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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32740
Experience:  16 years of small animal internal medicine, surgery and preventive medicine.
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My staffy is 7 years old and has been perfectly healthy.

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My staffy bitch is 7 years old and has been perfectly healthy. In April one minute she was fine I went in another room she came out to follow me and was holding her back right leg in the air. She was then limping. I rested her until this cleared but it keeps coming back. She has had a period of 3 weeks fine and now it has been continual for a week. I have noticed a slight lump by her knee and on the ankle she has 2 hard skin tags. I have taken her to the vets he advised metacam for 4 days but it has made no difference he didn`t seem bothered about the lumps and told me it was a mystery. I am quite concerned now
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- Is she limping from a front or back leg?
2- Did your vet do xrays and an orthopedic examination under sedation?
3- Are the lumps above the skin?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

she is limping and raising her back right leg

he didn`t want to go down the path of x rays at this moment

the lump by her knee is under the skin but quite visible from behind

the two small black lumps that look like tags are hanging from the skin

1- The lump under the skin is it firmly attach to the underlying tissue or does it move with the skin?
2- How long do you typically rest her when she improves?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

the lump feels like a soft cyst and I think moves with the skin

I have basically rested her until the limp goes but as I said she has gone either days or weeks but it comes back she sometimes looks miserable with it but is eating and shows no sign of any pain when I touch her leg

Lesley, what you are describing is not caused by the lumps you are feeling. Skin tags are too superficial to cause a lameness. The lump within the skin if movable it will not likely cause a lameness either. The history you provide is consistent with a soft tissue (muscle, tendon or ligament) injury. A very common injury in the hind limb of dogs is to the cranial cruciate ligament (ACL in humans).
To diagnose an injured or torn ligament she would need an orthopedic examination under sedation and xrays. In this case, the fact that she improves I don't believe the ligament is completely torn, it may simply be injured.
When dealing or treating soft tissue injuries they can become a chronic problem if the patient is not rested for enough time. This is what you can do:

1- Rest her for the next 6 weeks. Even if she is not lame after 1 week you need to continue resting her for a total of 6 weeks. No running or jumping; activity should be limited to urinate and defecate on a leash.
2- Continue on Metacam as described by family veterinarian.
3- If the lameness does not improve within 1 week the next step is xrays and an orthopedic examination under sedation.

As far as the lump under the skin to determine the exact nature of the lump I would recommend you speak to your family veterinarian about doing an FNA (fine needle aspirate); this is a very quick test where your vet will collect a sample of the cells with a needle. Requires no anesthesia, inexpensive when compared to a biopsy and can be done within minutes during an office examination. Your vet will most likely submit sample to a lab to be evaluated under the microscope for a definitive diagnosis. The decision of benign neglect or complete surgical removal should be made based on FNA results.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter

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