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Rottie with pain/lameness

April 14th, 2009, 02:16 PM
One month ago I adopted a 5 year old Rottweiler, Rocky. He is HW positive. He has gone through 3 weeks of doxycycline and is ready to begin the first of 3 rounds of HW treatment. He has started displaying strange symptoms with his hind end. When he gets up he is very stiff, he will walk with tiny steps in his hind end. He frequently changes positions when lying down and whimpers. He usually lies down with his hind legs pulled up against his stomach (so his hind feet are up almost underneath his chin). He often struggles when he is trying to get up after lying down for a while. He sometimes wakes up and when he tries to move he cries and will yelp in pain. A couple of times his hind legs have appeared to 'freeze' on him. They almost look like they are in plaster casts and he can't really move them properly. He runs into walls when this happens because he can't seem to control his movement. On days he is more active (which is minimal at the moment in preparation for the HW treatment), it appears to be worse. His movement in his hind end is a bit 'high.' He will try to canter now and then in play, but is very awkward moving in this gait (very much a bunny hop). He has had radiographs and physical manipulations on his hips done: they are not perfect, but they do not need to be addressed, he will most likely develop some arthritis in the future. Radiographs and palpations on patellas: normal. After an exercise session (to rule out a specific neurological disorder that I can't remember the name of) a palpation indicated some discomfort in his left shoulder. Radiographs indicate the orthopedic structures are fine, it appears he has an injured ligament. Has anyone experience a similar situation? Does anyone have suggestions of what I might want to look for? I want to make him comfortable! I hate seeing him in his kind of discomfort (it is not constant, but when it occurs it is excruciating to watch). We have tested for Lyme disease (negative). His bloodwork has come back normal. Thank you for your time in giving me suggestions, or sharing similar situations.



April 14th, 2009, 03:22 PM
Bless you for adopting an older, special needs rott'n.

I wish that I could help you out but have never dealt with a dog undergoing HW treatment.

Did he display this pain before he started the HW treatments? Has your vet offered you any advice on what to give him when he is in pain?

Please, keep posting. I would really like to pm you but you need to have more posts in order to send or receive pm's.

April 14th, 2009, 03:52 PM
How was he when he was on the doxycycline? If the symptoms only started after he ended the doxy, he could still have a tick-borne disease. Was he tested for anaplasmosis or ehrlichiosis? Not sure if babesiosis is common in your area or not, but I'd bet the other two are. All of these can cause lameness and some of the other symptoms you're seeing. Infection is not always obvious from the bloodwork you had done. There is a 4DX snap test from Idexx that tests for HW, Lyme's, anaplasmosis and ehrlichia and gives you almost instantaneous results.

It's also possible that he's one of those pain-sensitive souls who's reacting to arthritis developing in his hips. If so, starting him on a chondroitin/glucosamine supplement may give him a lot of relief.

:goodvibes: for a successful HW treatment and getting to the bottom of your dog's symptoms ASAP. And welcome to the board, Elsie.

April 14th, 2009, 08:30 PM
Thank you both for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to give me your ideas. To clarify, he has not yet had a heartworm treatment. His first one was schedule for today, but we realized we needed to get the radiographs completed and did not want to cause him any stress on his first treatment. The treatment will be postponed a week (he is asymptomatic for the heartworm, and is in a stage 1, possible an advanced stage 1).

He had these symptoms before and during the doxy treatment. I will check to check to see if tests were run for anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis... if not, I will suggest them. And I will ask about babesiosis.

I put him on a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement four weeks ago (a couple of days after I pulled him from animal control).

My vet placed him on an anti-inflammatory for the next 10 days (for his shoulder)... we will see if it affects his hip/hind end/back issue.

Thanks for the ideas and thoughts! If you think of anything more I would greatly appreciate it!


April 14th, 2009, 11:28 PM
If the symptoms didn't abate while he was on the doxy, then it probably isn't from a tick-borne disease, which all seem to respond pretty well to doxy therapy.

Has he been neutered yet? If not neutered, he could be uncomfortable from a prostate inflammation/infection. That can be very painful and cause hind-end lameness.

We had a springer who showed milder but similar symptoms in her hindquarters and it turned out she was painful in her back. Has his spine been checked?

If the problem is orthopedic in nature, the anti-inflammatory will help, whether it's hips or back. And the glucosamine/chondroitin supplement should be just about ready to kick does take a few weeks for the effects to become apparent.

:fingerscr that the combination of the supplements and the anti-inflammatory takes care of the lameness issue.

What will they be treating him with for the HW?

April 15th, 2009, 04:24 AM
I just wanted to say thank you for taking such good care of your Rocky :grouphug:. :fingerscr you get to the bottom of this and he's feeling better soon :goodvibes:.

June 21st, 2009, 05:28 PM
I just wanted to give everyone who tried to help me an update on Rocky. He has completed his heart worm treatment and is doing well on that front. His pain issues continued, I saw a neurologist. In the end my normal vet did some more tests. It turned out Rocky ended up with prostatitis, he has been neutered and has gone through anti-biotic treatment for that. He is doing better with that as well. The big pain issue was actually caused by lumbosacral stenosis. It is a relatively rare issue that causes pressure on the spinal cord and leads to neurological issues in the hind end (muscle weakness, pain, urinary and bowel incontinence). He may be a candidate for surgery (depending on whether he has the stable or dynamic version). When we have reached a safe time to consider surgery (out far enough from the heart worm treatment) we will be going in for an MRI to determine if it is an option. If anyone has any experience with this disorder I would love to hear what you have found helps the dogs! Thank you for your time! I hope everyone is well!

June 21st, 2009, 09:50 PM
Our springer, Priscilla, had hip dysplasia. When she was 5, we inherited her and we had both of her hips replaced. In between hip surgeries, though, we had to have her back attended to. She had disk disease that developed as a secondary condition of the dysplasia (perhaps from throwing her weight forward to relieve pressure on her hips those first 5 years).

Although not the same as what your dog has, the symptoms are are the possible consequences down the line.

The surgery that was done on her back involved lifting off the top of the bony vertebrae, removing debris and delicately removing bony material that was threatening nerve function. They then packed body fat over the wound and stitched her up. It healed well, and more importantly, did the trick--no more back problems.

Is that the sort of surgical fix they're suggesting for Rocky?