I thought this odd, seeing as how we walk for an hour every morning and go out to the yard at least twice daily to play and he’d shown no signs of discomfort while doing our normal activities.
Saturday the 14th, he stood up after lying between my husband’s feet on the deck and didn’t put weight on his right hind leg. As the evening went on he seemed to be having more and more difficulty getting up off the floor.
We went to the Veterinary Emergency Center and they examined him, determining that he had good range of motion, didn’t yelp or show signs of pain when they manipulated the leg, but they were fairly certain it was likely one of two things.
Apparently, when otherwise healthy, young dogs show symptoms of lameness without evidence of an injury it can be a sign of Lyme Disease or a partial tear of the ACL tendon.
They did blood work and ruled out Lyme Disease, which pleased me, seeing as how we have him vaccinated annually for Lyme Disease.
They said they were nearly certain it was a partial tear of the ACL in his right hind leg, as there was some minimal swelling on his knee. They wanted to put him to sleep and x-ray the leg, but it was already 8:30 pm and we’d been there for nearly 3 hours waiting to be seen and my son was home alone, so I asked if there was something we could do for him over the weekend, until I could get with my own Vet on Monday morning to have the x-rays done.
They prescribed a steroid/anti-inflammatory medication and a pain medication (the same one I take). They told me there could be no walking (other than going into the back yard to relieve himself), no playing, no jumping until it completely healed, as a complete tear would require surgery.
After arguing with my regular Vet to try to get in for the x-rays, having them down-play the seriousness of the injury, I got some advice from a fellow Husky owner as to where to go to get the x-rays done. I went to this other Veterinary office, where they put him to sleep and did the x-rays on Tuesday.
When I went to pick him up he was still under the effects of the anesthesia, hardly able to walk, his pupils fully dilated, so he wasn’t seeing well. The result of the testing was that he definitely has a partial tear of the tendon. His bones and joints are all good, tight, no sign of arthritis.
They told me this injury is common in athletic dogs. A simple foot plant and twist of the leg or shift of body weight can cause a slight tear that can manifest in weakness in the limb.
For 4-6 weeks he’s prohibited from walking any further than to the yard to do his business, no playing of any kind and no jumping up on the bed. He’s to rest, rest, rest. The pain medication will cause sedation. He’s not to leave the house off-leash.
So I’m walking him out to the yard and making a small circle around the yard to keep his muscles from stiffening. He’s getting his medication every 12 hours until 2 complete courses of the steroid are completed. We took the bed frame out of the master bedroom and put the mattress and foundation on the floor, so Kodi can get in and out of bed with a slight hop. The Vet approved this option, saying, do what you must to “keep him sane.”
So, I’ve been busy, monitoring his activity, taking him in and out, giving medication, resting with him so he will be quiet and relax.
We won’t be able to go for walks again until the end of October. The Vet told me to complete all the medication and by the time we’re done with it, the tendon should have healed. Then we’ll have to be careful about how much we exercise him, so he doesn’t injure it again.
Needless to say, since being separated while he was anesthetized, he won’t leave my side. I even stayed home on Friday, opting not to go grocery shopping with my husband and son, so I could reassure Kodi and keep him calm and relaxed.
This is going to be a long 6 week Husky recovery.