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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 14144
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 18 years.
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I have a question about my 7 month old 30kg German Shepherd

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Hi there,I have a question about my 7 month old 30kg German Shepherd Husky mix. He slipped in a field on Saturday but carried on running around as normal so I didn't think anything of it. I'm not sure if it's the cause, as it could be unrelated, but he has been limping slightly on his back left foot. When we go out for a walk, it's very subtle, but seems to roll his foot out a little as he picks it up. It's not all the time, and doesn't get much worse as we walk. The other concern is that he will suddenly stop and just stand for a few seconds and will need some encouragement to continue walking. This to me suggests discomfort?The other symptom is he is struggling a little to stand up from our hardwood (fake!) floor. He's always found it slippery but occasionally as he gets up he will whine a tiny bit, which he didn't use to do. He's also generally whining a little more than usual, although is a generally vocal doggy.I can grab and squeeze and feel his feet with lots of pressure and rub up and down without any signs of pain, which makes me worry it's his hips :( he and his mum (the GSD in the mix) had tests for hip displasia and they said the risk was low. Both of them have high hips - not the slope typical to some GSDs.Understand its difficult to answer without seeing him, and we will take him to the vet this week I think... but some reassurance would be much appreciated. He hops around the house as normal, on and off the sofa, and on a walk you have to really concentrate to see it. It's just the slight hesitance to put weight on his back foot and stopping on walks that's concerning :(This week we are going easy on him just because it's going to be hot in the UK and he's also been a busy boy! Hopefully some rest will see some improvement.Hope that all makes sense!Gemma & Oscar

Welcome to Justanswer! I am Dr. Altman and happy to assist you both today!

The primary concern is a partial cruciate tear with his breed and symptoms. I would advise a veterinary exam because a home evaluation will not give this diagnosis, a veterinarian needs to check the stifle for drawer or movement which cannot be done without an experienced hand. Often with palpation and manipulation at home you will not see any indications of this condition

Here is more information on cruciate tears in dogs:

Until you are able to have an evaluation, please limit activity as much as you are able as you mentioned. Rotate warm and cool compresses on the leg in ten minute intervals, and massage from toes to hip and back down again frequently to stimulate blood flow therefore healing

You can use a towel as a sling under the groin to control movements up/ down steps and minimize risk of further injury on the hard wood floors (the act of getting up on these surfaces can increase tibial thrust and cause him discomfort as well as appear weak when attempting. Lastly, please limit to leash only to go potty until seen by your veterinarian.

I hope this information makes sense. It is possible that this is a simple muscle injury but I suspect you would have seen some improvement if that were the case in this length of time. Please let me know how else I can assist you both today

If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks very much for this. Very worried about my little guy I must say but I am a serial worrier! If it turns out to be what you suggest, is this very serious?

I am definitely the same way. Often if it is a partial tear physical therapy, rest and pain management (+/- acupuncture) will resolve the lameness and a lifestyle adjustment for longterm prevention of full tear (no ball chasing, keeping lean for example) but if this does progress to a full tear then surgery is a consideration

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh goodness. well we will call the vet first thing tomorrow and get him sorted - hoping it's not serious as its only a subtle change to his walk, hardly noticeable, and YouTube is showing me some very severe cases :( thanks again, will be swift to get help for him!Gemma

Hopefully it is a simple strain and restriction and rest will help this resolve

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you both today

If the information I have provided was helpful I would be grateful if you would rate our chat at the top of the screen so I am compensated for my time. Thank you and best of luck to you both, truly!

Hello, I wanted to check in on Oscar to serif you got him to the vet today? I would love an update when you are able

If you are satisfied with our chat please rate or accept with the stars on the top of your screen so I may be compensated for my time. If you are having any difficulties you can also state your rating (excellent, good, fair) in our chat as an alternative. Thank you!

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