Jump to content
BC Boards
Sign in to follow this  
bc friend

Long term intermittent limp

Recommended Posts

Katie, my 45 lb, 5 yo bc/springer rescue, has had an intermittent left back leg limp for a couple of years. She may not limp at all for several months, then limp for a day, a week or several weeks - not constantly but a few minutes to few hours each day. She has limped daily for about a month now. The limp itself ranges from barely noticeable to carrying the paw to hobbling like she can barely move - and then 30 minutes later, not showing a limp at all! Other than the limp, she shows no signs of pain - no swelling, no flinching, eats well, no fever, etc.

 

Over the years, my vet has poked, prodded, x-rayed spine, hips and leg both with Katie awake and under deep sedation, tested for TBD (even though we've never seen a tick on her), etc. All of the tests have "good" results (which is great but doesn't help w/a diagnosis) - no hip displaysia, stifle tight, no loose ligaments, no growths or swellings, nothing embedded in her paw or between her pads, reflexes normal, responds to stimuli, etc. The only "unusual" finding is that while the top of her paws are border collie shaped, the pads are heavy and rounded like a spaniel's but this is true for all of her paws. In general, her conformation is a blend of spaniel and bc characteristics - for example, her ears are set like a bc, v-shaped, drop and relatively small but they are completely hidden by the heavy, long feathering fur of a spaniel. She is heavier boned than most bc's but taller and less bulky than most spaniels. Katie's instincts are more spaniel than bc - herding/agility/frisbee hold no interest for her but she will chase (and catch) any small animal she sees although she doesn't hurt them (soft spaniel mouth). She is not nippy and loves all children but is extremely submissive to other dogs w/o looking fearful.

 

She was surrendered to rescue w/her parents when she was less than a yr old, whelped a litter w/in 24 hrs of coming into rescue, had mild positive test for HW - I adopted her after her pups were weaned and treated her HW w/Heartguard. Her BC mom was pts due to advanced abdominal cancer a few days after coming into rescue. Her springer dad was treated for HW and adopted -at my request, the rescue contacted the current owners who advised that he has no health problems.

 

At this point, my vet doesn't recommend pursuing diagnosis through expensive testing, i.e., CT or MRI although she has not ruled it out for the future. But we're at a loss to explain the limp.

 

Any ideas what it might be?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boy, is this weird or what? Seems limping is the current issue.

I had noticed with Skye's intermittent limp that it appears to subside if she's not done any vigorous jumping, i.e. frisbee esp., jumping over things etc. So now that we're on strict rest from her stick injury, plus being on Metacam for a while, we'll see if it goes away completely. Have you noticed whether Katie has just performed a specific kind of move or action when this happens? It might be worth keeping some kind of a diary to record her activities and the severity of the limp that happens around the same time. There may be a correlation. When she is limp-less for a long period, are her extreme activities less than usual during this time? Failing all other options, is there an ortho specialist that you can see nearby?

Other than this, I can only wish you good luck.

Ailsa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you notice that she limps more when the weather changes? My girl Ceana moves like she has HD, and acted like she was in pain when the vet positioned her for the HD x-ray, but the x-ray says no HD. I am almost convinced that Ceana is authritic (or something similar) because of her on set of a limp and general snarliness when the weather gets colder.

 

Start keeping track of things like weather, location, time of year, what she ate... you may see an odd pattern. Sometimes I think I would give anything for her just to be able to tell me what is going on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My BC Skye started limping intermittantly and was finally diagnosed as hypothyroid; when the meds took effect, he stopped limping. My BC Quest was limping (back leg only) and xrays showed a cancerous mass on his spleen.

Barb S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My BC Skye started limping intermittantly and was finally diagnosed as hypothyroid; when the meds took effect, he stopped limping. My BC Quest was limping (back leg only) and xrays showed a cancerous mass on his spleen.

Barb S

 

Oh Barb, that was not good news about Quest. When did this happen? How is he doing? And your Skye diagnosed with hypothyroid -- I hadn't heard this could cause limping. You learn something all the time.

Ailsa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your responses. Everything discussed, except the thyroid issue, has already been explored with negative findings but I am continuing to monitor exercise, weather, etc. just in case - spleen or other abdominal cancer has been a consideration in light of Katie's mother dying from it but nothing has shown up so far. I will discuss whether her thyroid should be checked with my vet. I know we will eventually discover what is wrong but it would be so much easier if she could just speak english for a day or two!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you for your responses. Everything discussed, except the thyroid issue, has already been explored with negative findings but I am continuing to monitor exercise, weather, etc. just in case - spleen or other abdominal cancer has been a consideration in light of Katie's mother dying from it but nothing has shown up so far. I will discuss whether her thyroid should be checked with my vet. I know we will eventually discover what is wrong but it would be so much easier if she could just speak english for a day or two!

 

Just catching up - I would suggest you find a good veterinary chiropractor/acupuncturist to go over her. If you don't have one available, a good canine masseuse could also detect subtle soft tissue problems/injury that your vet might not pick up on. Sounds to me like she could have a pelvic misalignment or spinal problem that causes intermittent shooting leg pain - similar to what people with sciatica get. I’ve seen dogs that were hard to diagnose, but had similar off and on problems like you describe. A good chiropractic adjustment did wonders, as well as acupuncture or deep massage to release a chronically tense area.

Laurie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK. Everybody seems to have a limping dog, including yours truly. Sophia has always had a "trick" front leg--for no reason that anyone could find. She'd stumble, recover, and go on. No yelping. No after effects. Nothing. Figured she was just a klutz. No noticeable issues for over three years. Until a couple of months ago, there was no limping. But then it started, always right front leg...the one that used to "give" on her. At first it was intermittant--you know, the vet thinks you're nuts because the dog is bouncing off the walls at his office. Then it became a daily occurance. It would only bother her after she'd been resting. If you could convince her to walk on it, she'd be fine. Again, no sign of a limp at the vet's office. No tenderness. No loss of flexibility. Nothing. It seemed to be arthritic in nature, like an old injury rising up to plague her. Several options presented themselves but rest was recommended. (Like that bundle of fire is going to rest!) And mega doses of glucosamine and chondroitin. Now, I swear, I'm not on their payroll, but Foster & Smith has a joint medication called "Joint Care Level 3" intended for dogs with either severe arthritis or recovering from joint injury. Even though it's not cheap, I decided to give it a shot. (It was still cheaper and easier on both me and the dog than surgery.) Oh my God! In two weeks, it was the difference between night and day. During the week, when she is mostly inactive because I'm away at work all day, there is no limping at all, even after a short walk and a brief play session. Only on weekends, when she's more active, is there any indication of a limp. So I'm going to try curtailing her activity even more on weekends and keep giving her the Joint Care 3 pills. That, and trying to convince her that there are other ways to get off my bed besides throwing herself into the wind and hoping for the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you actually have a ortho specialist check for a torn or partially torn CCL? Unfortunately, as good as vets are they are not always great at ortho. I would take your dog to an ortho vet with all xrays and results that have been done and see if they can come up with an answer. If you read the other CCL thread you will see soemtimes a limp may seem to be a knee when may be a hip/butt muscle. I forgot what muscle or whatever turned out to be the issue.

 

I also recommend chiro/acupuncture. It can do wonders along with supplements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh Barb, that was not good news about Quest. When did this happen? How is he doing? And your Skye diagnosed with hypothyroid -- I hadn't heard this could cause limping. You learn something all the time.

Ailsa

I had Quest scheduled for surgery to remove the cancer and his spleen, then (on the way to the vet for surgery) decided the kindest thing to do would be to have him put to sleep instead. The strangest thing was that shortly after this, I was talking to a friend with goldens (I only see her at agility trials) and she said her first golden had the same type of limp and was also diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on his spleen.

Barb S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...