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Old June 27th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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mystery limp

I believe I've asked about this in the past, but I can't find the thread, so here's the short (kind of) re-cap:

About 3 years ago Streets developed a limp. It was pretty noticeable, and recurring, but never lasted too long. One day, seemingly out of the blue, in the middle of a walk he just refused to move and had to be carried home. Once there he could barely move without screeching so off to the vet we went.

X rays of his neck, shoulders, elbows and examination by 3 different vets proved useless. Everything looked perfect and none of us to even locate the specific area causing the problem, beyond just that it was something in his front half.

A few weeks of restricted activity and a couple of days of anti-inflammatories and he was fine.

For a whole year he's fine, no sign of a limp at all, then last summer he starts having a slight catch or glitch or something unnoticeable to anyone but me in his gait. Again though, it's there one morning and fine by the afternoon. I take him to the vet a couple more times, once we discover a small cut in his foot and assume that's the issue, another time we can't figure out at all what is going on and she just suggests some rest.

Every fall/winter/spring there is no sign of the limp, summer roles around and it shows back up, never anywhere near as sever as it was initially, but there on and off none the less.

So here we are again, Streets has this weird "catch" in his step on average every couple of weeks. It usually only lasts a few hours to a day and then disappears again. I've spoken to my vet about it and she doesn't seem too concerned and only suggested massage and not going on long walks (which is verging on hilarious because I refuse to live with a wound up psycho Streets).

The other out there theory I had, after reading about this in humans, is that inflammation in one part of the body (in this case Streets' flare up of colitis which happens in the spring/summer every year) can cause inflammation in other parts of the body, specifically joints. In theory my vet seems to think this is remotely possible, but has never seen it.

I can't find a chiro or acupuncturist who work on animals here, and in any case I still don't know what exactly the issue is.

So, the question, finally lol Do I get more x rays taken? Do I get a 4th opinion? Do I assume it's some weird muscle injury or arthritis in his toe or something equally hard to figure out and just leave it be? Are there other options I'm not thinking of?

I apologize for the length of this , it's just driving me a bit nuts trying to figure it out.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 01:53 PM
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Oh my....you certainly get your share of weird problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pitgrrl
The other out there theory I had, after reading about this in humans, is that inflammation in one part of the body (in this case Streets' flare up of colitis which happens in the spring/summer every year) can cause inflammation in other parts of the body, specifically joints. In theory my vet seems to think this is remotely possible, but has never seen it.
I also agree that this is possible. One of my previous sibes started walking differently and we took him to the vet but she couldn't find anything wrong. He seemed to hold his front legs stiffer and she thought since it was summer perhaps the pavement was too hot for him.

A couple of months later I noticed his poops were getting darker and took him in again. It turned out he had intestinal cancer and ended up having a tumour removed. It wasn't until then that we figured that his walking with stiff front legs was likely because he was hurting inside at the time.

So I really think that the limp Streets gets can be related to his colitis. Does his limp get worse when his colitis is flaring up?
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Old June 27th, 2008, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rainbow View Post

So I really think that the limp Streets gets can be related to his colitis. Does his limp get worse when his colitis is flaring up?
It seems to happen after. We usually see a bad flare up of the colitis in March which will last 2-4 weeks on and off. April-June we usually see more minor flare-ups which last a day to a week, but often the limp will show up a few days after the colitis subsides.

Even calling it a limp feels too extreme, it's usually just a stiffness or slight irregularity in his gait and on rare occasions a noticeable favoring of one leg over the other.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 02:46 PM
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Humans who have colitis will also develop sore limbs, almost like arthritis during the same time as a flare so it may one of the side issues with colitis.

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Old June 27th, 2008, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitgrrl View Post
Even calling it a limp feels too extreme, it's usually just a stiffness or slight irregularity in his gait and on rare occasions a noticeable favoring of one leg over the other.
That's how my sibe walked.....with stiff front legs. I think it probably is related to Streets' colitis and hopefully your vet can find some answers for you.....or maybe Dr. Lee can provide some insight.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 03:42 PM
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Here's another question. I keep having Americans tell me it's probably lyme disease, but from my understanding, and speaking to my vet, the likelihood of Streets contracting lyme in Canada, in the middle of downtown Montreal is virtually nil.

I could just get him tested I suppose
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Old June 27th, 2008, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitgrrl View Post

I can't find a chiro or acupuncturist who work on animals here, and in any case I still don't know what exactly the issue is.
You can't ? I had the numbers for their association ... will look for it tomorrow.
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the likelihood of Streets contracting lyme in Canada, in the middle of downtown Montreal is virtually nil.
I totally agree , not in Montreal. And I'm guessing if it was lyme , his condition would have gotten worse with time. But Hazel is the specialist on lyme diseases , will ask her later if she doesn't see this thread.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 09:05 PM
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The thing is, in the US it seems totally common, whereas here, from what I've read at least, it's not. I swear I haven't seen a tick since I was 15 and in some farming village in France

I dunno, my bet is either on some weird structural or soft tissue thing or something related to the colitis, but what can you do about that and who do you see?
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Old June 27th, 2008, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitgrrl View Post
but what can you do about that and who do you see?
You would need Sonia (animal psychic on animal planet)
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Old June 27th, 2008, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitgrrl View Post
Here's another question. I keep having Americans tell me it's probably lyme disease, but from my understanding, and speaking to my vet, the likelihood of Streets contracting lyme in Canada, in the middle of downtown Montreal is virtually nil.

I could just get him tested I suppose
It certainly couldn't hurt. Idexx puts out a snap test for tick-borne diseases -- I think it's called a 4DX snap test and it checks for exposure to Lyme's, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and canine Ehrlichia (heartworm, too, but that's irrelevant here). All it takes is one infected tick to pass on the disease...and you wouldn't necessarily see the little bloodsucker. Hubby caught anaplasmosis without ever seeing the tick that gave it to him--and we check ourselves pretty thoroughly, given that we live in Tick Central. He's not nearly as hairy as Streets is.

Belle has occasional flare-ups of her Lyme's and shows lameness similar to what Streets does. Interestingly, I've heard of other cases of chronic Lyme's that include gastrointestinal symptoms.

Ruling out tick-borne diseases might not be such a bad idea!
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Old June 28th, 2008, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitgrrl View Post
X rays of his neck, shoulders, elbows and examination by 3 different vets proved useless.
Were his feet ever xrayed?

I think getting the Lyme's test done would atleast rule that possibility out
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Old June 28th, 2008, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenchy View Post
I totally agree , not in Montreal. And I'm guessing if it was lyme , his condition would have gotten worse with time. But Hazel is the specialist on lyme diseases , will ask her later if she doesn't see this thread.

I was thinking the same as Frenchy since this has been happening off & on for three years now. Can dogs have a mild case of lyme disease that does not get worse over time?
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Old June 28th, 2008, 01:15 AM
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90% of dogs infected with Lyme's never get ill, they carry the organism but it doesn't cause active infection

Quote:
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Con...S=0&C=0&A=1588
Eradication of the Lyme spirochete is not a reasonable expectation with treatment; the organism is simply too good at hiding. The goal instead is to bring the patient into what is called a premunitive state. This is the state that 90% of infected dogs achieve when they get infected but never get ill: the organism is in their bodies latently but is not causing active infection.

I suppose it is possible that when Streets colitis flares up, this may trigger a mild infection plus Montreal is not that far from Vermont & New Hampshire where the Lyme's risk is stated by the CDC as moderate, someone from Mtl visiting the US could've brought back a tick on their vechicle/clothing/dog
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Last edited by growler~GateKeeper; June 28th, 2008 at 01:20 AM.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 01:31 AM
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Thanks Growler.....I didn't know that.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 10:36 AM
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Than k you for the lyme 101 crash course guys. I'll probably test him again just to be able to cross it off the list.

He was limping slightly yesterday morning, and wouldn't ya know it, soft, mucousy stool the day before that and then today.

I adore Streets, wouldn't trade him for anything, but sometimes I think he's going to induce a heart attack.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 12:42 PM
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Good luck Pitgrrl.....I hope you get to the bottom of this soon.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love4himies View Post
Humans who have colitis will also develop sore limbs, almost like arthritis during the same time as a flare so it may one of the side issues with colitis.


I just noticed this post now and I have a friend with colitis and have heard the same thing so perhaps this is colitis related.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 01:15 PM
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Have you ever had Streets on yucca supplements?

I just found this information from http://www.purelypets.com/articles/treatingcolitis.htm .....

Quote:
Yucca Intensive
Yucca is a natural steroidal supplement containing steroid saponins which are nature's most powerful anti-inflammatory agents. This product reduces pain without gastric side effects and is effective for arthritis, bone and joint problems, soft tissue swelling and digestive and bowel problems.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 01:22 PM
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I've thought about it, but in a couple of books I have at home they list some side effects that I wasn't totally comfortable about without being under the care of a naturopath, or at least talking to an actual person familiar with it's use.

Anyone ever used it?

ETA: thank you for the link rainbow!

Last edited by pitgrrl; June 28th, 2008 at 01:31 PM.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 01:44 PM
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What are the bad side effects? .....The information I've read doesn't list any. But, as with any meds/supplements I would make sure the kidney/liver functions are normal.

I've never used it.....maybe you should start a new thread asking if others have.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 01:54 PM
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I just checked the dogaware website and Mary Straus (contributor to Whole Dog Journal) doesn't have anything bad to say about it.

Have you read the information she has about Colitis? There is lots there and all the highlighted blue parts lead to even more links and information.....

http://www.dogaware.com/specific.html#ibd
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Old June 28th, 2008, 01:56 PM
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I wish I could remember why I've hesitated trying it, I'll have to look it up when I get home.

The only thing I can find reference to at the moment is possible digestive upset with longterm use.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 02:01 PM
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Maybe that's why Mary Straus says it's best used 4 days on and 3 days off.

Anyways, I gotta get my butt out of here and get into town before the credit union closes.

Good luck pitgrrl and hugs for Streets.

And one for Basil too just because he's as handsome as Streets.
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