Help! Mika is broken (Update)
  • DriftyDrifty
    Posts: 18
    Hello everybody!

    I need some advice on what to do here. I'll try to make this relatively short.

    So Mika is my 7 month old Kai. She is extremely timid, but also full of energy and loves to play.... normally. About a month ago, my mother and brother took her to the park (her favorite place in the world) and from what I understand, she stepped on a stick with her left rear leg and freaked out. When she got home, every time she would put that leg down, she would pick it up as fast as possible and rush to get under the chair (her safe spot). Her reaction was worse on the hardwood than it was on carpet or in the grass, so at the time I assumed the noise of the stick cracking scared her, and that her nails on the hardwood reminded her of it, hence the continual freakouts at home.

    After a couple days, everything seemed to go back to normal. I was sure she was just scared of the noise (she's scared of a lot of noises). A few days after that, my brother got a dog. And after a few days of playing with him, we started hearing a popping noise when she walked intermittently. And when this popping noise happened, we noticed her left rear ankle was popping out of place with every step. So we made an appointment with the vet. Meanwhile, the leg didn't seem to bother her. She continued to try to play (I wouldn't let her) and don't limp at all.

    So my mom takes her to the vet, I unfortunately had to work. He checked her out and said she was double jointed in both rear legs, making them already weak. And that it was most likely a tear in the band that holds the ligaments together, or tendons... I'm not too familiar with dog anatomy, or any anatomy for that matter. He said that there nothing we could, or should, do until she starts limping or it starts hurting her. To me that sounds ridiculous, I would rather be more proactive about it, but whatever.... He's the pro.

    So a week or so goes by, take her outside to go pee, when she freaks out again. My brother explained that it was the exact same freak out like she did at the park. Now she is back under her chair most of the day, if she takes a step (hardwood, carpet, or grass) she freaks, and she seems to keep both her rear legs straightened out when she does walk. In my not-so-expert opinion, I'm guessing that the band in her right leg tore, and we're just repeating what we went through with the left.

    So this is where I need advice... Do I go back to the vet and see if he thinks we should do anything yet? Do I wait it out and see if it gets better itself? Do I go to a different vet? Is this a common issue in this breed, and has anyone else had a similar situation?

    And of course, a couple quick pics I took. :) Thought I would leave you guys hanging?

    Post edited by Drifty at 2015-12-01 14:16:05
  • KajaKaja
    Posts: 216
    What a cuuuuutie!!!!!

    I know nothing about double jointedness in dogs, or even anything else that might cause the symptoms you describe. Other people here are far more knowledgeable than me with dogs and health issues. All I know is that elbows and hips can be affected by dysplasia, and knowing that.... maybe when a dog is double jointed there can be something similar that happens? Not saying it is, just putting a guess out there.

    I would consult that vet clinic again -- though if it's possible, maybe ask to see a different vet in the same hospital? That way they can consult with one another if you put up a fuss. Needless to say even if there is only one vet at the clinic, I would personally go to them one more time. Then if still unsatisfied, go see another vet. Always feel free to question your veterinarian and even inquire about tests.

    On an unrelated note: One of my dogs squeals and lifts up her paws on occasion, but only when it's cold. She has delicate paws, you see! Though one time, it wasn't the cold. She had been limping for a week or so, and we were worried she sprained a toe or something. We eventually found out why. It was because she had a cyst developing in between the pads of her foot. It was lanced and caused her pain, but I'm glad it was a simple fix!!!!

    Get better Mika!
    Post edited by Kaja at 2015-11-04 01:32:54
  • Have you talked with her breeder about it?

    I have not heard of double-jointedness in Kai (or any dog) but maybe someone else has. Though Kai are often very sensitive (as you're aware) and I would suggest looking into a proactive approach- maybe that would be some kind of strength exercise, swimming or puplates or something? - to minimize it happening again and the resulting fear repetition. I have a dog (a mutt out of a Kai mother) who had a poor tracking kneecap and as an adolescent he hurt it while playing with some other dogs, and it left a huge negative impression on him, contributing to anxiety and reactivity wrt strange dogs.

    I have heard of some looseness in joints (though i thought it was elbows?) in kai from some lines during their adolescence, but each case have outgrown it once mature.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 4546
    I agree with the above. Talk to her breeder first about the suspected double jointedness (which, apparently does occur in dogs and is generally considered hereditary).

    I would also make an appointment with a different vet because this does not sound like a double-joint issue. It sounds like something is slipping (perhaps a knee cap) or pulling (a ligament maybe) and is causing her discomfort.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
  • What a cutie.... nice picture

    I would obtain a consult with a veterinary orthopedic person or qualified veterinary chiropractic person (doesn't mean you have to head to surgery or anything like that, just get an qualified opinion what the actual issue is). The jumpiness may be due to twinges of pain or tenderness as your dog is moving her joint or limb. (As an example if you have experienced any time of nerve or compression issue the jolts can be alarming, same goes for knee or hip.) It can be the same for dogs also.

    Also be aware any type of joint, cartilage or knee injury, even minor, takes a good bid of time to heal due to those areas naturally being less vascular.

    In the duration of healing manual support may be needed, so seek a well qualified practitioner in order for alignment and exercises to be done properly.

    After you have a second opinion and nailed down what procedure you plan to follow, I would speak to your breeder about the confirmed issue at hand.

    Good luck, if she is young there is better success with healing with proper care : )
  • @WrylyBrindle Double jointed is another way to say luxating patella (if it is in the knees) or slipped hocks (in the hocks, obv). Its the "nice" way to downplay a serious medical condition. I know there have been dogs with LP on this forum before but I don't remember if any were Kai. If you've heard of a Kai with luxating patellas or slipped hocks, then you've heard of a double jointed Kai.
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    Post edited by PoetikDragon at 2015-11-04 11:23:27
  • Its the "nice" way to downplay a serious medical condition.

    oh! I didn't realize that. In that case:
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3977
    Your description almost sounds like slipped hocks

    View on YouTube

    I'd get a second opinion with another vet at a different practice, and possibly a 3rd at an orthopedic specialist. And I agree with what others have said about contacting the breeder, let them know that there is a suspected issue and they may be able to help you pinpoint the cause.
  • DriftyDrifty
    Posts: 18
    Thanks for all the responses!

    So it's sounding like I should find a new vet for this issue. A friend suggested an orthopedic specialist, so I think I'll do that. Slipped hocks may be the issue, however she won't let me check per the video. When I touch the leg she instantly lifts it up.

    However the "popping out of place" I'm noticing is not a back and forth movement, but a left to right one. According to this picture:

    Its the calcaneus that you can visually see that is shifting left and right, along with the Achilles tendon. If any one has any more information, please share. Otherwise I will keep you all updated with the situation.

    I'm very hesitant to talk with the breeder, she got very defensive when I brought up issues when I first got her and she didn't provide any help. That would be my last resort.
  • That is such a shame. I just looked back to your intro thread and yeah- the (lack of) response you have gotten is a familiar story with that specific breeder, unfortunately, many times over (a search of the Forum will reveal the experiences of others). This doesn't make Mika any less a wonderful dog, it just sucks that she had to come from a breeder who is well known for not being a responsive resource for her puppy buyers after the sale.

    Water under the bridge now- orthopedic specialist is on deck, sounds like, so that seems like the right move. Best wishes to you and little Mika! Let us know how what the doc determines.
  • DriftyDrifty
    Posts: 18
    Thanks! Will do!

    She is a great pup and I'm happy I got her. Other people may not have the patience for what I've gone through already...

    On a positive note she passed puppy class last week! (Although she didn't participate... At all. I think the instructors kinda have to give a certificate out regardless hahaha)
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3449
    Sounds like popping hocks or LP
    Hokusei Kashinoki Hokkaido and Shiba Inu
  • omgtainomgtain
    Posts: 240
    I'd say LP is one of the more common things to look for in Kai. When Tavi was a pup her knee was a little loose but with time, growth, and building muscle it firmed up and we never had a problem.

    Although I've never head of slipped hocks in Kai. How much exercise does she get and what food do you feed? Just out of curiosity.
  • Hello Drifty,
    My kai female had a luxation of the superficial tendon flexor (Achilles tendon) when she was 6 months due to a too hard play in the garden (She is a real speedy gonzales ^^).
    Do yours have water on the calcaneum ?
    I had to go to see a famous orthopedic vet in Paris to know what Sachi had (after 3 appointment with my vet (he is an orthopedic vet) and 2 x-ray )
    Post edited by ladynaoki at 2015-11-04 17:53:24
  • DriftyDrifty
    Posts: 18
    She was getting about an hour a day before we got the other dog. Then it got bumped up to 2-4 hours of play time. She's relentless. I'm feeding her Orijen puppy food.

    Also, at 7 months she weighs 21 lbs. Does this sound right?
  • DriftyDrifty
    Posts: 18

    Everything looks and feels fine as far as I can tell.
  • omgtainomgtain
    Posts: 240
    Hm. I wonder what it is then. :(
    Shes on a good food, and is getting good exercise ( usually dogs who are crated / inactive a lot don't have a lot of muscle, which help keeps things where they need to be! )

    My girl is 2 years old and 24lb. The girlies tend to be a bit more petite.

    That sucks though. I'm wondering if its something shes always had but since she might be in her fear period it is causing more problems?

    I'd consider the majority of Kai very sturdy dogs, although they're 'small', they're built well and can handle a lot. The only time I've ever heard a peep from Tavs is if she got a thorn in her paw lol.
  • T_DogT_Dog
    Posts: 331
    Maybe should think about a high dose of glycol 3 to help with the joints.
  • DriftyDrifty
    Posts: 18

    So apparently my comment didn't post. Oops. I'll try again.

    I took Mika to see an orthopedic specialist last week. Turns out she has a superficial digital flexor tendon luxation (SDF luxation) on both hindlimbs and is going in for surgery tomorrow.

    Fingers crossed everything goes well! It's going to be a long 8 week recovery period.

  • TheYetiTheYeti
    Posts: 166
    I'm sorry to hear that she has to go through all of this. I hope the recovery goes well and that she regains all of her mobility. Sending good vibes from here!
    To err is human, to arrr is to pirate.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 4546
    Oh no! :(

    Even though you have gotten a lack of response from her breeder, I would definitely let her know about this development. Especially if there is any chance it could be hereditary and the other pups in the litter might be affected.

    I am sending you good thoughts for an uneventful surgery and a quick and easy recovery. Please keep us updated!
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
  • DriftyDrifty
    Posts: 18
    Thanks guys! Just dropped her off :(

    I sent the breeder an email about it last week, and surprise! No response...

    What makes it worse is the vet did say it could be hereditary, depending on the cause. Will know more post surgery. Fortunately I know two of the litter mates are on here, so I'll definitely reach out when I learn more.
  • best of luck with Mika's surgery and recovery! We should try to think of good activities for recovering puppies...

    I have been surprised at how quickly they think they can (and want to) ram around again after knee surgeries. But they have to take it easy, so I guess puzzles, and chew things, and training some less-active cues to keep the mind fresh while the legs heal.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3017
    Sorry your going through this.
    I hope recovery goes well and sorry about lack of response that is sad.

    I have a shiba from same breeder and she has a neurological or spinal issue. Luckily it is not too bad and she is getting along fine I keep her on a good diet and give joint supplements and exercise to keep weight off.

    I hope to hear about Mika's recovery.
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • DriftyDrifty
    Posts: 18
    So good news! Surgery went well, and the doc said her tendons were weak from birth, meaning the surgery should have fixed them and she will be perfectly fine after recovery. There was a chance that something in her heel was shaped wrong and that caused them not to sit properly. And if that happened, the surgery might have only fixed them for a few years, months, or even weeks. So I'm glad we dodged that bullet.

    First week is just about over with, only 5 more to go. She learned how to walk with her casts on, which is a good thing and a bad thing. Good because taking her outside is a lot easier. Bad because we have to keep an eye on her every second to make sure she doesn't try jumping or running around. She also rarely tries to chew at her bandages, which minimizes her cone of shame time.

    Hopefully the snow can stay away until she's all healed up, but knowing Wisconsin, I doubt it.

    And here's a pic, doesn't she look enthused hahaha

  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3017
    Thanks for the update I hope snow holds out for you too and recovery goes well.
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • Oh Mika! Keep behaving well and you'll heal well and this will all be in the rearview mirror!
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 4546
    Oh, poor Mika! She truly does NOT look enthused at all!

    I am glad the surgery went well and that once her recovery time is up, things will be relatively back to normal. Fingers crossed for an eventless and speedy recovery. :)
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
  • mdokicmdokic
    Posts: 1020
    Oh poor baby!!! Fingers crossed for speedy, easy and successful recovery, she's too darn cute!! ♥
    Michelle, with Kai girls Kona and Kimber
  • SixSix
    Posts: 96
    Aww bless her, so unimpressed.

    Hope she's feeling much better soon. Lots of healing wishes!

    Owned by 3 Northern Inuits, 1 GSDx and 1 Hokkaido.

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