We finally had a nice day after a hard winter. We had four feet of snow on the ground, and a lot of ice. My three young dogs were getting cabin fever, and we thought we’d let them run a bit on our first sunny day. It would prove to be a fateful decision for our 7 1/2 month old puppy, Rose. Poor little Rose hurt her knee playing with her sister, Dahlia, and older kennel-mate, Luna. The three puppies shot from the kennel with a purpose. In a full run, body slamming, slipping and sliding. Rose got caught in a frenzy of Labrador energy, and paid the price. She came up on three legs. We knew immediately we were looking at a cranial cruciate ligament injury. Immediately, plans for a wonderful show career for this girl evaporated. We crated her, and called the vet.
Rose: Note the swelling in her left knee:
Our poor baby! It breaks my heart to see her hurting.
She saw the vet a few days later. Her diagnosis at the vet was inconclusive, where she is swollen and lame, x-ray and manipulation diagnostic for ligament injury didn’t reveal anything positive, and there is no fracture, so, the vet wants strict joint rest for the next 10 days. He could not feel “drawer sign” in the knee, but the knee was quite swollen, and likely the swelling itself was splinting the knee from providing him with exam clues. X-ray showed a great deal of effusion (swelling). Rose will be living in a crate for the duration – rather like strict bedrest. Since I’m sitting in the den, I lifted her into the couch with me (no jumping up or down allowed), as a seven month old needs physical contact, especially Rose, who is a lovebug! He put her on an anti-inflammatory, and suggested we keep her on that for 10 days, then re-eval the knee. In the meantime, she would be on strict crate rest.
We went home, suspecting that we were looking at knee surgery for our girl, and had decisions to make with respect to the type of surgery we wished to do.
Click here for a Description of CCL injury and treatment
This is Rose on day two of her CCL Injury treatment with anti-inflammatories and crate rest only. She is trying to use the leg, but clearly it is swollen and painful.