Seven months ago, Sampson did a partial CCL tear on his right knee. The week before the partial tear, he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and a heart murmur. So surgery to repair the tear was not an option.
Instead, we had to give Sampson time…time to let some scar tissue to build up and provide some support in that knee.
It’s been a very painful process. Poor Sampson has no choice but to walk and use that bum leg. We did our best to limit his use of the leg and have given him a number of different supplements. Even so, you can see by watching Sampson that it’s a challenge. I can’t even watch him walk because it just hurts my heart.
From what I understand, a non-surgical healing of the knee takes a minimum of six to seven months, so I thought now was a good time to have it checked to see where we’re at.
So on Thursday, August 11th, Sampson went to the vet for a check on his right knee.
After examining him, Dr. Soutter said the knee has thickened, which is what is expected, but sadly, both of his Iliopsoas (ill-e-oh-so-as)Muscles are strained.
The Iliopsoas muscle is a very deep muscle right in the crease where the leg meets the hip. Because it is so deep, and does such an important job, it can take a very long time to heal. Iliopsoas strains are very common in big dogs, with CCL injuries.
Now mind, Sampson’s had shaky legs since last October and I brought this to her attention at his annual exam in the beginning of November. At that time, she said it was old age tremors. But I never really bought that. I really thought it was muscular. So needless to say, I’m a wee bit pissed off that he’s been struggling with this for so long, undiagnosed.
I put my anger aside, and we discussed what types of treatments/supplements/medications we could give to Sampson to help him feel better.
Currently he gets Dasaquan, LigaPlex II, Catalyn and Green Lipped Mussel for supplements. For pharmaceuticals he gets Gabapentin and Carprofen.
I asked about Adequan injections and acupuncture. She feels with the tightness of the Iliopsoas, it really wouldn’t help right now.
So then I asked about muscle relaxers. I mean, the muscles are tight right? In my mind the logical step is something that relaxes the muscle. My vet said she normally wouldn’t suggest it, but she felt in this case, he could really benefit from them. So he came home with a bottle of Methocarbamol, with the instructions to start out with 1 three times per day, but the actual dosage would be 1 1/2 three times per day. She just wanted to make sure they didn’t make him loopy.
I started him out with one twice a day, and have maintained that schedule with him. So far, he’s maintaining his sense of decorum.
Her other suggestion, was stretching and massage. So anytime I think of it, or anytime he sticks his legs up in the air for a tummy rub, I get down on the floor and stick my hand in the crease between his leg and hip, and I massage those muscles, and stretch out those legs.
I’ve been doing this for 12 days now and what I’ve noticed is when I first started, I could feel a lump. One on each leg. NOW, the lumps are much smaller!
I really think it’s helping! I’ve noticed he’s not trembling as much when he’s lying down. Oh, he still trembles when he stands, but lying down, his muscles seem to be so much more relaxed than they were.