How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Peter Your Own Question
Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32739
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. Peter is online now

My 14 year old westie has recently started limping badly

This answer was rated:

Hello. My 14 year old westie has recently started limping badly from hi back right leg. He can't bear much weight in it and when it is grounded you can see the thigh muscles trembling. He seems fine in himself and is eating normally and can still break into a limping run on soft ground but he is less keen on walking on pavements.
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian. I am currently not set up to make a live call. But, I am happy to answer your question on this thread. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice. 1- How long has this been going on? 2- Did he have problem with this limb prior to going non-weight bearing? 3- Any pre existing medical conditions?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
1. Started between Xmas and new year. He has been on steroids since around Xmas Eve to stop him chewing his feet and a week before that he had annual standard booster injection. Perhaps that's connected?
2. Absolutely nothing specific with that limb though generally in the last year or so he has found it generally harder to jump into the footwell of the car then onto the seat for example. We just put that down to old age.
3. No other pre-existing conditions other than the typical Weston foot chewing thing.
1- Was he seen by your vet since this happened? If so, did they do xrays and an orthopedic examination under sedation? 2- Is he currently on steroids?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
1. Not yet2. Yes
Give me a few minutes to type your answer. Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We didn't go to vet because he didn't seem unduly troubled by it and has shown no signs of pain when we touched any part of his foot and leg.
Friend, when we see a non-weight bearing lameness of the back leg in general we have to rule out either: A fracture, disorders of the hip (arthritis, dislocated) or a soft tissue (muscle, tendon or ligament) injury, etc. In this case, the history you provide is more consistent with a soft tissue injury. A very common injury to the hind limb in dogs is a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament (ACL in humans). The fact that he is not painful upon touch further supports a ruptured ACL as the ligament is within the knee protected by bones. This however does not mean it is not painful, if he is not bearing weight or is limping that is a sign of pain. In this case we are limited as to what you can do at home. He will need to be seen by your family veterinarian for xrays and an orthopedic examination under sedation. It is important that he is sedated to evaluate the ligaments of the knee. Treatment will involve pain killers, rest and in some cases surgery. So, it is all going to depend on the findings by your family veterinarian. In the meantime rest him; activity should be limited to urinate and defecate on a leash. Do Not give over the counter pain killers, they are contraindicated while on steroids. Your vet will start him on prescription pain killers that can be used with steroids. Please do not forget to rate my answer - I hope you found it to be excellent. If there’s more I can do, please use the reply tab and let me know. It’s my goal to provide you with excellent service." Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon! Dr. Peter
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. That's helpful to know. Can you estimate the ballpark vet costs for what you describe pls?
He is an older dog so your vet will likely do blood work before sedation so for this reason it may be a little more expensive. Exam, blood work and xrays +/- 300-400 dollars. This is without surgery, if we talk about surgery, if this is an ACL repair between 1,000-1,500 dollars.
You're welcome. Please let me know if you have additional questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Peter. That's all for now I think.
You're welcome.
Dr. Peter and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you