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Rebecca
Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 15989
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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my dog a cross yorkie/jack russel hurt a rear leg when he trapped

Customer Question

my dog a cross yorkie/jack russel hurt a rear leg when he trapped it between two pieces of timber a vet has indicated that it may be a cruciate ligament problem is this possible he is not in any pain he walks about occasionally lifting his leg do you think it may be just sore or does he need an xray.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
I am sorry to hear you are worried about Buster. I am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.
If he puts weight on the leg, that is a good sign it is not broken. If he occasionally carries it, that means it hurts; if it did not hurt he would put weight on it.
This could be an ACL tear, or a sprain of some kind. An Xray will not tell you if the ACL is torn or if he has a sprain. Ligaments do not show up on an Xray.
Rest, alternating ice and heat on the sore joint, anti inflammatories and time may be all he needs. If it is an ACL, the torn ligament will not heal or grow back together, however. How long has it been since the injury? Your vet may be able to check for a torn ligament by checking for a "drawer sign" in the knee. Dogs often have to be sedated for this since they have to be relaxed to see if the knee moves in this abnormal way.
Seeing a veterinarian who specializes in rehab, and can offer exercises, stretches, acupuncture, etc. may be helpful if this is not healing.
Let me know how he is doing and if I can answer anything else.
Rebecca
Rebecca and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the good rating.
Rebecca
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have taken a second opinion from another Vet who confirms that it is the cruciate ligamnet that is at fault he also indicated that in small dog the ligament often repairs on its own without surgery will you please confirm that this is the case he also indicated that if surgery was needed he would not perform that for at least 6weeks in order to give the ligament time to repair if possible.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
That is not exactly correct. If the ligament is torn, it does not grow back together. However, in a smaller dog often enough scar tissues forms that he will be able to get around without limping.
If I were going to do surgery, I would not wait. However, with a small dog, sometimes they do OK without surgery so waiting to see how he does is reasonable.
Rebecca