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New hind limb lameness in young dog

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    New hind limb lameness in young dog

    Issue presented this morning and I am already awaiting a call back from the veterinarian. Just looking for hand-holding and your anecdotes.

    My 1-year-old Irish Setter x Standard Poodle woke up this morning lame in her left hind leg.
    You’ll be unsurprised to learn that she is a very active dog. Since she is so young, most of her exercise is self-directed: play with her dog friends and games like fetch and tug. Her regimented exercise takes the form of walks and hikes of varying length, and we’ve explored running and biking but only enough to learn how. She does plenty of bouncing around but nothing enforced (no agility jumps or anything). She is super fit, fast, and agile: 22” and 35 pounds.

    She had some kind of injury that left her limping for about a week as a 13-week-old puppy, but it was self-limiting and I couldn’t tie it to any particular action or event.

    Her activity yesterday was normal, though she did spend a lot of time hopping in and out of a kiddie pool playing fetch. That particular action was new.

    Her pads and nails are intact, and I’ve checked between her toes carefully for foreign objects. We live in New England so foxtails seem unlikely. I haven’t been able to find any lacerations, and wouldn’t count on my ability to detect swelling in a Doodle’s fuzzy leg.

    She is limping on it at the walk and showed sharpest pain when trying to sit. She is occasionally toe-resting or not putting weight on it. She is lying down carefully, lowering her right hip first so that she can keep her left leg extended. My personal guess is that it’s her stifle, which has me worried about her CCL, but she doesn’t seem like the type.

    I’m limiting her activity at least until we talk to the vet, to my dog’s disappointment.
    Disclaimer: My mom told me that people might look at my name and think I had an addiction other than horses. I don't; his name was Bravado.

    I have had 2 very overly active dogs injure themselves by just doing too much . I don't remember now what the vets actual diagnosis was on either of them but for 1 it did resolve itself and the other we just kept pain meds on hand if she over did it. It was up in the hip area where both were affected.


      Hi! maybe you should consider x-ray to see if there is any bone injury. Considering this is a poodle mix she can have patella luxation. It is a condition well managed with a right kind of supplement containing glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.


        Xray and a Lyme test.


          Agree about an xray when you see the vet. My dog as a young pup was an all-star at injuring herself. She also had pano which might be what you are experiencing (it's apparently not very common) but a vet can certainly confirm.


            Is she vaccinated for lyme? Tis the season... :-/


              Original Poster

              Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. We went to the vet on Monday afternoon and have sedated X-rays scheduled for this coming Tuesday. Per the vet, she had full range of motion in hips, stifles, and hocks. She is on Rimadyl twice a day and is sound back at her usual activity level. When I missed a dose, my dog refused to pee. It must've hurt to squat. The vet suggested that she may have pulled a groin muscle, since they are important in weight-bearing and she didn't seem to have injured the more usual suspects.

              She is not yet vaccinated for Lyme, though it's been on the agenda. I'd have done it already if not for COVID. However, she has always been on an oral tick treatment because she is at high risk (location/lifestyle), and any ticks I've ever found on her have been dead and not engorged. The vet did raise Lyme as a possibility, and we'll revisit it if her lameness were to shift or if other diagnostics are not illuminating. And I'll definitely get her vaccinated against Lyme.

              She has always had a lot of crepitus (crunchy sounds) in her hind legs, which I have raised at every single exam she's had. It's always worried me, and "Oh, it's just her" never sat right with me. We will see.

              Thanks for listening.
              Disclaimer: My mom told me that people might look at my name and think I had an addiction other than horses. I don't; his name was Bravado.


                Original Poster

                Originally posted by SonicWithNoRings View Post
                Hi! maybe you should consider x-ray to see if there is any bone injury. Considering this is a poodle mix she can have patella luxation. It is a condition well managed with a right kind of supplement containing glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
                Thanks! I think patellar luxation is more common in Miniature and Toy poodles with straight hind leg conformation, but I appreciate you bringing it up.
                Disclaimer: My mom told me that people might look at my name and think I had an addiction other than horses. I don't; his name was Bravado.


                  Xrays will tell you a lot (or at least will rule out serious injury). To be honest, it doesn't sound like Lyme to me, or any other tickborne illness.

                  Could be anything, or nothing. Dogs are no different than people, we slip and hurt ourselves too. The jumping in and out of a kiddie pool does sound like a possible groin injury - I can picture exactly how it would happen, as the dog jumps in, turns and plans to push off to to jump back out and the hind foot slips backward on the slippery bottom of the pool. The same movement could also result in a CCL tear, but I would think it would have caused discomfort in a range of motion evaluation.

                  Fingers crossed it's just an active dog being an active dog. I have 3 of them. I tend to watch and wait for a day or so unless the dog is really uncomfortable.


                    My active GSPs tend to tweak muscles. Could be any one of them that control that left leg. Xray would not help you see that, but careful palpation would.
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