Bulldog Health: Pains and Sprains

Little Miss Roxy
I affectionately refer to my Roxy as my dainty ballerina, my petite princess, or my little pixie. In reality, she is anything but. With fifty pounds of exuberance and a low center of gravity, she seems indestructible as she barrels into shins, knees, furniture, the screen door...

Yet Roxy's mounting vet bills are proof positive that she does have her limitations. Because she has a floating patella that needs further evaluation by an orthopedist, we've been careful about her jumping off and on the furniture. The problem is, Roxy isn't always compliant. So, when she took a particularly hard tumble off of the sofa and couldn't immediately bear weight on her right foreleg, we were worried.

My husband, who is a physician, examined her and didn't think she had a fracture. He thought she more likely suffered a sprain or possibly, a torn ligament. I made an appointment to take her in for an x-ray--however, after reading that soft tissue injuries wouldn't show up in an x-ray and that torn ligaments may require surgery, I was a bit hesitant. Her limp did seem to improve with rest, so I canceled the x-ray and did more research. I found this bit of advice from Jan Oswald, the author of The Healthy Bulldog:
"Keep her confined to walking only for a week.  That means no jumping on or off the couch, no running around, no walks – as little activity as possible. If she is still limping in a week, it’s a pretty sure sign of a torn ligament.  It’s important to take care of this injury as additional injury can occur with movement and this can lead to arthritis."
It wasn't easy, confining a one-year-old bulldog. But I'm happy to say that after four or five days, Roxy is fine, and now we are more careful about her jumping from the sofa.

Disclaimer: This is a chronicle of our bulldog's healthcare experiences, and is not intended to give medical advice. If your dog experiences an injury or any other health concern, it is best to have it evaluated by a veterinarian.

©2012 Tammy Yee