Imagine you went out for the evening just to come home and find your precious black lab Gracie limping. That was the reality for Gracie’s owner in December of 2015. Unsure of the cause Gracie’s owner made an appointment at Seminole Blvd. Animal Hospital to have her sweetie looked at.
During her appointment, an orthopedic exam was performed to assess her right leg. Our concern was that she might have torn her cruciate ligament. To our great relief, Dr. Clark confirmed that Gracie had sprained her right knee and was experiencing a severe case of crepitus. For Gracie’s treatment plan, Dr. Clark prescribed Carprofen and Tramadol to relieve pain and inflammation. To reduce the risk of reinjury Gracie was on a limited mobility confinement for a few weeks, no jumping, or running and when outside, she needed to be on a leash. Her first follow up exam was ten days later to reassess her knee.
At her follow up Gracie had an increase in mobility, was showing signs of wanting to go for walks again and the limp had gone away. To give her continual relief from discomfort and pain, Gracie will need to be on long term supportive therapy of a daily NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). This requires a visit to our clinic every six months for a wellness checkup and blood screening to make sure her system is handling the drug safely and effectively.
What is Crepitus?
Crepitus is often described as a grinding, cracking, or popping that occurs when moving a joint; this is commonly associated with an arthritis diagnosis. The most common causes of crepitus are:
• Air bubbles popping in the joint
• The snapping of ligaments or tendons over joints
• The degeneration of cartilage
When cartilage weakens, the joints are no longer protected from impacts or injury causing the grinding, cracking, or popping as bones rub together. Crepitus by itself, without pain, is not a cause for concern as most joints will occasionally pop. However, when your pet is experiencing pain, this may be an indication of arthritis or another underlying condition and it is important for them to be examined by their veterinarian.