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Old March 22nd, 2011, 10:35 AM
ccarrigan ccarrigan is offline
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Grizzly the Chiuaua sometimes hops on 3 legs

I have a Chiuaua and his name is Grizzly, he is 1 year old and I have noticed recently that when playing with him he sometimes starts hopping on 3 legs, by that I mean he will alternate using one or the other back legs. This only happens sometimes when we are playing around the house, just recently started happening and I am not sure what is going on. It is not just one leg he is always alternating.

Please help!

C
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 11:33 AM
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kathryn kathryn is offline
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If it was just the one leg I was going to say a torn ACL or Cruciate. But, given your description, I don't think it is either. Chihuahua's are weird dogs, they often do hop like that for no real reason. I would say it wouldn't hurt to go to the vets for an exam, they often can feel any problems with joints/ligaments without any invasive or expensive tests.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 11:44 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Originally Posted by kathryn View Post
If it was just the one leg I was going to say a torn ACL or Cruciate. But, given your description, I don't think it is either. Chihuahua's are weird dogs, they often do hop like that for no real reason. I would say it wouldn't hurt to go to the vets for an exam, they often can feel any problems with joints/ligaments without any invasive or expensive tests.
I was thinking the same. I would definately see a vet to be certain.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 12:23 PM
SamIam SamIam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccarrigan View Post
I have a Chiuaua and his name is Grizzly, he is 1 year old and I have noticed recently that when playing with him he sometimes starts hopping on 3 legs, by that I mean he will alternate using one or the other back legs. This only happens sometimes when we are playing around the house, just recently started happening and I am not sure what is going on. It is not just one leg he is always alternating.
Please help!
C
Ccarigan,

There are 3 possibilities that come to mind for me.
- An inherited condition that runs in the Chihuahua breed is luxating patellas, this is where the kneecaps slip out of place. Your vet will check if there is any play in the joint, and if well experienced with small breeds (as you can imagine their kneecap is very very small!) can determine easily whether this is the case. Other joint conditions such as cruciate ligament and hip dysplasia are possible but less likely.
- If your dog has a small back end and straight back legs, dogs of any breed may do this following exercise. Ideally the bones of the back legs are arranged in more of a zig-zag pattern than the end to end of human legs.
- An injury such as pulled muscle or joint injury. Sometimes one leg only gets injured, sometimes both at the same time, and sometimes after the first one is injured, compensating for it causes injury to the other.

If Grizzly has not yet had his 16-months-old shots, I would suggest booking it in a little early and getting those legs looked at. Hopefully everyone's suggestions here will give you a good idea of what to expect at your visit.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 01:13 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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We have a little(r) setter here, Grace, who does the same thing. It's just 'her way'. Especially on wet days. It seems her hind paws are much more susceptible to melting in rain or snow than her front feet are, so she alternates holding the hind feet up so as to minimize their time in peril. But to some extent, she'll do the same thing indoors for no apparent reason.

So it may just be a quirk for your dog, like it is for Grace. But next time into the vet you might want to have them manipulate his spine to make sure he isn't tender along his back. Sometimes a dog with hip or back problems or even just a pulled back muscle will throw their weight forward to relieve pressure on the hind quarters and that will sometimes include the favoring of alternating hind legs...
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