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Old October 20th, 2009, 11:42 PM
KalisDuchess KalisDuchess is offline
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Question Limping Adolsecent Mixed Breed Dog

My puppy Kalis, is an 8.5 month old German/Aussie X AK Malamute. He's of general excellent health and has an exceptional temperament. I am proud to say that besides the occasional excited nip when I hand feed him a treat with other dogs around he has never bit me, nor the vet when she was cranking away on him seeking cause of this injury.

Two months ago, while we were exercising one hot summer night, Kalis developed a limp once he was home. I checked his paw and it seemed to have a small rip with no bleeding on one side, so I chalked it up some stiffness from the heat, or most likely the pad. He got lots of water, limped around for a couple of days and was back to his normal self in no time flat. Kalis' normal self is pretty rammy. On the hardwood floors he is constantly spinning out and jamming himself into obstacles.
Two weeks ago, Kalis went running down the stairs like an idiot and I heard a good crash at the bottom . No yelp or whining though. I let him out and when he came back in, he had a limp. I checked him over for any pad damage a few times and when there was none, I went up and down his leg poking and prodding and pulling this way and that. There is no specific spot that I can find. So I thought, silly boy sprained something.
A few days into the limp I got worried. So I got my vet, who lives 20 miles away to come over and check him out on one of her trips. She felt him all over and at the top of his leg, she said she felt a tight muscle that when activated triggered a series of muscles down his leg. Okay, cool I thought. She gave him a good little massage, and he grimaced a little, but don't we all from our first really deep tissue massage.

SO it's a week later. He uses his leg regularly but mostly with a limp. I have stairs to get anywhere in my house (so his rest which I am enforcing as much as possible is not complete) and unless I have a leash on him in the yard to do his business he often trots around with a limp and will run if there is a reason to check something out. My dogs are agility dogs and train to do ski-joring. Kalis has not pulled weight yet as he's quite young, but runs with my shepherd attached by a tether for up to 2 km at a time. That exercise ended due to the weather about a week before this injury, plus we have puppioes here, so I don;t quite have the time for big workouts. You can hear him clunking down into various haunts around the house all day.

The injury is the front right leg.
I can fully manipulate the paw, all of the joints and the bones any which way I want, until I force the pads of the paw into the weight bearing position and begin to place force upwards on the structure. I do this while holding the leg above the "wrist" and he seems leery sometimes but most often is totally indifferent. Definitely NOT afraid to give me the leg. When I move up to the elbow and isolate causing bearing force on the pads, his reaction is what I would classify as pain. There is 100% a twinge when I push up on the pads when he is laying on his side. putting the walking angle into his paw.


I am having difficulty reconciling the "tight muslce" diagnosis with the lack of evidence out there( I haven;t seen anyone make a comment on a long-term limp due to muscle stiffness) to support this theory. However I believe in chiro for pets and wish we still had a working pet chiro near my community. Still, it's altogether possible and I'm not a denier. Otherwise I'd be a vet makin the pet money.

So I hope I've supplied ample information to create a hypothesis.
I don't need to hear take him to a vet unless you have a specific cause, because I am working with a great vet already.

I am confused because an ACL tear is usually indicated by extreme discomfort and inability to use the limb. He's not lame, but is limping. Cartiledge would react when manipulation to the specific joints in the limb occured as well.
Again, there is no pain when any parts are manipulated separately, only when the force is applied to the pad in the weigt bearing structure..
In the super pixellated picture I upped, you can see how he favours the leg. He'll walk away limping and goes down the stairs on leg at a time smoothly. I need a piece of mind or I'm gong to end up going crazy and spending money taking time off work and getting xrays and several bet bills, but I want my healthy little clutz back! ANd yes, I've ordered him some ant-slip booties. If it's anything like the drywall in my house he's going to destroy them in a day.,
Thanks for any help and thank you for reading this novel!! LOL

peace
namaste
Glen
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Old October 20th, 2009, 11:46 PM
KalisDuchess KalisDuchess is offline
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I wish I could edit this post to resize this picture!!! It's messing up the whole thread!!!
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Old October 21st, 2009, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KalisDuchess View Post
Two months ago, while we were exercising one hot summer night, Kalis developed a limp once he was home. I checked his paw and it seemed to have a small rip with no bleeding on one side, so I chalked it up some stiffness from the heat, or most likely the pad. He got lots of water, limped around for a couple of days and was back to his normal self in no time flat.
Was the rip flushed repeated with water and/or water & epsom salts to remove any potential foreign object ie wood sliver, blade of grass? Has he been licking his paw?

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Originally Posted by KalisDuchess View Post
Kalis' normal self is pretty rammy. On the hardwood floors he is constantly spinning out and jamming himself into obstacles.
Carpet runners are fairly inexpensive.

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Originally Posted by KalisDuchess View Post
A few days into the limp I got worried. So I got my vet, who lives 20 miles away to come over and check him out on one of her trips. She felt him all over and at the top of his leg, she said she felt a tight muscle that when activated triggered a series of muscles down his leg. Okay, cool I thought. She gave him a good little massage, and he grimaced a little, but don't we all from our first really deep tissue massage.
Have the massages been repeated either by the vet or yourself?

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Originally Posted by KalisDuchess View Post
plus we have puppioes here
cute , but are you purposely breeding mixed breed dogs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KalisDuchess View Post
The injury is the front right leg.
I can fully manipulate the paw, all of the joints and the bones any which way I want, until I force the pads of the paw into the weight bearing position and begin to place force upwards on the structure. I do this while holding the leg above the "wrist" and he seems leery sometimes but most often is totally indifferent. Definitely NOT afraid to give me the leg. When I move up to the elbow and isolate causing bearing force on the pads, his reaction is what I would classify as pain. There is 100% a twinge when I push up on the pads when he is laying on his side. putting the walking angle into his paw.
The walking angle stretches the muscles & ligaments to their fullest extent & pushing up on that position puts a strain on the shoulder muscle & joint. Try extending your arm straight out, hand flat on the wall & push against the wall - feel that in your shoulder muscles & joint?

Where as when you hold the "wrist" and push up his paw is not in the same position it is most likely with his toes pointing straight down right? At this angle there is no pressure on the carpal or metacarpal ligaments/joints. With pushing on the paw you are engaging the carpal ligaments, if there is damage to them not the knee you will see it here.

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Originally Posted by KalisDuchess View Post
I am having difficulty reconciling the "tight muslce" diagnosis with the lack of evidence out there( I haven;t seen anyone make a comment on a long-term limp due to muscle stiffness) to support this theory.
I had an adult rescue who had a left front shoulder muscle injury due to long distance running mishap as a pup w/his previous owner, which resurfaced even more than 6 years later when exercised strenously or the foot hitting the ground slightly off/too hard from running down the stairs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KalisDuchess View Post
I am confused because an ACL tear is usually indicated by extreme discomfort and inability to use the limb. He's not lame, but is limping. Cartiledge would react when manipulation to the specific joints in the limb occured as well.
Again, there is no pain when any parts are manipulated separately, only when the force is applied to the pad in the weigt bearing structure..
It may not be an ACL or CCL (both knee ligament injuries) as you are correct they generally present with severe hopping symptoms. However some dogs are quite stoic & do not show discomfort until it is quite severe. A muscle tear injury is quite possible especially if the muscles in his legs are reacting/twitching to a shoulder massage. You could also be looking at the begining of Carpal Hyperextension Possibly both carpal ligament and shoulder muscle injury.

Is there an animal physiotherapist that does Gunn IMS or acupuncture nearby?
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Old October 21st, 2009, 04:46 AM
KalisDuchess KalisDuchess is offline
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The pad is fully healed, It never had an open wound. And yes it was cleaned.

The vet hasn;t been back, I fiddle with massage, but it doesn;t mean much because I'm not sure what I'm looking for and if I'm activating the right triggers in the correct order to be of help. Perhaps I'm doing more harm than anything. So I leave it. The vet asked to be notified in two weeks of any changes. I'm icing it regularly and that seems to ease the limping some. No pain killers yet.

I bred the Husky cross intentionally as there is a demand for husky shepherds in my area. The Lab was very unintentional and a neighbour's lab jumped my 5 foot plus fence and got at my female who had gone into heat 4 days earlier than her cycle had previously been. When I approached my old vet about an emergency spay he didn;t agree with the need for the procedure as she is a top conforming dog of a desired working breed. Not papered because she's a GSD Aussie hybrid, but color, size, temperament, and instinct conforming. We have intentions to do two Aussie litters in the next two years. As you may be aware the breed standard size has been in decline and the overall genetic pool is weak for the Aussie. This is a private working interest in a superior animal. So this Labrador litter was NOT wanted. Very unfortunate. I would say that I likely take a loss of a few hundred dollars on a mixed litter like the labs because I include the vet in very regular checkups of mother and pups throughtout the whole process and give return guarantees to all takers. I'd rather re-place my dogs than expect the SPCA to do it. I also volunteer with the local SPCA as a fundraiser.

Each time I manipulate the injured leg I do so by causing the paw to become perpendicular to the leg bones. Testing with the toes straight is only doing a fetlock test. The fetlock is limp. but so is the healthy side when I hold it.

I have a pretty serious concern about some sort of a fetlock injury. He has gained a decent amount of weight in a hurry (all good weight) but still a considerable threat to his joints.
I'm pretty certain it's safe to rule out a carpal hyperextension, as upon pretty extensicve manipulations of the carpal structure (all thre e levels) he didn;t even blink. The pain seems to be only in weight bearing situations ABOVE the patsern and I think/hope the fetlock, too. But he holds the fetlock loose at all times when it's not being used to walk.

I'm not aware of any IMS, but I do have a friend who is a retired acupuncturist and perhaps she has some suggestions.

It's too bad that on every dog site the "purebred" crowd gets concerned about mixed breeders. It would be time better spent to be worried about the genetic defects that are being crammed into breeds in order to get bigger ears or more wrinkles or shorter noses or a million other unproductive traits which serve only the status of the dog's owner and not the animal's health and well-being. My dogs, however muttish they are come from active, healthy working stock genetically clean and luckily in the case of the Labrador a working hunting dog, and their beginning bloodlines are job and trial not ring and wallet. If a dog person wants to be concerned about breeding, be concerned about the miniature aussies, the 100 + lb GSDs with genetics so poor many police forces and protection agencies won'lt even consider them. Yet still, these animals and many others, especially the small breeds are endorsed even lauded for these failures in evolution.
There are still people out there who would like to see genetic pools expanded and breeds brought back to function before form.
Definitely not a conversation or thought that will help Little Boy Kalis get back to his strengths again.
The point was that we have a fresh litter in the house, so many activities for my two personal dogs have slowed.

Otherwise, thanks for the input. The hyper extension is a great idea and will be one of the tests I request the vet perform.
I'd appreciate any more ideas..
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Old October 21st, 2009, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KalisDuchess View Post
I bred the Husky cross intentionally as there is a demand for husky shepherds in my area. The Lab was very unintentional and a neighbour's lab jumped my 5 foot plus fence and got at my female who had gone into heat 4 days earlier than her cycle had previously been. When I approached my old vet about an emergency spay he didn;t agree with the need for the procedure as she is a top conforming dog of a desired working breed. Not papered because she's a GSD Aussie hybrid, but color, size, temperament, and instinct conforming. We have intentions to do two Aussie litters in the next two years. As you may be aware the breed standard size has been in decline and the overall genetic pool is weak for the Aussie. This is a private working interest in a superior animal. So this Labrador litter was NOT wanted. Very unfortunate. I would say that I likely take a loss of a few hundred dollars on a mixed litter like the labs because I include the vet in very regular checkups of mother and pups throughtout the whole process and give return guarantees to all takers. I'd rather re-place my dogs than expect the SPCA to do it. I also volunteer with the local SPCA as a fundraiser.


It's too bad that on every dog site the "purebred" crowd gets concerned about mixed breeders. It would be time better spent to be worried about the genetic defects that are being crammed into breeds in order to get bigger ears or more wrinkles or shorter noses or a million other unproductive traits which serve only the status of the dog's owner and not the animal's health and well-being. My dogs, however muttish they are come from active, healthy working stock genetically clean and luckily in the case of the Labrador a working hunting dog, and their beginning bloodlines are job and trial not ring and wallet. If a dog person wants to be concerned about breeding, be concerned about the miniature aussies, the 100 + lb GSDs with genetics so poor many police forces and protection agencies won'lt even consider them. Yet still, these animals and many others, especially the small breeds are endorsed even lauded for these failures in evolution.
There are still people out there who would like to see genetic pools expanded and breeds brought back to function before form.
First off, I hope your dog gets well soon.

Now as for the "every dog site" comment. This is a pro spay neuter board with many members here who are in rescue and see the overpopulation problem on a daily basis from puppy mills and byb's contributing to the problem. I am surprised that as a volunteer at the SPCA you would yourself be breeding dogs, and evidently for money as you referred to taking a loss on the puppies of this accidental pairing.
Don't expect a lot of people here to believe in or approve of what you're doing.

clm
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Old October 21st, 2009, 06:04 AM
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http://www.petfinder.com/search/sear...review=&zip=sk

maybe you could pass this around your area being there is a demand for mixed lab dogs, hopefully we'll get a lot adopted out and thus preventing a few back yard breeders thinking there is a demand!

Good luck with you dogs injury, hope it clears up soon
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Old October 21st, 2009, 09:54 AM
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We had a dog that showed similar symptoms off and on from the age of 9 weeks. We took him to an orthopedic specialist and he was diagnosed with elbow dysplasia (osteochondritis dissecans). There are a number of different forms of it, but unless you have an experienced ortho vet look at the xrays, likely the condition will be undiagnosed until the arthritic changes begin--and your chances of good management go down dramatically. So that's something you should probably have checked as soon as you can.

An orthopedic specialist can also check for inflammation in the joints or tendons--one that can cause lameness in a front leg is the biceps tendon. It often suffers injury from repetitive motion--for example, if he comes down the stairs and always turns the same way, or if he jumps out of a vehicle and always turns the same way.

I hope your dog heals quickly.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 02:52 PM
KalisDuchess KalisDuchess is offline
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Thanks hazel. I am concerned there has been some sort of injury beyond the basic sprain and that's the reason I came asking. I met with my vet and she wants to try two days' Steroidal followed by a week's worth of NSAIDs. I am cutting him off from the up and down of the stairs as much as possible and considering a tensor for the lower joint. He's pretty content to lay around right now and once he's high I'm hoping he'll kick back even more. Otherwise I'm gonna tie him to the couch and sit on him.

I'm ready to get some xrays done at a clinic. and forward them to a specialist.

Again, I am concerned he strained something pretty seriously being a rammy clutz on the stairs. We'll find out in the next week.

To respond to any misguided thoughts of my profit motive, I have had multiple dogs and several of them purebred in the last 20 years. This is the first breeding dog I have chosen. In order to safeguard her health I was first off immediately seeking an emergency spay. My vet talked me out of it. I WILL lose money because I see the vets and vet techs every week for checkups, full weight, follow-ups, measurements to identify growth traits and after their de-worming, extensive socialisation, which I take time off work to do. I know it's much, much more information than most big breeders compile about their animals. And the early socialisation with many different dogs and environments makes for good pets. And it costs me an extra dollar to do this all. So I will lose a few hundred bucks. But someone will get a better dog for it, and I can have some information to pore over to see just what is unique about these dogs from the various standards they came from. It's a drop in the pool of worldwide information, but it is MORE information, which is what we need considering the proliferance of narrowed genetics in recent years.

It's too bad you face such overpopulation issues but that's simply not the problem here. In 15,000 square miles of area, we have one shelter. And it's not always full. Cats on the other hand ARE a local issue.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by KalisDuchess View Post
It's too bad that on every dog site the "purebred" crowd gets concerned about mixed breeders.
Believe me I am, as most members on this site are, far from a "purebreed snob" instead I can not understand why someone would breed any dog intentionally be they a purebred or a mutt when there are hundreds of thousands of dogs in shelters and rescues across Canada & the US waiting for homes or dying because of lack of space.

As mentioned above my last dog was an adult rescue mix breed.

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It's too bad you face such overpopulation issues but that's simply not the problem here. In 15,000 square miles of area, we have one shelter. And it's not always full. Cats on the other hand ARE a local issue.
That link given above is for Saskatchewan. Here's the Husky mix mostly with shepard listing for Saskatchewan http://www.petfinder.com/search/sear...review=&zip=sk there are alot already waiting for homes in your area & transport can always be arranged.

If the shelter in your area has space, perhaps you can help to arrange transport from nearby shelters that are over crowded.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 07:10 AM
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I wouldnt delay an xray any longer. . .do you kennel your dog? Perhaps cage rest would help. If the dog is limping, he probably is in some pain, maybe get another vet to peek at him, more eyes couldnt hurt, and hopefuly get the ball rolling so your pup can feel better.

What area of sask are you in? I am involved with a rescue that is on the border, virden, and i see more than my share of dogs from sask. Any good breeder would do the things you said and more, when you breed, for every pup you create, another dog will die. . . .
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by KalisDuchess View Post
Not papered because she's a GSD Aussie hybrid, but color, size, temperament, and instinct conforming. We have intentions to do two Aussie litters in the next two years. As you may be aware the breed standard size has been in decline and the overall genetic pool is weak for the Aussie.
Huh? If I'm understanding what you wrote, you have a GSD/Aussie which your planning to breed to an Aussie in the hopes of improving the Aussie gene pool?

Although I, like pretty much everyone else on this board, do disagree with producing mixbreed puppies for whatever reason most people do it (most times money), at the same time as musher I also understand the mixed lineages being produced in the Alaskan Huskies, for the sake of producing better racing dogs for a kennel's own team or to sometimes sell to other mushers (not marketing to the general public as pets). GSD/Aussie is nobody's definition of an Alaskan Husky though and I just don't get how you think you're improving the breed by producing this mix. Unless the Aussie gene pool becomes so diminished that the registries are opened up to allow the introduction of "new blood" you can do nothing to improve a registered breed by producing unregistered mixbreed puppies.

I do hope Kalis is feeling better soon. Unfortunately he's at that age where they can tend to be klutzy and overdo the roughhousing with their buddies. I've had soft tissue injuries in a few of my dogs because they play really rough, and sometimes the soft tissue injuries just need time to heal. I had not long harness broke my Rain when she wrestled too hard with the bigger boys and ended up sore on a front leg for weeks. I kept her out of training that whole season but when I put her back into the team the next fall she was amazing. I wouldn't rush Kalis into working or you might end up with a chronic lameness if he doesn't get the chance to fully heal.

I would actually like to see pictures of your GSD/Aussie. That's what I suspect my Thunder is, though was a rescue that I adopted as a pup so I have no way of knowing for sure. For the record, he's a great dog and I love him to bits, but he's the slowest dog on my team and I think I'm going to leave him out of my racing team this year and just do some training runs and recreational sledding with him.
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Last edited by Gail P; October 22nd, 2009 at 10:33 PM.
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