Today's blog post is not about any one animal. It's more about one of Dr. Hougentogler's frustrations.
The picture of the animals are to keep it lively.
About 10 days ago, Dr. Hougentogler and I had the same dog in both of our schedules.
He was coming from another vet's office to see us about non-surgical alternatives to knee (stifle) surgery.
The owners related that they had been told by the vet they regularly see and by a specialty vet that their dog required surgery in to repair both knees (stifles).
After Dr. Hougentogler examined the dog, he asked me to look at the dog without knowing his impressions, so we could compare our independent conclusions.
Watching the dog walk on his own, it took very few strides to see that he was clearly ataxic (very wonky), and that his problems were likely neurologic and not orthopedic.
After we both completed our exams, we both agreed that the dog had a bad disc in his low back.
Happily, we were able to explain this to the people, and they began a regimen of Chiropractic, Acupuncture, and Laser, which we have used very successfully in the past for pets with this type of problem.
This brings us to Dr. Hougentogler's pet peeve.
He has expressed to me on several occasions that so many vets are quick to assume that anything in a dog's knee is a cranial cruciate tear (analogous to a person's anterior cruciate), and it require surgery.
Likewise, he feels so many diagnose a dog with hip dysplasia if there is any issue with the hips.
We even have people bring their animal friends to us, telling us that they've been diagnosed with hip dysplasia, and no x-rays have been taken.
Of course, we are thrilled that people come to us looking for another option to help their pets.
It is sometimes very challenging to help them see that first we have to revise the assessment of the problem causing the problem.
Just like in people hips and knees (stifles) can be compromised in any of a large number of ways.
We always strive to be diligent in fully assessing your pet's problem, before recommending a course of care.
In fact, all four of the dogs whose pictures are in this post have had back end issues that were neither hip dysplasia nor cranial cruciate tears.