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Off and on lame dog

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  • Off and on lame dog

    I have a just turned 8 yr old Lab who is active and in good health. In the last couple of weeks he's had this off and on lameness. He'll be completely sound one minute and then the next time I look at him he's lame on his right front. Often times I notice it after he's been laying down and then gets up. Sometimes he also seems to mostly work out of it so that I only see the very slightest limp but other times it stays more noticeable. I know he gets out in the yard and rough-houses with the other dogs so Ive tried to keep him somewhat quieter to see if he'll get himself straightened out. He's not happy about this

    Any ideas what this could be? We'll visit the vet if this persists or gets worse. FWIW I just started him and his "brother" on a joint supp because they're 8 and 9 yrs old now respectively.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

  • #2
    Elbow dysplasia/arthritis is common in labs. Have you done xrays?

    Comment


    • #3
      My sheltie does the same thing in his left front. Most of the time he is sound on it but I have noticed him limping a few steps after he gets up. The vet palpated his leg and didn't find anything and didn't think it was serious enough for xrays at this point but it is annoying. My guy is only 3.
      McDowell Racing Stables

      Home Away From Home

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      • #4
        Have your vet test for Lyme Disease. I had two dogs go through this exact same on-again, off-again front-leg lameness & both tested positive for Lyme. After the treatment course, lameness disappeared & never returned.

        Comment


        • #5
          I guess lyme is a possibility even though he was vaccinated. I wouldn't think the lameness would be in the exact same leg every time though. I will talk to my vet about it when I see her on Tuesday.
          McDowell Racing Stables

          Home Away From Home

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          • #6
            Both my dogs were vaccinated against Lyme as well, which surprised me. My vet said that the vaccination doesn't completely eliminate contracting the disease, but it definitely reduces the severity.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks for the tips. This is a new issue so no xrays at this point. Arthritis or dysplasia had crossed my mind so if this persists we'll definitely check in to that. Thats not the answer I was hoping for though Lyme is also a possibility too since he's the only dog out of our 4 who ever picks up ticks!
              "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

              Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

              Comment


              • #8
                Have your vet test for Lyme Disease. I had two dogs go through this exact same on-again, off-again front-leg lameness & both tested positive for Lyme. After the treatment course, lameness disappeared & never returned.
                ditto- had a dog with the exact same symptom, off and on lameness on one front leg, turned out to be lyme. 14 days of doxy and it was gone forever.

                Dogs also frequently sprain their toes and this can cause off/on lameness - manipulate the toes and see if he is sore on a particular one.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Good idea wendy. DH checked his foot for cuts/burrs/etc but we didnt think to wiggle any toes. Hopefully thats all it is!
                  "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

                  Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Awww, poor guy sounds like me

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                    • #11
                      Unless you travel a lot I wouldn't be too concerned about Lyme OP. Coastal NC isn't a big Lyme hot spot to say the least. I would be much more concerned about arthritis. And if you check the elbow I would also get a good hip film as well.
                      You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

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                      • #12
                        All the Tick diseases can display similar symtoms including lameness. It certainly can manifest in the same leg.

                        I live in an area that is NOT known for Tick problems. However, I know three dogs that have tested positive for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. One had been on and off lame in the same leg for over a year. The owner had to demand a tick panal! Opps! from the vet when it came back positive!!!


                        It doesn't hurt to do a full Tick panel! I have one done every year when I pull for heart worms.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by paintsrgreat View Post
                          All the Tick diseases can display similar symtoms including lameness. It certainly can manifest in the same leg.

                          I live in an area that is NOT known for Tick problems. However, I know three dogs that have tested positive for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. One had been on and off lame in the same leg for over a year. The owner had to demand a tick panal! Opps! from the vet when it came back positive!!!


                          It doesn't hurt to do a full Tick panel! I have one done every year when I pull for heart worms.
                          This. I work in a vet diagnostics lab in the Carolinas and we've been seeing more RMSF this year than usual. More Lyme too. IDEXX makes a snap test that does HW, Lyme, RMSF and Babesia all at once. Can't hurt to check!

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks all for your input and suggestions!!

                            Pup went to the vet yesterday because the on/off lameness has persisted. The good news is it doesn't appear to be arthritis or dysplasia at this point. After palpating and flexing joints on both legs, the vet kept getting a reaction from the two middle toes on the right foot. So for now, we are treating as a sprain with rest and 5 days of Deramaxx. If that doesn't seem to do the trick for him, I will definitely ask for the tick panel. He is the only dog out of our 4 that ever gets ticks. Even after being religious with the flea/tick meds this spring, we pulled one off of his ear while waiting at the vet office Fingers crossed for a quick recovery.
                            "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

                            Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

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