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puppy has hip pain

November 17th, 2003, 10:42 AM
My labrador is 5 months old and is having some problems with his hips. He hates going for walks, he wines and cries the whole time and continously tries to lay down. Initially I though he was just lazy, but now he has developed a "swagger" and it appears he almost has a limp. In the morning when he first gets up he is very stiff and to me he walks as if he is a very old dog. He sometimes has trouble getting into my small car, and I'll have to life him in.
I took him to he vet and they gave him x-rays to rule out hip displaysia. Everything checked out OK in the Xray. However, the vet has put him on Metacam for pain. She couldnt tell me how long I'll have to keep him on the medication. The Metacam seems to help with the pain, however he still wines and lays down after about a 10 minute walk. He will fetch in the yard for a few minutes but then lays down like he's had enough.
Since I've put him on the medication, he's becomming agressive, even to the point of biting me. The vet says agression should not be a side affect.

The medication is pretty expensive, basically I want to know how long to expect to keep him on it? Is it really worth it to Sprocket to stay on the meds? Are there any side effects I should know about? And do you have any other recommendations?

I want him to be happy, I can't bear to see him suffer, should I put him down?

November 17th, 2003, 06:50 PM
poor little thing, although he is on pain killers you indicate that they re not working well (the pain when on walks) so maybe the agression is a reaction or result of the pain. have you tried a massage in the morning to help with stiffness. I also know of a therepy called BOWEN THERAPY which has worked wonders for a friends dog that was 2yo and had bad arthritis. just a thought anyway... hope things improve:)

Lucky Rescue
November 17th, 2003, 06:54 PM
How many x-rays were taken? Sometimes a problem doesn't show up if it's taken from just one angle.

November 17th, 2003, 11:12 PM
My 2 year old dog has hip dyplaysia, this could be the problem. If so it may be more advanced then what my dog has. My dog takes asprin daily when its acting up.

November 17th, 2003, 11:21 PM
I would get another opinion. Putting a pup that young on Metacam and not knowing why except to reduce pain is ridiculous!

Get yourself another opinion, that pup could be suffering from any number of reasons. The xray only taken of the hip/legs? Cause it could be a spine problem.

Watch your pup when it gets up and down from a laying position and going up / down stairs. See where the strain seems to be.

I hope this resolves and there is nothing wrong, but I still think you should get another opinion.

This may sound weird and all BUT did the vet completely check your pups pads and nails? Make sure there isn't something wrong there as well. Cracked pads or blisters can make them uncomfortable walking as well. Does pup spend a lot of time on cement? (just another angle)

Good luck and keep us posted

November 18th, 2003, 05:57 AM
Ditto on better xrays to check spine, recheck hips, etc. Many orthopedic problems are easy to miss.

How long has this been going on? Don't rule out a muscle tear or bad sprain. With this sort of thing, keeping the dog as inactive as possible (in a crate preferably) will allow it to heal. Try that for a couple of weeks, along with whatever else you're doing. It's gonna be hard to keep a 5 month old lab calm, but it may really, really help.

Also regular aspirin fed with meals should be just as effective as Metacam. Coated aspirin is better; adjust the human dose to his weight.

I wouldn't consider having him pts until you've tried everything suggested.

November 18th, 2003, 09:10 AM

I just saw the PTS thing

NOOOOOOO don't do it!!! Someone, another vet knows the answer out there!!! DON'T!!

If he's in pain take him somewhere else

AND if you have an emergency 24 hour animal HOSPITAL near you then take him there. They are better equipped.


November 18th, 2003, 12:08 PM
Have you notified the breeder? Where did you get this puppy from? Also, have the vet send the x-rays to orthopedic foundation for animals or Penn Hip... they are better equipped to give a proper hip rating.

November 19th, 2003, 05:37 PM
Please please please....give your pup a chance, don't give up yet. This could be something really, really simple. An active pup can really easily tear muscles when playing. If it's a torn muscle the best thing to do is what Carina suggested, keep him still, lift him up and down from objects, in and out of cars, don't let him climb stairs, run about etc, and it might be a good idea not to walk him at all for a while. Usually, I am very against the use of steroids (such as prednisone) however, this is one case where steroids actually do help, in conjunction with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. If it's a muscle injury, one steroid injection will make it heal very, very quickly. If it is a muscle injury you may be able to feel a difference in the two legs, the muscle in the "injured" leg will feel slightly harder and perhaps larger than the other leg. On the other hand if it's a joint problem with his hip or knee you may hear a faint clicking noise when he gets up from lying down. When he gets up suddenly does he ever yelp and hold his back leg out ridgidly straight? If he does, it could be that his knee cap is popping out due to an injury in the muscles that hold it in place. These are only suggestions, it's no good giving him painkillers, you need to find out the cause, take him to a different vet and I certainly wouldn't put him down for something that does not appear to be life-threatening and could easily be fixed in the right hands.
Be sure to keep us all updated.

November 19th, 2003, 05:46 PM
Hey drdouggie are you a vet? big smiles

I'm following you around!!

November 19th, 2003, 05:58 PM
Hello Luba!!!

Nope, I'm not a vet...I'm a Doctor of parasitology and specialised in helminths (worms). I have a keen interest in and practical knowledge of dog health. I currently work for a pharmaceutical company. Although I would have loved to be a vet I would never have been able to cope with putting animals to sleep and it distresses me too much when animals die, even when you've done all you can to help them....not good qualities to have when you're a vet! I just hope some of my advice is useful.

November 19th, 2003, 06:07 PM
Wish I knew you three years ago when I got
Dientamoeba Fragilis

November 26th, 2003, 06:16 AM
Hey folks,

Thanks so much for all your advice. I have not put Sprocket to sleep, that is only a LAST resort and only if things get progressively worse. He was having a bad day when I wrote in, and I guess I was still upset. The poor guy sat at the bottom of my stairs for 10 minutes crying because he was too stiff to come up. :(

He is doing a bit better. I've been giving him bufferin in the mornings and I'm weaning him off the Metacam. Frankly I don't think it's doing much good, and from what everyone is telling me the asprin is just as beneficial. He still is favoring one of his front legs, but he's not letting that bother him as much. He is still pretty stiff on the mornings though. He plays a bit more in the yard, but I've been trying to keep him quiet as much as possible.

I'm taking him to another vet tonight. Unfortunately I live in a small town and there is only one vet, so I had to wait for one of the other Dr's to put on a clinic.

I'll fill you in when I get more information.

November 26th, 2003, 10:01 AM
Poor Puppy
Let us know!!

December 3rd, 2003, 08:50 PM
Poor puppy.I was just thinking something.Ask your vet about Panosteitis.Not sure if it is spelt right.My cousins German Shepherd at 5 months was limping on his front paw.She thought maybe he just hurt it...She took him to the breeder to pick up his CKC papers and the breeder said looks like he has Panosteitis.She said what the heck is that.It's when the bones grow faster then them.She took him to the vet and sure enough that is what it was.He had 5 exrays.He was a big puppy.It went to the other paw.Then when it hit his back leg he got a fevour,wouldn't eat or drink and lost 30lbs.He was 80lbs of muscle at 5 months.See I have 2 shepherds and never heard of it.Why they get this is if when they are young and excersise to much or keep going up and down the stairs alo when they are young.I'm not sure if it happens in Labs but it is worth a try.Ask your vet.As for my cousins dog,he is 7 and can't get up the stairs anymore.His hind leg was damaged.He still loves to play but is slowing down.And it had nothing to do with bad breeding.The breeder has been registered for 30 years.And quite a few of her dogs are in the police canine unit.I have one of them that just retired.All the best.