Bulging disk and fluctuating patella

Dog Food Advisor Forums Off Topic Forum Bulging disk and fluctuating patella

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  • #51064 Report Abuse

    I was home most of the day yesterday for a change (which worked out great because my room mate worked later than usual), so I got to have a chill day with Bentley and the Kitty.

    Some time after 6:30 or so, Bentley was napping on the couch, and twice within a half hour, he jumped up, startled, looking like someone had smacked him in his sleep or something, when no one had even touched him. He wouldn’t even jump down off the couch without some encouraging, and when he did, he looked like he had gotten in trouble, and would skulk to his bed with a pathetic look on his face.

    Then about 8, I took him out to go potty, he took about two steps into the grass and just started screaming and biting at his back foot. I went over to him thinking it was a sand spur (he hates having things stuck in his paws), and picked him up. He wouldn’t even let me touch his foot to see what was wrong. He was crying so loudly the neighbor came out to see if he was ok! Dogs got some lungs!

    So I brought him inside, forced him to sit still and let me look, and found nothing. His foot was all swilled and red, though, and it had a huge lump on top of it. It was hard, like bone. No idea what that was about. Of course this whole time, he’s crying and flipping out like I’m killing him or something.

    So I let him go, and he hops all the way to his bed with his foot pulled up against his stomach, crying and making pathetic noises the whole way there. He’s starting to clam down some at this point, thankfully, and started to put some weight back on the leg after laying down for a couple minutes.

    Of course, it’s 8:00 at night, the only option is the emergency vet if he doesn’t start getting any better. Lord knows I can’t afford that crap! So I called mom, told her what was going on. While I was on the phone with her, he put full weight on the leg and it popped loudly, and he started walking much better after at. Still limping, and hurting, but at least he could get round without screaming. Since he started doing better, we decided to just wait till the morning to take him to the vet I’m interning at (he specializes in orthopedics), and go from there.

    After that, he spent most of the night in his bed, only coming out for some food, which he did keep a good deal of weight on his leg to eat, and then later came out when I started scooping out the other dogs dinners, which I gave him a few kibbles of lol The lump on his foot started to get smaller, and the swelling went down over night, as well.

    I brought his cage into my room so I could hear him if he started crying again, and he slept through most of the night, only waking up to be upset that he was locked and the cat wasn’t. Got up early this morning, he was moving around much better, and didn’t seem to really be in any pain, but still limping a little. We got to the vet at 8:30, and hung out till 9 when the tech got there to help him, and after an exam, he diagnosed Bentley with a bulging disk and a grade one fluctuating patella, meaning it’s pretty mild, and there no reason for concern at the time. (At the vet, we just did a knee surgery on a little pom with a grade four, hopefully it never gets to that! That was interesting surgery, though). While we were waiting, I took him out to go potty, and he was hopping on the one leg at a trot. Still putting weight on it, but moving it faster than the “good” leg. And he usually squats to pee, but he lifted his ouchy leg up to pee. That was a pretty funny sight, actually. He was like somewhere between squatting and lifting his leg, as far as his over all stance was lol

    He sent us home with some Previcox (anyone use this before?), and said to try to keep him from jumping the best we could. Being a terrier, we both know he’s going to do whatever the heck he wants to do lol I told mom to buy him some doggy steps for her bed, since it’s really high, especially for an 8 pound dog. I may also get some no-slip rugs for around the couches, as well, since the living room has tile.

    Anyways, anyone with dogs that have either of these conditions? What do you guys do for them? Any tips on teaching this little brat to wait to be lifted up on to the couches or beds? I try to stop him, but if I’m not watching he does it himself lol The vet shops at the publix I work at, told I told him he was being a brat this morning after the visit and doing whatever he wanted when I wasn’t watching him. He laughed and said “he’s a terrier!” If anyone has any info or tips for me, throw them my way!

    #51066 Report Abuse

    Hi Akari-I have had several dogs with luxating patella and none ever needed surgery. I would be more concerned with the bulging disk as you do not want it to rupture. I had a dog with one for many years, and besides the occasional flareup, he was fine. However, we did restrict his jumping etc. When we were not home, he was left in the mud room behind a baby gate because if left to his own devices he would have been leaping.

    #51067 Report Abuse

    Hi Akari. Sorry to hear about your little guy. I’ve had toy dogs before with luxating patellas that were grade one and never progressed any further. Hannah, my 15 year old maltese was diagnosed grade one when she was about two years old, maybe a little younger. It is still a level one so I don’t think you really need to worry too much about that. Katie, my maltipoo with all the issues, had a laxating patella at the age of about 1 1/2 years old grade four. She had to have surgery, then the water treadmill for physical therapy. I swear that knee is stronger than her others and her others are normal. My dogs are tiny if you remember and basically our house belongs to them, so with that said, I have carpeted dog steps that go up to our bed, and carpeted dog steps that go up to the sofa in the den and one for the media room. The one thing that you know about tiny dogs is that they love to run and jump up and down off the furniture and the bed. That’s a great big no no. Took a little bit of time to train them that going up and down the stairs to bed and sofa was ever much better for them. Initially they tried to go around the steps to jump up and down. It’s been years now and they ALWAYS use the stairs. When I’m out, I restrict Lola and Katie to their crates in the kitchen and Hannah is loose in the kitchen. I don’t ever let them have the run of the house when I’m not home.

    As Melissa stated, and I agree, I would be more concerned with the bulging disc. Any ideas or guesses from you or the tech as to how this could have so suddenly happened? As to the Previcox, I’ve never heard of it. What’s it for? Did he suggest any specialist, chiropractor, etc. to help about the bulging disc? So strange for this to happen so suddenly. Usually you pretty much know when they’ve landed to hard or took a corner at a weird angle running through the house. Hmmmmm?

    I just went on line and googled Previcox and it’s a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and pain med. Did they tell you about any side effects to look for while on the meds? If not, just google it so you’ll be aware what to look for. Supposedly it acts pretty quickly. It’s a prescription medication only.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 11 months ago by Dori.
    #51070 Report Abuse
    Bobby dog

    Poor Bentley, sorry you guys are going through this.

    #51098 Report Abuse

    Hi Akari-

    If your dog is still limping on one of the legs, it might be worth having him rechecked. Bulging disc is a diagnosis that is presumptive based on certain symptoms but can be difficult to confirm without advanced imaging such as MRI or myelogram. If it’s a back leg he’s limping on, it seems somewhat less likely that it would be due to a bulging disc, although it is possible.

    I’ve seen dogs get their patella stuck out of the correct position and cause a lot of discomfort until it pops back in. Sounds like what you are describing. But if he is still lame, that could be a bit more of an issue than a grade 1 luxating patella. Consider making a recheck appointment or at the very least, call your vet’s office and tell them what’s happening.


    #51112 Report Abuse

    Thanks guys! Tabitha, it is his back right leg, yes.

    As for how any of this may have happened, who knows. He’s so active and clumsy, it really could be anything. He acts like a young Lab, running around like a bulldozer. Like, think of Marley and Me, and make Marley about 13 times smaller, and that’s how Bentley is. The vet is an orthopedic vet, but does all the normal vet stuff, as well. He said he wasn’t too worried about either of his problems at this point, and gave the Previcox to reduce the inflammation and take away the pain of the disk, so that it didn’t become a real problem. He gave a 10 day script, but said to just use it for 5 days, and the rest for if he needs it later.

    This morning, when we first got up, he was moving around fine, and was even doing ok at the vet. But after he had been moving around for a while (we got to the vet 30 minutes before they start appointments, so I let him walk around the waiting room off leash, and went out for a potty break while we waited), he started to get a little sore. The vet also messed around with his knee cap, which he totally flipped out about, so I’m sure that added to his ouchiness. He kept a good trot all the way to the car, though (by choice– he was ready to get outta there lol) but did “skip” with his bad leg every step rather than every 10-20 like he used to, and jumped up into the car (after I told him to wait so I could pick him up. Brat….). By the time we got home, he was limping just a little bit. If I didn’t see this dog walk every day for the last two years, I probably wouldn’t have even I noticed he was limping. It looks like, right now, he’s sore when he firsts gets started, and then once a he’s going, he good.

    I was watching him walk tonight, now that I’m home from work, and his bad leg seems very fluid in it’s motions, and his hips swing out farther. Looks like he’s doing his best to keep from bending that knee. More power to him I suppose.I know “fluid” and “not bending” don’t really go together, but that’s what he’s doing lol I’ll have t try for a video of him walking so you guys can see what I’m talking about.

    He’s still jumping on all the furniture, which is driving me crazy. It’ll take a lot of work to keep him from doing that! I keep telling him to wait when I see him going for the bed or couch (or the floor, for that matter), but that terrier mentally blocks me out about half the time. My guess is whatever happened last night has really stressed either the nerves or the muscles, etc in his leg, and they’ll be messed up for a while, and maybe even forever. Oh! And tonight, he did lift his leg and pee, and used his bad leg to support himself (lifting his good leg), so it either really can’t hurt that bad, or he’s just stubborn. Probably a little of both lol He did jump off the bed before I could grab and he came back in about a minute later with a sad look on his face. He landed pretty hard, and imagine it hurt. Who knows if it was his back or his knee, though.

    So, for now we are all just going to watch him, and see how he does for a while. If he continues limping too much, I’ll talk to the vet. I’m there for my internship twice a week anyways, so I can always just ask him when there, and he wants to see him, I’ll take him. If he was going to be as bad this morning as he was last night, I was all prepared to ask for x-rays, because last night was terrible. But he seems ok for now, so we’ll just hang out and keep an eye on him. And try out best to keep him from getting on and off the furniture by himself lol

    I posted some house rules when it comes to Bentley. I resisted the urge to write “NO FUN” on there LOL


    He’s not too happy about them.


    #51118 Report Abuse

    Hi Askari. Bentleys a real cutie pie. Please keep us posted. I’m not comfortable with the vets wait and see approach. This could feasibly start affecting his hip also which is a much bigger issue than the luxating patella which may actually be a higher grade than a one for him to be in such excruciating pain. As you know, it must be very painful because dogs never let you know when their in pain. It goes back to their being in the wild and not appearing weak to the others. Please keep us posted.

    #51125 Report Abuse

    I don’t think he’s in any terrible pain. He may be a little uncomfortable, and get a twinge every now and then, but this dog is literally the biggest baby I’ve ever seen. He screams if he’s he’s done something wrong and you come towards him too quickly, or if someone he doesn’t want holding him holds him too long. I think yesterday he was just still sore from whatever happened the other night, and from the vet messing around with his knee.

    This morning he’s walking much better. Still a bit of a swing in his hips, but it doesn’t seem as exaggerated as it was yesterday, and leg is moving more normally now. Still keeping from bending the knee, but he doesn’t appear to be limping on it.

    He is really sleepy this morning. He’s usually running around with the cat and the two of them act like maniacs until I yell a them to stop, but Bentleys right here on the couch next to me. I heard something pop from across the room, so not too sure what that’s about. He skulked over to me after that, and tried to jump on the couch, but stopped when I told him to wait so I could lift him up. I’ll let the vet know about how he is, and see what he says.

    #51431 Report Abuse

    Just giving you guys an update on Bentley. I have doggy stairs on order for moms bed, and they should be here within a week or so (got them really cheap with free shipping on Amazon, so you know how that goes lol). We are also on the lookout for the perfect stepping stool for the couch, since the space in the living room doesn’t really allow for doggy steps, and the couch is only 19 inches high, so a small stool should be fine.

    Also, his hips are no longer swinging as he walks. Yay! His knee still bothers him, as he still limps a good deal of the time (usually only a very slightly), but we are doing our best to keep him from jumping. The only way that seems to be working for him is a very stern “No!” or “Wait!” and he gets his little feelings hurt every time he goes to jump and we are there to correct him, but it’s better than hurting himself any further.

    He cried sometimes when you pet the back of his neck. I’ll be interning at the vet again Tuesday, so I’ll ask him what he thinks about that. I think we may need to do some X-rays in that area. I’ll go ahead and give him the full 10 day run of the previcox, since he still seems to be hurting. He said to do 5 days, and gave him 10 days for just-in-case, so I might as well use it if he needs it.

    #51667 Report Abuse
    Bobby dog

    Glad to hear Bentley is more comfortable and appears to be moving better!! 🙂 Has the Vet given you anymore input?

    #51670 Report Abuse

    I asked the vet about him crying when petting his neck, and he said it’s probably him gearing up for it to hurt, since it’s not every time. He thinks Bentley is expecting it to hurt, and is letting whoever is petting him knows he doesn’t particularly want it. He said to go ahead and give the next 5 days of Previcox, and see how it goes from there, which we were already on day 7 anyways lol

    He’s having a hard time with the whole not jumping thing lol This morning though, the cat came running in with Bentley right behind him, and cat jump on the bed, and few minutes later, I realized Bentley wasn’t on the bed! So leaned over to see what sort of bad things he was doing, and he was actually sitting on the floor waiting for me to pick him up, doing that whole body wiggle, I-can’t-contain-my-engery sort of thing. So I picked him up, and he passed out for about a half out or so.

    Then just now, we were outside, and I noticed he was limping a little bit, and was reluctant to go in the grass. He was wired last night, running all over the house, jumping on all the furniture, and doing bad things with the cat. Couldn’t get him him to stop at all. I wonder if he’s sore from all that, and then still remembering the last time he went in the grass hurting and whatever it was that happened to his foot/knee that made it swell and ouchy. His need to pee soon overrode his reluctance to go in the grass, though he didn’t go very far lol

    #51679 Report Abuse

    Hi Akari. Don’t have time to read through all the posts on the thread. Hannah’s got a follow up appt. with oncologist but I was wondering if you eventually got an ultra sound or X-ray done? I’ll check back later this evening. Glad Bentley seems to be doing better but I’m still concerned about the “bulging disk” diagnosis without ultrasound or X-ray.

    In my experience Grade 1 luxating patellas don’t normally cause the symptoms that you are seeing with Bentley. I’m not saying that it can’t happen but not normally with a grade 1.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by Dori.
    #51683 Report Abuse

    I have not gotten any X-rays done on him, no. It is something I would like to do, should he not improve after the steps get here and he doesn’t have much more of a reason to jump on furniture any more, though. Mom will no longer be working out of town here soon, so she will be home to deal with anything like that. It’s her dog, so in the end, she’s the one deciding what gets done. I can nag her about things all I want, but if she doesn’t decide she wants to do something, she won’t do it. She’s taking this pretty seriously, though.

    #51768 Report Abuse

    Doggy steps are here! Been trying to get him to use them every time he goes up or down whatever piece of furniture they’re on (moving them between moms bed to the couch right now). He’s doing pretty good, but jumping is so ingrained that it’ll be a hard habit to break. He is figuring out that if he uses the steps, he gets a treat, though. Last night, he spent about an hour going up and down them, sitting at the top of them, laying on them– doing anything he could to get treats LOL

    At one point, he did get “stuck” on them, too lol He was sitting on the top two tiers, with his butt on the very top one, and he really wanted to turn around and go up them the rest of the way (for a treat, of course!), but he couldn’t, for the life of him, figure out how to turn around LOL Special dog is special :p

    So anyways, step-using is going pretty good. He tries to avoid them sometimes, like jumping completely over them, but over all, for just getting last night, he’s not doing too bad 🙂

    #51770 Report Abuse
    Bobby dog

    Awe, he’ll get the hang of it! Especially if he tweeks his leg and figures out he can get to where he wants to be without pain.

    I just put some steps out for my hyper-t kitty, he also has arthritis. I noticed he was hesitating to jump onto the picnic table where his food is a few weeks ago. Normally he would run in, jump on the bench, then the table. One day he started hesitating and acting like he was going to jump, but just couldn’t. Luckily through the years I have acquired a small collection of steps. He loves them and it is now his place to sleep for some reason; or maybe he doesn’t want anyone else to use them. lol

    #51772 Report Abuse

    That was me who accidentally reported that last post. This is now the second time I’ve done this while scrolling thru the posts on my touch screen iPad. I’m sorry! It doesn’t ask if I really want to do it. I just barely touched it and off it went! I need to become left handed on this site! Lol!

    #51775 Report Abuse

    It should have a way of undoing it. If you accidentally like or dislike a post you can undo it but not for reporting…argh..

    #51784 Report Abuse
    Bobby dog


    #51920 Report Abuse

    Some other random post was reported too LOL You’re really good at clicking random things C4C! XD

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