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Three-Legged Lame

Hi All,

Oscar here.

This weeks subject is actually one that its a bit odd we have not yet discussed as its one thats of the utmost importance to Dr. S. This medical affliction is in fact one that is near and dear to the good docs heart—knee troubles.

As you may or may not know. Dr. S. has not one, but two artificial knees, the result of two knee replacement surgeries in the recent past. Thrilled with his decision to swap out his faulty knee equipment for new ones, Dr. S. has recently gained new mobility, the likes of which he never thought hed have again, enabling him to ski, bike, and walk, pain free.

Thats why, when his niece recently brought in her adorable little maltese who appeared to be in a lot of knee pain, Dr. S. felt even more of a desire to heal her pains than ever. For a bit of medical minutiae here, the pooch cmaltese3ame in exhibiting something called three legged lame which is basically a condition where the dog doesnt put weight on one of their four legs.

Knee troubles, a chronic condition in little dogs such as this one, manifest in a number of different ways but in this situation, the dog suffered from a pre-existing dislocating kneecap where the kneecap slipped and slid in and out of the knee socket. Basically, think of the knee as a ball bearing and a socket. In a perfectly functioning knee, the bearing stays in the socket. Buutttt, when it doesnt, well, in and out it slips. Because of this recurring kneecap problem and the chronic wear and tear on the dogs joint, the anterior cruciate ligament ruptured. This particular situation tends to exhibit most frequently in athletes—Dr. S. tore his when playing basketball as a young-in. So its a little ironic that this happens a lot in tiny dogs who are probably not all that athletically inclined. But, so it goes.

Anyway, to heal the tear, Dr. S. had to go in and deepen the groove in the knee cap to make a deeper trench for the joint to rest in and, to make the kneecap more stable. He also had to put in a synthetic ligament to recreate the function of the now inefficient anterior cruciate ligament. Fortunately, the surgery was a success and the little pooch is once more bounding around, a bundle of joy as always.

Remember, be on the lookout for any changes in your dogs bearing or the way they carry themselves. If something looks off (i.e. theyre putting their weight on three out of four legs), its probably a good idea to bring them in for a checkup.

Til next time,

Oscar

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