My 9-year-old 64 lb Kaylie became critically ill in June 2015 and was diagnosed with canine systemic lupus (which acts very much like human lupus) but luckily I found a wonderful internal medicine vet who is very knowledgable in this area. Through immunosuppressive drugs–Prednisone and Imuran among them–she has been in remission since mid-summer 2015, though she still requires careful monitoring as well as regular lab work and vet visits.
Four weeks ago she slid off the bed and yelped, refusing to bear weight on her left hind leg. A drawer exam confirmed a CCL rupture. This was a terrible setback for her as she is not a surgical candidate due to the Prednisone and her diminished immune system. I researched non-surgical treatment and decided to try a stifle/knee brace through Animal Orthocare. They were expeditious in making her a custom fitted brace. We are using it intermittently along with a lift harness, weight reduction, restricted activity, morning Tramadol, and started on Glucosamine/Chondroitin. We are now 5 weeks post injury and she is putting weight on her hind leg even without the brace on and seems pretty comfortable, though her leg does quiver when walking with or without the brace–not sure what to make of that.
She will be off Prednisone in a few more weeks and if a couple months go by and she does not relapse with the lupus, she may be a surgical candidate; however, I am leaning strongly against surgery as she will be immunosuppressed for the rest of her life, so I’m very worried about the increased risk of infection with a surgery. I will keep you all posted as we go along.