Hi all. New here! Thanks in advance for the help.
So we rescued a 4-5 month black lab/sheltie mix a couple weeks ago. At the rescue, we noticed he was favoring his left front leg. He had a noticeable limp, so I asked. The worker said that another dog had been biting at his paw through the crates, and that it should clear up in a couple days.
A day or two later, he was still limping slightly. Later that day, the same paw had a door opened on it (he likes to lay right by the front door, and the door pinched his paw under it a bit.). Because of that, we figured we'd give it a couple more days to see what happened.
In the mean time, we took him to the vet for an initial visit, and they didn't seem to concerned about his limp. Just said to keep an eye on it and if it doesn't get any better, to bring him back. Long story short, over the past week-2 weeks, it seems to be slowly getting better, but not 100%.
This whole time, he's ran, jumped, played, walked, etc...all like a 4-5 month old puppy would. It doesn't seem like he's in any pain what-so-ever. I can grab that hip, elbow, ankle and paw with no noticeable painful reaction from him. When he's interested in something, you can barely tell he's limping, if at all. His head bobs a bit when he's just walking (sign of limping), and when standing, he'll stand on all 4 legs, just putting slightly less pressure on that one.
I think it's time to take him back to the vet this weekend (schedule doesn't allow during the week), but I wanted to see if anybody had any ideas of things to try until that point? I have no problem getting him taken care of properly, but I don't really want to spend hundreds/thousands at the vet if it may be something minor.
edit: sorry for the long post, but one more thing to add. Going on walks is absolutely his favorite thing to do. As soon as he sees his leash in our hands, he gets excited and runs to the door/gate. I don't know much, but would he be so excited to go on walks if it hurt him?
Last edited by mcl5000; 07-26-2011 at 08:52 AM.
The first thing I would do is limit his activity and give it a real chance to heal. He should not be running or going for anything other than leashed potty breaks until you have real improvement. And that also means no fetch, no chase games, lots of quiet even if it means crate time.
Yes - he would be excited to go on walks even it is caused minor pain.
If after a couple of weeks of limited activity you don't see real improvement, I would get x-rays done. The injury might not be to his paw -it could be in his shoulder and also could be soft tissue which takes a while to heal.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Thank you for the response. It's not cruel to keep him crated up a lot of the time? He has so much energy he needs to get out...
Thanks for the reassurance. I'll give it a shot.
Does anybody think this is an issue that needs immediate vet attention? Or is minimizing activity the best option at this point?
I would do strict rest for a week and see how he is. I have had to do this with Baloo and it sucks, but it works. I mean strict, too, I wouldn't even let him move past a trot, and only for a few strides. He was on a leash around my waist in the house.
You just have to move from focusing on releasing energy through physical exertion to releasing energy through mental exertion. Baloo recieved more training on rest weeks than he knew what to do with, lol!
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
I'm not sure what the Vet prices are in your area but if it were me with the Vet prices we have here I wouldn't hesitate to get an X-ray. You may keep him locked up for a week in a crate only to find out he needs additional treatment first. X-rays are generally not that expensive and would most likely identify or drastically narrow down the root cause of the limping.
As for the crate itself, I'm in the minority around here with those things and don't like or endorse their use as a general rule. However in the case of injury where it becomes necessary to immobilize a dog, crates can be useful. I would just minimize the amount of time the dog has to stay in there as much as possible...
Java was 13 months old when she had both ACLs repaired...she was crated under strict restrictions for 9 months.
Moka was 4 months old when she broke her leg and she was crated 24/7 for 4 months while she healed.
Not ideal, but it was in their best interest.
Could also be PANOSTEITIS. It is temporary. Derby went through it, didn't really slow him down.
"Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Since the shelter let you know that there was a paw injury- it may have developed into an infection. I have one that was limping and we feared CCL injury- had x-rays and an ortho look at it and the end result was an infection. 10 days on antibiotics and he was a new pup! there were no outward signs of infection(other than swelling) and no visible wound either.