Jilly suddenly began walking on three legs while we were out at the park last Sunday. I couldn’t figure out how she got injured, and our vet was closed until Tuesday because it was a holiday weekend. I thought she must have somehow dislocated her right hip, and we went in for x-rays on Tuesday.  I was surprised to find out that her hips and patellae are totally normal; in fact, they are “excellent.” But on exam, she had a positive drawer, knee movement she’s not supposed to have, meaning she has a torn cruciate ligament.

Because she is so small and weighs only twenty pounds, she may recover on her own and not need surgery, so the plan is watchful waiting to see if she improves. No more walks for probably six months. She already seems improved and is touching the foot down now, but she is on pain medication, so she may or may not really be getting better. The horrible thing is that with or without surgery, she will develop arthritis in that leg. She will be taking glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM for the rest of her life to try to minimize this. I take those myself to keep my joints healthy; I’m getting older, and so many people younger than I am are needing joint replacements, but I’m sad because Jilly, who lives to chase balls, is suddenly an old lady now at age three.


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