How it Happened
When Bruno was a year old he got his back left leg caught in the glider that is kept on the porch. The glider was under the window and he jumped up on it to look into the window. He was taken to the vet to get his leg checked. At the time we were told he could have a slight ACL tear but there was no way of telling for sure as there was no movement in his knee joint and his x-rays looked OK. With limited activity he appeared to heal up just fine and was no longer limping. I had since moved the glider away from the window.
A couple of years went by and he didn't appear to have an issue with that knee at all. He lived with Allie the Boxer who was not a very active dog due to her bad hips and knees. Life went on on the farm. Then one day we adopted Spencer the American Blue Nose Pitbull Terrier and suddenly the activity level among the dogs picked up. Bruno had a new playmate and being only 3 years old he took full advantage of this new fun.
I started noticing him limp a little for a few seconds after he would get up from lying down. I was not sure what to think of it. It was only noticeable if you looked at him very closely and after a second or so it was gone. Bruno was checked by the vet and diagnosed with Lyme disease and anaplasma. He had been vaccinated for Lyme but had contracted it anyway, and there is no vaccine for anaplasma. This appeared to be the reason for the limping.
Things were not improving and I started noticing that he was putting all of his weight on his right leg. His right leg muscle was larger than his left; a sign that this had been going on for quite some time.
It kept getting worse. We held him back from playing and activity as much as possible but it was like a roller coaster ride. Up and down, good days and bad days. The vet was not able to detect a tear; there was no play in his knee. Two sets of x-rays showed slight arthritis starting. A black spot on the x-ray near the knee showed up which caused a bit of alarm. Yet there was no play in his knee. We were not sure if it were an ACL tear, some other kind of tear or even an illness or something genetic.