My Bella got a sports injury as a pup. She was running around trying to keep up with a bigger, much more agile dog. The next day, she woke up with a limp...and she had it for months. Nothing helped her, except for NuJoint Plus Double Strength:
I can't tell you how great this stuff has been for my girl. Her limp was really bad and pretty consistent, and now it's gone.
Also, that vet sounds horrible. He doesn't know what it is, but he recommends surgery? I'm glad you didn't listen to him.