I guess I figured that a puppy can't possibly fake it for that long! I mean, when we run through the house, he runs on all four legs. When we play, he plays on all four legs. I mean hardcore running — cutting left and right as hard as he can.
I was right — he wasn't faking it at all.
The little guy's knee is swolen enough that the vet decided to x-ray it. He has a congenital defect in his tibia (his lower leg bone, under the kneecap) that has caused it to grow at an angle. In simple terms, the bone is higher on the inside of his knee than on the outside. The result is that it's probably rather uncomfortable and it's certain quite inflamed.
The vet recommended talking to an orthopedic surgeon. Unfortunately, he also answered me honestly when I asked if veterinary orthopedic surgeons are cheaper than human orthopedic surgeons.
So, now I have to figure out what to do for my dog. He's not suffering, but Dr Fellows warned me that if I didn't get it fixed, Clancy would basically spend his entire life having injuries. We can only hope they're only as minor as they are now — only having to carry his leg and not complaining (whining, yelping, etc) about them. He's such a good dog.
I'm going to talk to a vet surgeon to whom Clancy's doctor referred me. I'm also going to talk to Shands also, since they have a college of veterinary medicine. There's a good chance that they will do the surgery substantially cheaper since they're a teaching hospital.