As much as one would consider lameness to be one of the symptoms the cause of which can be easily identified, many times it's nothing short of mystery.
A long time ago I have already learned that what you think you see is not always what you got.
It was that way with Jasmine, it has been that way with Cookie and it has been that way with many of my friends. Believe it or not, the cause of lameness can be very hard to nail down. You can jump to conclusions, your vet can jump to conclusions ... One of hubby's favorite lines is, "I know you're certain, but are you right?"
There can be a vast gap between one's conviction and reality.
I try hard not to assume which can be hard particularly if you do have a strong suspect. Here is another example of how mysterious lameness can really be.
Two things happened that day.
Well, two things I know that happened that day. Two things that were out of the ordinary.
While walking around with Cookie looking for mice, she must have spotted one and dove under a trailer axle. Yes, she was on leash but it happened in a blink of an eye. She normally doesn't like crawling under stuff. It was obvious she had a very good reason. With her size and how low the axle is also quite a challenging move. Motivation was clearly high.
Since I have been still trying to avoid anything too challenging, I wasn't thrilled with that. And she still had one more trip under ahead of her because that was the only way to get out of there. The second trip was nowhere near as graceful because the motivation was much weaker.
I was concerned about the moves her body had to do in order to get in and out.
She looked fine, though, and went about her business of looking for critters. We then went to the office so I could get some more work one, had couple more shorter outings because it was getting hot. Everything seemed in order.
Toward the end of our afternoon walks we were walking across an open area. There was nothing challenging about the terrain that I could tell. No holes, no rocks, no logs ... just a bit of open area with a bunch of old grass.
We were walking slowly because we were going back to cool down. Cookie was behind me when I heard a yelp. I quickly turned around to see what happened.
Everything seemed fine.
The next time, coming out of the office, I though I might have seen her favoring her hind left leg for a step or two. It was very quick and hardly noticeable. And nothing seemed off after that. We had our walksie and there were no signs of trouble.
It wasn't until after dinner, when I was going to take them potty for the last time.
Cookie got up and was visibly favoring her hind left leg.
Not for long, walked out of it quite quickly. But my heart sank. Hind left leg. The one where the cruciate was bad. Yes, we did the PRP and we were doing tons of physical therapy, laser therapy, acupuncture ... Yes, everything seemed fine. Yes, we thought we were in the clear.
But are you ever in the clear?
The logical approach would be connecting the limp with the yelp. Something happened there that made her yelp. Something I didn't see because I was walking ahead of her.
On the other hand I couldn't imagine what could have possibly happened in that terrain at that speed. Perhaps she stepped on something and hurt her foot?
I examined the foot but couldn't find anything. I examined the rest of her and as much as I could tell I didn't find anything.
The foot looked fine.
And what would be the odds that if she did step on something that she would hurt specifically the foot on the hind left leg? That would have to be quite a coincidence.
Then I remembered the adventure under the trailer. Could she have done something then? I was quite distraught. Was all our effort trying to get that knee healed wasted just like that?
After some deliberation and consultation I gave her some Deramaxx and all we could do was to wait to see what things looked like in the morning.
In the morning Cookie got up and there was nothing wrong as far as we could tell.
No lameness, no favoring. She had a previously made appointment with her acupuncture vet that day. We did share what happened with the vet. She too didn't find anything other that pain response in one of her thigh muscles.
The next day we had an appointment with Jasmine's vet for follow-up evaluation after Cookie's PRP treatment. Originally we wanted assess how well the knee(s) were doing. Now I was concerned.
I did tell him what happened. He evaluated Cookie thoroughly and even knowing about the events two days ago, didn't find any problems at all.
In fact, he was pleased and found Cookie's knees stable and happy.
So what happened? We will never know. Perhaps she strained the thigh muscle climbing under that axle. Perhaps she strained it doing something else all together, as her body is still adjusting to the increase of activity. Perhaps she did step on something. Perhaps the yelp had nothing to do with the lameness whatsoever.
We will never know.
I'm just happy that the knees checked out, she seems fine and whatever did happen was short lasting.
Diagnosis is sometimes like solving a murder mystery. And some mysteries never get solved.
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: What's that Limp?
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot?
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit?
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking To Closely?
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?
Happy Birthday, Cookie
Incontinence? Cookie's Mysterious Leaks
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps
Cookie's Mysterious Bumps Update
One Vomit, No Vomit
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
Cookie's Leaks Are Back: Garden Variety Incontinence Or Not?
Cookie's Leaks Update
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is
The Continuing Saga Of Cookie's Leeks: Trying Chiropractic Approach
Cookie's Minor Eye Irritation
Regular Wellness Exam: Cookie's ALT Was Elevated
Cookie's Plantar Paw Pad Injury
How Far To Take It When The Dog Isn't Sick?
Cookie Has Tapeworm Infection
Cookie's Elevated ALT: The Ultrasound and Cytology
Cookie's ALT Update
The Importance of Observation: Cookie's Chiropractic Adjustment
Sometimes You Don't Even Know What You're Looking at: Cookie's Scary "We Have No Idea What that Was"
Living with an Incontinent Dog
Summer Dangers: Cookie Gets Stung by a Bald-faced Hornet
To Breathe or Not To Breathe: Cookie's Hind Legs Transiently Fail to Work (Again)
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Process
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Diagnosis
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Trazodone
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Other Medications
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Laser, Hydrotherapy and Chiropractic
Cookie's Recovery from Iliopsoas Injury: ToeGrips
It Never Rains ... Cookie's New Injury
Mixed Emotions: When What You Should Do Might Not Be What You Should Do for Your Dog
Cookie's New Injury Update
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: The Symptoms
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: Battling the Zoomies
Cookie's Muscle Injuries: What Else Is Going On?
Theory and Actual Decisions for an Actual Dog Aren't the Same Thing: Cookie's Knee Injury
Does Your Vet Listen to You? Cookie's Post-Sedation Complications
Would I Ever Treat a Symptom Directly?
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment for Cookie's Bad Knee(s)
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Cookie's Bad Cruciate Update
Injury or Surgery Recovery: Mishaps versus Setbacks
See Something, Do Something: Cookie's Lumpectomy
Cookie's Lumpectomy Update
Using Pressure Pads to Evaluate Lameness in Dogs: My Observations
Cookie's Musculoskeletal Challenges: What Supplements Am I Using?
Cookie's Musculoskeletal Challenges: Restricted Activity and Weight Management
Cookie's PRP Treatment for Partial Cruciate Tear: Update