Friday, March 30, 2012

Yorkies and Torn Cruciate Ligament

If your dog is limping or not walking on one leg, he or she may have a torn cruciate ligament.  It may not be that, there are other injuries that cause this in the leg and on the feet, but it could be.

Aspen the Yorkie is an elder dog, 13 this month, but it is hard to keep her from jumping up on and off of the couch because she has done this all of her life. Two weeks ago she jumped down from the couch, not really a far jump, but far enough I guess, because she started limping and not walking on the back right leg. Thinking it may be something that would work it's way out, we waited a day and went to the vet on Friday.

When the vet examined her, an X-ray wasn't even necessary, they knew right away by how the joint in the "knee" slid back and forth that she had torn the cruciate ligament. The vet said this is very painful, though Aspen didn't act much like she was suffering. She was and for the most part still is her cheerful self.  The cruciate ligament is one of 2 opposing ligaments between the joints from what I saw when searching the her case her back "knee" I believe.  This site has a good picture that shows the joint and cruciate ligament...I am not promoting this service, just found the image when searching on Google.

The vet prescribed Rimadyl appropriate to her small size for pain and inflammation. She had been given a little baby aspirin the day before, but that had to be stopped right away as the two together are toxic for the dog.

Surgery is possible with this type of injury, but Aspen is an elder dog, and we decided it would be better to let nature take it's course. The recovery is just as long one way or the other, and the ligament will heal with rest (as much as we can get her to rest), but will be prone to arthritis.

So she isn't jumping anymore, in fact she "calls" for help when going up a step. She sleeps in her bed on the floor instead of on the couch. It is suggested that dogs be crated and rest most of the time with this injury. Since someone is always home, we just keep good watch over her, she rests all the time anyway, and we carry her outside where she takes care of business and walks about a bit, and then we carry her back in. The only time Aspen gets lively is during the evening, she walks around a little bit then, but we don't worry about it too much because it can't be healthy to be lying around all the time.

It's been two weeks now, we will update you in the weeks to come on how her recovery from her cruciate ligament tear is. Here's a picture of her resting on the couch...we were keeping close watch and put something in place so she won't jump off.

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