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Can dogs get cramps or muscle pulls/strains?
  • AWE46M3AWE46M3
    Posts: 357
    We were at the dog park today and our dog was his normal self - running around all crazy. As we were getting ready to leave, after about an hour, he was walking over to me as I was about to put his leash on and he sort of stopped and pulled up one of his rear legs. The leg was noticeably limp, but there was no whimpering, screaming, or other signs of distress. I put his leash on and was concerned that he would not be able to walk on it. Pretty much as soon as I put the leash on and felt his leg, he put it down and stood normally. We walked back to the car and I was watching closely and he appeared to be walking fine. He jumped into the car and when we got home he ran into the house and jumped on the couch - as if nothing happened. I've been watching him closely since we got home and he's moving around fine - no signs of distress.

    So I'm curious of dogs can develop a cramp or pull a muscle like humans can after pro-longed activity. Of course I do not want to underestimate what the issue could be but I also don't want to overreact.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    Maybe he popped his knee cap. Has the Vet checked his patellas? That sounds very much like a slipped knee cap.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • AWE46M3AWE46M3
    Posts: 357
    Is that something a vet would check as part of his yearly check-up? During his last check-up I watched the vet pull on his rear legs to extend them out and said everything seemed good - not sure what she was checking for though. His last check-up was in February. This is the first time my wife or I have ever witnessed anything like this so it's something we've never even brought up with the vet previously.

    Is a popped knee cap a LP issue?

    Not sure if this next part is relevant at all, but he routinely gets daily walks of about 1mile in the AM, but this week he hadn't been out on a walk since Tuesday due to combination of weather, the holiday, and being outside in the backyard more than usual (wife was off of work).

  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3470
    Yes that is something a vet would do at a yearly check up. Not only would they extend the front AND back legs out, they would bend the legs at the knees and elbows to check the joints.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    Yes, it's also called luxating patella. That is a special exam that vets may not routinely do.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • AWE46M3AWE46M3
    Posts: 357
    Ok, thanks. My vet does what Bootz mentioned above - extending and contracting the front and rear legs. I get the impression, however, that is not an actual patella exam like you are referring to. I did a quick search on here and it seems like xrays may be part of the patella exam and we certainly have not had any xrays done.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3470
    Correct me if I'm wrong but most vets can tell by feel first right? And then turn to X-rays for extreme cases?
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    You don't need X-rays for a simple patella exam, maybe if the Vet feels something wrong, but initially they are just checking manually.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • AWE46M3AWE46M3
    Posts: 357
    Ok, I'll bing it up during his next visit or take him in if I notice him favoring that leg again so the vet can examine his knees more thoroughly.

    If his knee cap did pop out, is he able to feel it or any pain? I am asking since he didn't really seem to have any sort of reaction to it. He just stopped waking toward me and pulled the leg up.

    There was a younger dog that was fairly mouthy and going after limbs and I know it got that leg once but the dog seemed pretty soft mouthed and wasn't latching onto any dogs - my wife thought it had something to do with that but I sort of doubt it. I think if it had anything to do with that our dog would have told the other dog off, which he didn't.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3470
    @AWE46M3, lol Tatonka did that to Bootz. My bf didn't like it too much since Bootz has a level 1 on her back leg. So we had to correct him with "ah ah, no no!"
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    Having sustained a similar injury myself playing basketball, it was quite painful. However, dogs can be pretty stoic about these things, but I think it is in the least, uncomfortable, and with severe cases, very painful. Who knows, it could be that he just stepped in something funky and decided to carry the leg. It isn't a very complicated test and the Vet shouldn't charge to check for it.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg

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