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Thread: Rottweiler lame in hind 2 legs

  1. #1

    Default Rottweiler lame in hind 2 legs

    Hi
    My sisters Rottweiler went lame on Christmas Eve...she just stood up and her hind leg was hanging and toes curled in. They took her straight to vet and she was diagnosed with a torn cruciate ligament. Being Christmas the Orthopedic Surgeon, they have used previously to operate on lameness in front legs, is away. Then on Boxing Day the other hind leg went. Bonnie has had no trauma (besides recovering from her front leg surgery) to her hind legs. My sisters family are beside themselves as Bonnie is a much loved and beautiful dog and is only 14 months old. However they have already spent $4000 on her front legs (and yes she still has a limp!) and money is scarce. They have now booked her in next Saturday with the surgeon to confirm diagnose and discuss treatments. They cannot afford two operations. My question is could it possibly be nerve damage or disc problems that are replicating cruciate problems. Could a chiropractor be beneficial. Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks Kim

  2. #2
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    Hi googleeye

    I think a chiropractor could be about the same or possibly worse - than doing nothing.

    The main thing they'd need to do as far as "doing nothing" goes - is stop the dog from running and jumping at all - ie the second injury might have been some sort of compensating injury and the dog being allowed to run around a bit. Christmas is pretty exciting for dogs.

    My brother's not so fit Groodle spent the entire day chasing my cousin's extremely fit kelpie around - and he could barely walk the next day. I think the groodle has bad hips too. He doesn't walk properly but he's not lame yet.

    The cruiciate injury could also be from family history - so it might be a good idea if the vet sends details of the injuries and the dog's pedigree to the LIDA database at Uni NSW. This helps breeders and buyers of dogs make informed choices.
    LIDA Dogs - LIDA Dogs - Faculty of Veterinary Science - The University of Sydney

    Cruiciate injuries are not that common in Rottweilers but most owners are very careful about how much exercise they get as puppies - being a large breed - they can cause joint injury if they run around for too long when they are young, like most pups like to do.

    All you need to do to tear a cruciate is make a sudden change in direction and a foot slipping... or have an awkward landing off a step. It can happen if the muscle strength has been built up but the tendon strength always lags behind. So a strong muscle can allow a person/dog to break their own tendon.

    So if they want to delay surgery or "do nothing" and see if they can build muscle to compensate and they can limit the dog's movement all the time... it's best to ask the vet - what other options they have. Surgery might be the best one long term for the dog but maybe not if you can't afford it. And then you also have to ask about what the quality of life will be post op (or if do nothing). Best case and worst case.

    Only a specialist vet - with the xrays would be able to make an informed opinion on the options.

    A good option whether the dog has the surgery or not - is hydrotherapy ie walking in water and swimming in water (once the wounds have healed up). But underwater treadmills are more expensive than shallow water at the beach.

  3. #3
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    Yeah not uncommon in Rotties. I know several with cruciate tears before they were 2 years old. What was wrong with her front legs that needed surgery. ED?
    Possibly was compensating by using her back legs more.

    You need a specialist consult we certainly can't tell you. My dog has also had bilateral cruciate surgery so I know how you are all feeling. Try the orthodog and conservative management yahoo groups. Lots of info and helpful advice.
    ,

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    If you are unsure, you should try another vet for a second opinion. It is strange that one would go and then the other a day afterwards, I would also be leaning towards something else and would want it checked out.
    Are 'curled toes' usually a sign of cruciate injuries? I always paired them with nerve or disc damage...

  5. #5
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    Depends what you mean by curled toes. When my dog ruptured her cruciate, her leg was hanging and her toes were scrunched up just because they were not spread on the ground. My friend Rottie blew both cruciates days apart so it is possible particularly if there have been front end problems. I am sure the orthovet will be able to work out where the problem lies. That would be my first port of call. Once you have a firm diagnosis you can then start to do the research about what to do next.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    Hi googleeye

    I think a chiropractor could be about the same or possibly worse - than doing nothing.

    The main thing they'd need to do as far as "doing nothing" goes - is stop the dog from running and jumping at all - ie the second injury might have been some sort of compensating injury and the dog being allowed to run around a bit. Christmas is pretty exciting for dogs.

    My brother's not so fit Groodle spent the entire day chasing my cousin's extremely fit kelpie around - and he could barely walk the next day. I think the groodle has bad hips too. He doesn't walk properly but he's not lame yet.

    The cruiciate injury could also be from family history - so it might be a good idea if the vet sends details of the injuries and the dog's pedigree to the LIDA database at Uni NSW. This helps breeders and buyers of dogs make informed choices.
    LIDA Dogs - LIDA Dogs - Faculty of Veterinary Science - The University of Sydney

    Cruiciate injuries are not that common in Rottweilers but most owners are very careful about how much exercise they get as puppies - being a large breed - they can cause joint injury if they run around for too long when they are young, like most pups like to do.

    All you need to do to tear a cruciate is make a sudden change in direction and a foot slipping... or have an awkward landing off a step. It can happen if the muscle strength has been built up but the tendon strength always lags behind. So a strong muscle can allow a person/dog to break their own tendon.

    So if they want to delay surgery or "do nothing" and see if they can build muscle to compensate and they can limit the dog's movement all the time... it's best to ask the vet - what other options they have. Surgery might be the best one long term for the dog but maybe not if you can't afford it. And then you also have to ask about what the quality of life will be post op (or if do nothing). Best case and worst case.

    Only a specialist vet - with the xrays would be able to make an informed opinion on the options.

    A good option whether the dog has the surgery or not - is hydrotherapy ie walking in water and swimming in water (once the wounds have healed up). But underwater treadmills are more expensive than shallow water at the beach.
    Thankyou to everyone for your advice, it is most appreciated. Bonnie is being kept quiet and pain management is in place. She is booked into a different vet today so they will know more after appointment. Bonnie will not be left with a "do nothing" scenario. Even if they can afford another bout of surgery, Im sure the vet will advise of quality of life post op etc. They understand that the outcome may not be "kind" to Bonnie, as hard as that decision would be, they dont want her to suffer. We have had 5 Rottweilers over the past 30 years (2 at a time) and our 2 "early models" were robust, healthy, injury free (and lived to 12 and 13) whilst 2 "later models" have suffered from: cruciate problems and 1 we loss to cancer (aged 9.) and 1 to bloat (aged 4..terribly heart breaking). We currently have a rescue 3 year old male that fingers crossed is without any major health issues (so far...fingers crossed).

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    Apparently it's quite common for a dog to rupture first one and then the other cruciate ligament. It's what my current nightmare is made off Maybe your friends dog overused her hind legs to compensate for the weakness in the front and when one of these legs gave way, there was even more pressure on the last remaining one...

    We're just starting to look into surgery for our dog Nero (next threat) so I'm spending a lot of time on the web researching I've just come across a site about TPLO Surgery on a Burmese (on both hind legs too!). It gives a really good overview on what to expect before and after surgery and has answered a lot of my questions, maybe it's helpful for your friends too.
    Last edited by margoo; 12-29-2014 at 04:23 PM.

  8. #8

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    Bonnie has been taken to Brisbane for a consult with a Ortho surgeon who is also a chiropractor and the news in devastating. The back legs are indeed a mess. Also there is still some ED in front legs and shoulders also have a problem. The vet has advised that Bonnie will struggle with mobility for the rest of her life and will also be in constant pain. He has advised that the kindest thing for Bonnie would be to put her to sleep. The whole family are shattered but want to do the right thing for their pet. Thanks to all for your advice. Kim

  9. #9
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    Hi Kim

    That must be so hard.

    Do make sure the details get submitted to the LIDA database in the hopes of tracking patterns and preventing them in future puppies.

    If they decide to get another Rottie - make sure they sight the Hip Score reports for both parent dogs before agreeing to a puppy. It doesn't guarantee sound joints but it helps improve your chances.

    Also ask the ortho vet - what could they could do to avoid problem like this in the future. Ie would it be obvious in a puppy? Would checking hip scores help? Does the way the puppy get exercised make a difference? etc.

    Naturally if you get a mutt from the pound (like I did) - none of that applies - you just take your chances.

  10. #10
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    That is indeed devastating news. I know that Rotties are highly susceptible to these types of conditions and it really lies sqaurely on the breeders to have all the appropriate hip and elbow screeing in place along with the other genetic tests. Structure is also so important in this breed. A friend of mine who breeds Rotties is particularly strong on good structured dogs and will import sires from Europe from working lines.

    I have know quite a lot of Rottie to suffer from cruciate problems and they are common on the orthodog sites. They are a heavy built dog and can be too straight in the stifle if structure is not taken in to consideration when breeding. Being susceptible to elbow dysplasia doent help either as they will often compensate with their hind legs.

    Meanwhile you and your family are left to pick up the pieces. I would be getting back to the breeder and giving her/him this information and as Hyacinth suggests getting it officially recorded on a database for others to see. This of course is only possible if the parents were registered dogs. If the breeder is registered with the ANKC I would be submitting the details to them as well. I think that ANKC registered breeders have to hip and elbow score any Rottie that they use for breeding. Certainly with high risk breeds ANKC does demand a certain level of testing before dogs can be bred.

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