What is your diagnosis?




Oscar is a neutered male pit bull, 7.5 years old. He presented to the veterinarians at Animal Kind for limping, decreased appetite, decreased activity, and weight loss. He had traveled extensively some eight months prior, visiting Florida, Texas, and Colorado. He was known to have tick exposure at that time. He had surgical stabilization for a ruptured right cranial cruciate ligament performed at another practice four months before presentation. Oscar had tested negative for exposure to Lyme disease prior to surgery.


At the time of initial examination, Oscar was febrile with a body temperature of 105.2°F. He was slightly underweight for his size at 54 pounds. He was limping on both his left forelimb and right hindlimb. Firm thickening compatible with scar tissue and chronic arthritis was present around both knees or stifles. Hard swelling was palpable over his left scapula or shoulder blade and the muscles of the entire left forelimb were atrophied.

Initial Diagnostics

With his history of tick exposure, Oscar was retested for exposure to four arthropod transmitted diseases: Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and heartworm disease. The results showed no evidence of exposure to these diseases. Next, radiographs (x-rays) were taken. These images are shown below. Click to enlarge.

Oscar: VD pelvisOscar: lateral right stifle

Oscar: lateral thorax