I hope some of you can help with a problem my 1-year-old staffy has. A few weeks ago we noticed she was limping on her back left leg, took her off to the vet and he said her main complaint is a partially torn cruciate ligament. He also said she has a luxating patella, but he didn't seem too worried about this since it didn't seem to be what was causing her pain. In addition to these things, he also said she has arthritis.
I am a little concerned that he diagnosed all of this without any x-rays etc. He did it all by poking and prodding her until she reacted. Is this normal?
He said that all we could do was take her home, wait for the ligament to tear completely, and then get her in for surgery. He didn't advise of any special treatment in the meantime apart from starting her on glucosamine and anti-inflammatories. Oh and also trying to lose a little weight.
From what the vet said, surgery is the only option and just a matter of time, but from reading past posts I get the impression that there are mixed results from the surgery and that some dogs live quite happily without it. If our staffy needs the surgery, we won't hesitate to get it done. But if there are other things we can do to avoid it, I would like to know what they are. Can someone provide any specific tips on what we can do?
What exercise should she be doing or not doing? Keeping in mind the vet said she needs to lose a bit of weight. Over the last couple of months we've been very slack and not been going for walks, however we live on 5 acres so she has the run of the block if she wants it. We also have a couple of dams that I suspect she goes swimming in because sometimes she comes back smelling like a rubbish tip. Also occasionally we go to the beach for a bit of a run and a swim.
At the moment she is only limping sometimes, so it doesn't seem to be bothering her too much. I'm not really sure how I will know when the ligament has torn completely and therefore its time to go back to the vet. From those who have been through this experience - is it something that I will definitely know when it happens?
Thanks to anyone who can help - sorry about such a long post!