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Paw Injury - Advice Appreciated

January 8th, 2012, 06:02 PM
Hello! I was just recommended to this site, and am really hoping someone can give me some advice.

My husband and I have a 6 year old Shiba Inu. We rescued her a couple of years ago when she was 4. We were told she was in perfect health when we received her, however, being a rescue you never really know 100%. When we first got her, we noticed she would occasionally yelp a single yelp while outside and hold up her front right paw for just a second. She would then put it back down and walk normally. This happened 2 or 3 times within the first few weeks that we had her. I mentioned it to our vet, who didnít seem too concerned about it. It then progressed into her sometimes holding up her right paw slightly when she would stand, as to not place weight on it. This later progressed into her slightly whimpering when she holds up the paw, and licking it. About a year ago, she started to scream on occasion and hold up the paw. This generally happens at the following times: When she is laying down and something startles her, or if she jumps up really quickly after she has been laying for a while. The pain doesnít seem to happen right away, it takes about 30 seconds, and then she will hold up her paw. It only seems to last about 30 seconds as well, and then she can put weight on it and acts completely normal. We have also been woken up in the middle of the night by her scream, which is odd to us since she is sleeping and laying down. She will hold up her right front leg while she is laying down and it shakes for about 30 seconds. We have taken her to our primary vet numerous times, to a second opinion vet, and to a specialist in the area. At the specialist we met with an orthopedic surgeon as well as a neurologist, and a couple other vets. No one seems to have any idea what could be wrong with her. Our primary vet thought it could be early arthritis, or something neurological since nothing came up on the x-ray. When we went for the second opinion, the second vet stated his xray showed a broken toe which heeled incorrectly. He wanted to remove the toe, and stated she would have no further pain. We decided to take the x-rays to an orthopedic specialist to confirm it was the toe, but the specialist stated that the x-ray did not show anything abnormal with the toes or bones. She was examined by a neurologist who stated that based on the exam, it didnít appear she had neurological problems, but they could do an MRI to check for sure, however if it was neurological, nothing could really be done to correct it. We have also tried numerous medications, and none seem to have much help regarding the situation. We hate seeing our dog in pain, even if it is only for 30 second sporadic increments. Since we have gone to numerous vets, and nothing has been found, I wanted to see if anyone has ever heard of or had a dog with a situation similar. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!

January 9th, 2012, 12:45 AM
I would see a chiropractor, ask if they do extemities, since not all do:
This could come from some joint above too - both me and my dogs have sore wrists when our necks are out.

As a second option, I would try acupuncture.

January 9th, 2012, 09:29 AM
Very puzzling.....makes me think of maybe a pinched nerve somewhere in the leg/shoulder???? I am not a vet so just throwing out suggestions. Good luck in trying to clear this up. patti

Wanted to welcome you to pets...please share any pictures of your Shiba too, we like pics.

January 9th, 2012, 09:32 AM
If it's some sort of misfiring of the nerves, I was also thinking acupuncture or acupressure might help. It wouldn't cure the problem, but it might help with the symptoms.

Good luck with your girl, Jessi. I hope you get some answers about what's going on, or at least find a way to manage the problem. :goodvibes:

January 9th, 2012, 02:54 PM
Was just thinking - if it can be pinpointed where the pain is, a vet that has a cold laser also might be able to help. Many vets are getting these now (alternatively minded ones :) ).

My boy has a back leg problem - it's from his low back. But sometimes the chiro adjustment doesn't seem to help, which confused me. When I had consulted with an animal communicator, she had told me that a certain joint in his paw was bothering him. Sure enough, the chiro found that that paw needed adjustment (weird, huh???). Anyway, I have a red light acupuncture unit that I use on the paw, that helps a lot.

This, of course, is separate from the front end issues that stem from the neck. Yes, my boy is a mess ;)

The problem with the cold laser though, is finding the right area to treat, so I would first go with the other therapies mention.

Good luck!

January 9th, 2012, 04:30 PM
Been wondering--when the orthopedist checked your dog out, did they also look at the elbow and shoulder? Dysplasia in either of those joints can look like a sore paw because the dog will hold that limb up.

January 22nd, 2012, 09:24 AM
Thank you for the suggestions. We will definitely look into a holistic vet and see what they have to say. I really appreciate the input.

And yes, the orthopedist did check her neck in a physical exam and stated she still had full range of motion and did not show any signed of pain or discomfort stemming from that area. But the did not do a neck x-ray.