Concerned about Suki's legs

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Kim - Suki
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Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby Kim - Suki » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:01 am

Hi there, well me and Suki haven't been so good lately. She's been having a lot of trouble with her back legs lately and I just wanted some advice from anyone who's had any similar experiences. It's a long story so here goes,

About 4 weeks ago, Suki suddenly started limping on her right back leg. I took her to the vets the next day and she said her knee joint was swollen so she put her on Rimadyl anti-inflammatory drugs just to help with the pain. I returned 3 days later and Suki had some X-Rays done. The results showed that the knee bone had widened itself. The vet said it was likely that Suki had probably twisted it some time ago, probably whilst playing, and that it hadn't healed properly thus causing the abnormality with the bone. So, we came home and carried on with the rimadyl for a week, plenty of rest and lots of tlc. After a week I took her for a short 5 min walk on grass but as soon as we got back she was worse than ever: couldn't even limp, just 100% lame and hopping on her left leg. So as it was Easter weekend and my surgery was closed I had to rush her to an emergency vet. She gave her a rimadyl injection and more anti-inflammatorys until I could get to my regular vet. I went back to my regular surgery last Friday, and saw a different vet. He said maybe further rest was needed and more rimadyl and possibly an operation in the future. He said it's hard to be 100% sure because she's only 9 months old, her growth plates haven't closed yet and if you mess around now before she's finished growing you could do more harm than good. Anyway, I made a follow-up appointment for next Monday but last night whilst Suki was in the yard doing her business she let out a massive yelp and is now completely lame on her left back leg also. Luckily I've got the rimadyl so gave her 1 tablet last night which has eased the symptoms slightly. The vets opens at 9.30am so will be phoning them and asking them their advice but I just wondered if anybody else's chows had shown symptoms like this, and does anyone, like me, think it could be hip dysplasia. I've read about it on the net and read the threads on here and her symptoms are classic of hip dysplasia. Lameness, weakness, stiffness, bunny hopping. But I've also read that cruciate ligament tears show the same symptoms.

So, like I said I'll be taking her to the vets today but would just be really greatful of any kind of advice.

Thanks, Kim & Suki

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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby Sirchow » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:24 am

So sorry to hear about poor Suki. I have sent you a PM. [:D]
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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby Sydney » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:36 pm

Kim:

It could very well be a torn ligament. That's exactly how my female acted when she torn her ACL and I had the surgery done almost immediately because she was not using the leg at all. That was over 4 years ago now. The surgery was very sucessful, recovery time went very well and she now runs and jumps like nothing every happened. Just before the surgery I had her hips x-rayed and I found out her hips were excellent. No regrets and for some reason so many of them seems to develope these problem. The other solution they gave me was complete crate rest for 3-7 months but it was just not a good option for a young girl that wanted to run and play. Besides it seems that one this area is weakened as soon as they make the wrong move again, you're right back to when it started. For us it was the best and easiest solution.

It should also be very easy for the vet to detect that that's what it is.

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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby Coco Chow » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:09 pm

Poor Suki and poor you :( ...
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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby chowhuskylass » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:56 pm

Aww poor suki baby girl,
i must admit i initially thought it was a cruitiate ligament as like you said symptoms are similar, With yumi's acl she went lame but could use the limb and showed no outward signs of pain the vets thought she had just pulled her back as she was happy in herself we went on metacam but after 4 days i could take no more i was in doubt about diagnosis, got another opinion and sought prices for an operation found a vet i was happy with and had her operated on

Due to yumis lack of history and what history we do have not being great.... the insurance would not pay out as i could not prove pre existing conditions so now her history is 2 bad knees, entropian, thats next on the list and we keep fingers crossed the other legs holds up.
so i can only do cash deals with vets, my vet at the time would not do an instalment plan for me even though i have a good account and 7 dogs with them, I ended up going elsewhere for her to get the treatment required.

the risk was with one being really bad and the good leg was bad enough the surgery on the really bad leg could make the not so good leg go as well, as its on its way out...she went through surgery fine the first night was awful but now seeing her well worth it and the not so good leg held up fine,

it was easy to go for the op as at 5yrs she is full developed so no doubts were ever cast on the right move, it must be much harder for you with a young pup. we are thinking of you all please let us know how you get on with Suki

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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby Kim - Suki » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:34 am

Hi everybody, well before I start I'd just like to thank everyone for their kind words and thoughts, it really has meant a lot. So, I managed to get Suki in to see our regular vet on Tuesday afternoon. He had another look at her and because he's not 100% sure he's referred her to a specialist orthopeadic surgeon. He seems to think it could be her hips but she's been looked at by 2 other vets and 1 said her hips looked fine on the x-rays and the other vet said that the way she was walking it looked like a torn ligament and not the hips so I'm hoping it might just be the ligaments and not the hips. He recommended 2 specialists that they use so I chose one and they phoned me with an appointment yesterday but it wasn't for another 2 weeks and the receptionist wasn't very nice on the phone either. Plus she said it would just be a consultation, then I'd have to wait for an appointment for x-rays, etc. so I basically in no uncertain terms told her to shove her appointment. Which I'm glad because my vet gave me the number for the other specialist who I spoke to last night and she's given me appointment for tomorrow morning, and she was so pleasant on the phone. She explained everything to me and we had a good old chat about everything. It might sound silly but first impressions mean a lot and I really feel that I can trust these people to take good care of Suki. Plus she said that after the consult, if we want to go ahead with x-rays they can do them tomorrow and if surgery is the best option they can also do that whilst she's sedated, which will save us having to go back and put her under again.

Plus, I then spent 2 hours last night trying to find a pet ambulance service that could take us as I have no transport at the moment and the clinic is about an hour's drive away but I eventually found one and the young man was very helpful so we should be in good hands.

So, all in all it's been a hectic couple of days but I hope that tomorrow will end the weeks of speculation and we can get Suki sorted. I miss my lively, bubbly girl (even if she is a cheeky little sod at times!!)

Suki's actually been a little better today, she even tried jumping on the sofa so the rimadyl must be working. The worst thing for her is that she hasn't been for a proper walk for weeks and I think that is what she misses most. But in herself she's a little better.

Well, I'll post again tomorrow night to let you all know how we get on.

Kim & Suki x

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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby TJordan » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:43 am

I don't know the treatments for ligament issues, but mine is having surgery next week, his 2nd for hip displaysia. So I have it is not that. Good luck and I think you made the right decision with the tacky vet's office. I don't blame you a bit. You have to feel comfortable with them!
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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby Kim - Suki » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:13 am

TJordan wrote:I don't know the treatments for ligament issues, but mine is having surgery next week, his 2nd for hip displaysia. So I have it is not that. Good luck and I think you made the right decision with the tacky vet's office. I don't blame you a bit. You have to feel comfortable with them!


Thanks, I'm hoping it's not her hips too. And I hope that everything goes well with Butters' surgery next week.

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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby chowhuskylass » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:24 pm

hiya huni, what is the problem with some vets hey!!! there is no need to be spoken to in such a way...anyway we did the same thing with yumi booked her in for xrays under sedation and if it was ligament the operation will be done there and then saving 2 trips and less stress on the dog as well as myself,

We are thinking of you all, I am nearby i think..... so huni if you need anything and i can help in any way just ask, if we can help we will. the first few nights are the worst so be strong and over the next few weeks of rehab and physio you will see improvement each day its baby steps at first with a few weeks of complete house arrest but i am sure the vet will talk you through it all anyway.

we are due to book yumi in to sort her entropian in both eyes.

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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby Kim - Suki » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:49 am

Hi all, just to let you know I just got back from the specialist and I have left Suki there to have some more detailed X-Rays done. It's a lovely place and all the staff/specialist were very nice people so I felt much more reassured in leaving her there.

So, the specialist said he didn't think it was her hips as they don't look or feel too bad. He said it's hard to tell from just the basic x-rays she's already had done and so he'll do more detailed ones. He said her hips aren't perfect but there doesn't look to be anything too worrying at the moment so I'm keeping everything crossed that her hips are ok. It could be that she may develop hip dysplasia but at this moment in time he can't see it being that. The other thing he said was that it could be the cruciate ligament which is causing the problems, which I've been told that by 2 different vets and a number of people on here too, so he will look for that. He said he doesn't usually see ligament damage in young dogs but it can happen. As well as that, from her previous X-Rays there looks to be a little bit of fluid around her knees and also that her knee cap looks a little bit lower than normal. So, all in all it could be any one of a number of things but he seemed to really know what he was talking about and we spent around 45 minutes discussing everything and all the possible options so I'm confident that he'll take good care of her and advise on the best thing for her, whether that be surgery or pain management.

He's calling me back later in the day to discuss what they've found so I'll post an update later.

Kim x

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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby Sirchow » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:27 am

I am so glad you have found someone who knows what they are talking about and that you feel comfortable leaving her with. Keep us updated please. [:D]
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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby chowhuskylass » Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:55 am

we are all thinking of you here, and hope for a good solution and a speedy recovery :)

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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby Kim - Suki » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:08 pm

Hi everyone, just to let you all know it turns out that Suki has somehow managed to rupture both her cruciate ligaments! I tell you, this dog doesn't do things by half does she? lol The vet said it was more than likely that because her right ligament had ruptured all her weight had put added pressure onto the left leg which had caused the left ligament to rupture. Even though I'm relieved we know what's wrong and we're getting it sorted now, I feel a bit dissapointed that my own vets has dragged it out for so long that it's caused her left leg to also rupture. I know they were trying to do what they thought best for Suki but I can't help but feel that if they'd referred her sooner maybe her left leg would have been ok. But anyway what's done is done now. So, anyway because her left one ruptured just this week we decided the best option would be to operate on that leg so she had that done this afternoon whilst she was under sedation, rather than putting her under again. We discussed about the other leg and whether it would be best to also operate on that in a few weeks or whether to try with the natural route of pain management. Because she's been resting for the past couple of weeks it's possible the right leg has already started the healing process and may be best to carry on with the rest and tlc. I'll definitely discuss this with the specialist tomorrow. Anyway, I phoned up twice this afternoon to get an update on her and they said she did really well with the surgery and came out of the anastethic ok. They said she was still a little snoozy but doing well. I can imagine how she's going to keep all the other dogs awake tonight, she sounds like a neumatic drill when she's snoring! lol

Anyway, I'll be going to pick her up tomorrow dinnertime as long as everything's alright tonight. I can't wait to go and get her, as much as she's a cheeky devil at times I'm missing her like mad already!

Will let you all know how we get on tomorrow, and whatever we decide for her right leg.

Kim x

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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby dannyoconnor430 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:34 am

Hi Kim so sorry to hear about this. When I first read the thread it just jumped out that it was exactly what Max had early last year. I had him operated on and the hardest bit is slowing them down - they really do have a high pain threshold. I can recommend after a few weeks taking her to Hydro (if there is one local - I live in Widnes and there is one around the corner), after about 2 weeks you can take her for little 5-10 min walks on a short lead and build her back up. I actually thought the stress of it all was going to finish Max off more than anything, I didn't sleep for about 4 days because he spent all night crying about his cone. He ended up tweaking his other knee earlier this year, however I've decided not to go for another operation simply because the severity isn't as bad - the vet did a draw test and it feels fine. She'll be back to herself in no time, as she builds up the strength in that knee (about 6 months) it may ease the pressure on the other and allow some less invasive rehab to get it back to a decent working level. But you can I suppose make a decision on that later. FYI Max has regained about 80% use of his leg, which isn't as good as a nice new one but a big improvement. It's been a long road but I take him out every day now for about 1 and 3 miles. I would also recommend feeding her a kibble that includes glucasamine - probably a "senior" variety, keep the protein level reasonable (to avoid excess weight) and keep her lean. I feed both of mine Arden Grange Senior with some fresh meat every day. Max's problem obviously can't be overcome with a bit of supplement but they are both better for being on that food. Althoug Holly still insists on spitting the biscuits out :-x

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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby Kim - Suki » Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:15 am

Hi all, well Suki is now back home with us which I am glad about. I phoned up this morning to check if she could come home and they said the specialist was happy for her to come home if they could see her up and walking but apparently she wouldn't budge. She just lay there with her nose in the air! 'That's my Suki' I thought. 'Always acting the diva!' lol. So, I phoned again later and they'd managed to get her out of the kennel, so I then went to pick her up and had a chat with the nurse (the ortho specialist wasn't there) but I've made an appointment for in 2 weeks so they can just check everything's going ok. She's absolutely shattered bless her, and has been mostly sleeping for the past couple of hours since we got home. She seems to have coped very well with everything and I'm pleased with the neatness of everything (pics below). The nurse said the only thing she didn't like was her cone. Apparently she kept hanging her head down so they took it off. They said as long as I'm with her and can check she isn't licking it she doesn't have to have it on 24/7. (Which I'm sure Suki will be glad about!)

The vet has prescribed more rimdyl for the pain and also Seraquin nutritional supplements for her to take.

dannyoconnor430 wrote:I can recommend after a few weeks taking her to Hydro (if there is one local - I live in Widnes and there is one around the corner),


Luckily, my local vets is inside a bigger building called MyPetStop and they have a hydrotherapy pool there. I've already made some enquiries and will definitely be taking her as soon as possible. I'm hoping that it will also help the right leg too.

Here are some pictures of Suki since we got back, and of her leg. She looks like a poodle! lol

I think she was just glad to be home and be able to get comfy!

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Her poor leg.

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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby Sirchow » Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:24 am

I am so glad you finally got the answeres to what the problem is and they were able to do what was needed. Poor Suki she looks whacked out. The difficulty will be in keeping her quiet once she gets up and around. They did a beautiful neat job.

Hugs to Suki. [:D]
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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby kingalls » Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:21 pm

\:D/ Glad Suki is home again - we hope her recovery is fast! Wow, just from the picture, it looks like 20 staples?
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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby Sydney » Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:46 pm

I'm so relieved that everything worked out well for Suki. She'll be just fine. Gracie never did need a cone however she had a harder wrap on her leg but she never did mess with it so I was most relieved when I didn't have to put a cone on her. I was also amazed at how well she recovered. Each day only gets better and better. The biggest problem we had was that we had to take her out on a leash because they can't run.........well Gracie will not poop on a leash and on day 4 we started to panic, so my husband drove to PetSmart and bought an x-pen to give her just enough area to let her do her business without the leash and we didn't have to worry about her running. After the 2nd week, we started walking her a couple of houses and increased it a little each day.

4 years ago we also put her and our male chow Cooper on Drs Foster & Smith "Joint Care Level 2" which after much research I found had the perfect levels and best combinations of Glucosamine sufate & HCL, Chondrotin Sufate & MSM. I have a crush the tablet and put it on their food add some fish oil and they love it. Cooper is about 8 or 9 years old now and Gracie is 6 1/2. Both are doing fine. Who knows how much it helps but it certainly hasn't hurt them.

It does seems that I hear of alot of chows who have had ACL surgeries. I sometimes wonder if it's because their legs are so straight. Again, I'm so glad to hear you got to to a great place and now lets just hope that the other leg can heal just by taking it easy. That's another thing that happened with Gracie her right leg was also torn and then the left leg went out later and we also decided to do the one that just went out and never had to do the right leg. But they did tell us that she could develop arthristis and that's the reason we decided on supplements for life.

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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby chowhuskylass » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:10 am

aww bless her i am chuffed she is home and did so well in surgery its such a weight off your mind, we are all thinking of you and suki's speedy trouble free recovery, you may find she may eat very little but don't worry as they need a complete cut down in food as she will be on restricted exercise for months, and the last thing you need on just fixed joints are extra weight lol
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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby Kim - Suki » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:34 am

Hi all, just a quick update on Suki. Well, things haven't been so good since we brought her home on Saturday. She was sick on Saturday afternoon, but it was just water so we weren't overly concerned. However, she was retching quite a lot but not producing anything and also wasn't eating. She didn't cry or show signs of discomfort, just the retching. So, last night she wasn't getting any better and still hadn't eaten so we rushed her to an out-of-hours surgery and found out that she's suffering from acid reflux. The vet said this could either be caused by the anaesthetic, or it could be because she's been on rimadyl which could have caused a problem. So, it's no wonder she wasn't eating. She's been prescribed TRAMADOL capsules for the pain from the operation, and OMEPRAZOLE capsules to try and settle the acid level in her stomach. She's also got ANTEPSIN SUSPENSION to coat the lining of the oesophagus. The vet gave her 3 injections last night, one for pain relief, one for the acid level in her stomach and one for anti-sickness. We didn't get back until 1am this morning so she's very tired and sleeping now, plus the vet said the injection can make her drowsy. I've managed to get the liquid down her this morning but don't know how I'm going to get the capsules down her. The vet said if she starts feeling better today she should get her appetite back. She's hasn't yet, but am not too worried just yet as I know it will take time for her stomach to settle. On the positive side, she hasn't retched since having the injections last night so hopefully it's started working already. Also, she hasn't done a poo since we brought her home, but I've read that some anaesthetic can cause constipation for the first 4-5 days after an operation.I just wondered if anyone else had ever experienced anything like this after a surgery, and how long before your dog started to get back to normal with eating, etc.

Kim & Suki x

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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby TJordan » Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:41 am

Oh I am so sorry to hear she is having extra problems. You might also ask about Novox, that is what Butters has been on for pain, it is suppose to be good and not cause a lot of problems. He is on both Tramadol and Novox, but he hates the tramadol (I know weird, but I think it must taste pretty bad)
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Re: Suki's Recovery Progress

Postby Kim - Suki » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:40 am

Just thought I'd post a quick update and let you all know how we're getting on after Suki's operation. Well, last night has been the worst so far. Suki hadn't been bothered about her leg but since last night she became more aware of it and began to bite it so I had to put the cone on her. She absolutely hated it and put up a bit of a fight but we managed to get it on her. She just sat and cried for a while, but eventually she managed to get comfy lying down and had a little sleep. This morning she's been banging into everything and is hanging her head a little because she doesn't like it but I'm sure she'll get used to it. She still hasn't eaten anything yet, but she hasn't done a poo either so I'm wondering if that is making her feel bloated and uncomfortable. Because when we're offering her food she's licking her lips and looks eager as if she wants it, but then she simply won't eat it. The only thing is, she's very fussy and will only poo on grass, and we only have a yard so the nearest grass is a 10 min walk away which we can't get to. So, I'm hoping she will decide to go in our back yard, if not I'm going to have to get some transport to get to the grass, let her do her business and come straight back. Since having the injection for the acid in her stomach, she's stopped the retching so that's a good sign. I just hope she starts pooing and eating normally again soon.

Kim & Suki x x

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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby CoraP. » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:09 pm

wow, I just read all this about Suki. I hope she is doing better now. What a lot of hassle and discomfort. Best wishes to you all!
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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby chowhuskylass » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:55 pm

Hi guys

Any update on how baby girl Suki is doing, i know you will have a busy few weeks to and fro from the vets and stuff, let us know how your all getting along

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Re: Concerned about Suki's legs

Postby Kim - Suki » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:52 am

Hi everyone, I just wanted to post a quick message to let everyone know how Suki is getting on. I haven't been on here for a while, the past month has just been hectic. Anyway, 4 weeks ago I took Suki for her follow-up appointment at the specialist vets. He removed the staples and her cone (which Suki was delighted about) and that was about it. I made another appointment for 2 weeks ago but I had a stomach bug so we're back there next Wednesday instead. All in all she is doing fantastically well, the specialist even said last time that she was walking much better than he would have expected just 2 weeks after surgery which I was very pleased about. Since then, she is walking even better. She is bearing full weight on both back legs and sometimes when I watch her walk it looks like there was never anything even wrong with her. Next week will be 8 weeks since her operation so I'm hoping the specialist will give me some sort of plan as to walking her now, even just 2 minutes and gradually build her up because she is dying to go outside! Her fur is growing back, very slowly but surely. She seems a lot happier in herself too. Before her operation and for a few weeks after she was very miserable and snappy too. I only had to go near her legs and she warned me off with a growl but now, she's letting me groom her and I can touch her legs without a problem. It's like she's a different dog, back to how she used to be before all the pain. The only thing now is that she's had a little bit of mild diarrhea lately but I'm wondering if that's caused by the tablets she's been on. I'll discuss this with the vet next Wednesday.

Relaxing yesterday, you can see her fur growing back.

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