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Puppy limping for more than 3 months. Help!

August 13th, 2009, 10:28 AM
Hi everyone,

I am brand new to this forum. I am hoping to find a solution to this problem I have. Any sort of input would be greatly appreciated!:shrug:

My dog, who is now 10 months old, has been limping for the past 3-4 months. Of course, I went to the vet. We did x-rays, but the doc said there was nothing. She examined his leg when he was getting neutered, but again, she said she couldn't find anything. I gave him anti-inflammatory medication, but didn't really seem to work. She said that most likely, my dog has a sprain and is just taking time to heal. Also, he doesn't show any sign of pain.

Well, it's been a few months and I don't feel comfortable letting my dog limp all the time. Since he's still a pup, he is still running around like a headless chicken:laughing:, which could also be hurting his leg all over again. Since he isn't using his one hind leg, he hops around, and that leg is very very weak. He has no muscle there.

Please help me!!! I'm hoping someone out there can have a solution. Thanks in advance for all your input! :thumbs up

August 13th, 2009, 10:33 AM
Maybe a second opinion from another Vet would be the best thing to do.

August 13th, 2009, 11:40 AM
I agree--and getting a second opinion from a vet with orthopedic credentials would be good. Sometimes budding problems aren't obvious to anyone but the specialists. We had a 15-week-old dog with elbow dysplasia--our regular vets couldn't see anything obvious on the xrays, but the orthopedic specialist winced at the damage he saw. :shrug:

August 13th, 2009, 12:33 PM
I strongly second the suggestion for an ortho specialist. My newfie girl had a blown ACL that was misdiagnosed for over a year as panosteitis. The fact that the dog will not use the leg is a definite sign of pain, and ACL injuries are very common in dogs. The ortho vets at the veterinary teaching hospital that I took my newf to said that unless a vet has extensive ortho experience, ACL injuries are easy to miss on xrays.

August 13th, 2009, 01:17 PM
Yes, you definitely need to get another opinion. :thumbs up

My lab had CCL injuries in both legs although my regular vet did diagnose him right away. We did, however, have to go to an ortho specialist to have the surgeries done.

Since your dog is not using one of his back legs and holding it up then he is putting too much stress on his other leg as well.

Good luck and please keep us posted. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

Dr Lee
August 13th, 2009, 02:24 PM
I strongly second the suggestion for an ortho specialist.

Good recommendation kandy. If you are going to take the time to pay for a second opinion, it is well worth having it done by a orthopedic specialist. There are some 'routine' diagnoses that are sometimes not so 'routine' to figure out; not to mention the diagnoses that are by nature difficult to diagnose. :pawprint:

August 13th, 2009, 08:58 PM
I'd definitely get it checked again. A relative of mine went through a similar thing, only to have it misdiagnosed over and over again, and now at the age of 3 1/2 years old, the dog was finally diagnosed with two blown ACLs (cruciate).

August 14th, 2009, 07:53 PM
hello everyone,

thanks for all your input!! I will be visiting the vet on Monday but seeing a different doctor. I really hope it isn't ACL. :pray: :fingerscr I really thought this doc knew what she was doing. Hmmm, we'll see.

I will keep you all posted. Thanks again!

Gail P
August 15th, 2009, 07:09 AM
:pray: that it's something simple, not a blown ACL. Keep in mind that even if it isn't something major :fingerscr soft tissue injuries can take months to fully heal. I know from personal experience with my dogs, I've been through it a few different times. Mine are pretty much all high energy dogs that go blasting around the field when we go out to do chores. They wrestle, they sometimes body slam each other, once in a while one will knock another right off their feet. The injuries seem to happen most often when they're under a year old (not tiny pups, they aren't that rough with a newer/younger pup), but around the 6-12 month age. When Flash was 6 months I was really worried about one of his hips because he was often carrying the foot up and running around on three legs (like he didn't even have a 4th leg and it was the most natural thing in the world :rolleyes: ) He'd sometimes be a bit stiff or "off" when he got up from sleeping and then walk it off but when running around he'd end up going on 3 legs. The vet couldn't find anything really wrong with him and just told me that soft tissue injuries can take a really long time to heal, more so in my situation with so many active dogs. I tried limiting his activity and would leave him behind while I had the others out running around doing chores but then he'd run around the backyard at times anyhow so I finally just let him come along. It took months before he was over it but he's fine now, and my daughter uses him for skijoring. When Rain was around 9-10 months she got hurt too, on a front leg or shoulder. She had to sit out what should have been her first season training in harness but she's perfect now and raced with my team last year.

Good thing to get it checked out so you know for sure what's going on. Hopefully it will be nothing too much :goodvibes:

August 15th, 2009, 09:04 AM
Maybe I missed it, but what breed of dog do you have? Certainly if your dog is suffering from ACL or Patellar Luxation an ortho would be called for - BUT if your dog has disc disease you would need to see a Neuro - e.g. Dachshunds, many Shih Tzus, Beagle etc. - and a host of other breeds - says the person who used to have the neuro surgeon on speed dial. I am also in Toronto. I would see the specialists at the clinic on McMurrich - either neuro or ortho - your vet should be able to suggest which depending on dog breed. Actually if the proper X-Ray was taken by your regular vet she/he should know if there is a disc problem. Then there is Guelph - lovely Small Animal Clinic - you can go in daytime with a regular appointment with a referral from your regular vet - or at midnight for emergency surgery - again with vet referral - although at that time of night referral would have to come from the Emergency Vet in Toronto and they would fax through the info to Guelph and Guelph would call in the on-call surgeon. Been there, done that. Emergency surgery is more expensive at Guelph than regular surgery in Toronto by specialist - but then Toronto surgeons require a 24 hour work-up and if your dog doesn't have 24 hours, the road to Guelph is the way to go - with 50% upfront of estimated surgery cost payable by cash or credit card - or I guess care credit if you have it. So just ensure that you get your specialist right. We now have an American Eskimo - and there are a few Eskies who have developed disc problems - and I do not want to live through that again - has happened to us twice - surgeries etc. - but he is prone to Patellar or Luxation - so far so good - but I would have the surgery in a nanosecond - and by a specialist. If he needed the "special" ACL surgery he would have to go to McMurrich or Guelph - if not, because he weighs only 22 lbs., my vet now has a specialist not trained in the "special" surgery who comes to her clinic to do the surgeries. She used to do them herself, but there is so much to keep up with, a specialist is better. Now regular vets do a lot of dentistry - my guy just had this done. Hope all works out. By the way, if a Dachshund and limping is on front paw with no sign of anything in the paw, this is often an indication of neck disc disease - of course both my special guys had both back and neck - and a lot of people don't know about the neck problem and how it presents.

August 17th, 2009, 02:23 PM
hello everyone,

thanks for all your input!! I will be visiting the vet on Monday but seeing a different doctor. I really hope it isn't ACL. :pray: :fingerscr I really thought this doc knew what she was doing. Hmmm, we'll see.

I will keep you all posted. Thanks again!

Although your vet may be very good at general practice kinds of things - she may not see enough ACL injuries to be able to see it in an xray. Also, the physical exam procedures to diagnose ACL have to be performed on a sedated dog. My dog also did not show any signs of pain - the ortho vets said that she was the toughest dog they'd ever seen, that she had been in serious pain for quite a while. I too was very irate that my normal vet had not correctly diagnosed Hazel's condition and was very vocal about that. It was the ortho vets that explained that since they see literally hundreds of these kinds of injuries a week, it was easy for them to spot the problem on the xrays whereas a general practice vet may only see a few during their whole career. The only anger that remained toward my normal vet was the fact that she never suggested an ortho specialist, even though she knew I wasn't convinced that her diagnosis was right. I made up for that though by guilting her into making house calls during Hazel's early days of recovery after her surgery. LOL

Good luck at the vet today, and I hope it's not an ACL injury.