joint Enhancer, Proanthozone or omega 3 fatty acids which can also help reduce inflammation.

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  1. My adopted 5-year-old chihuahua tends to stretch out her right back leg when she drinks water when she wakes up, stretches a lot, mainly that back leg, and after she pee’s she tends to do both… when it’s nice out, she looks like a human stretching the legs… except is just that same back leg. Advice?

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