I just joined this forum in hopes for some help. My 7 month old black lab has been limping for about a month now. It is her front right leg. She runs and plays fine, but when trotting she limps. I took her to the vet 3 weeks ago and they said possible bicep tendonitis, she was put on an anti-inflamatory and rest for 2 weeks. She didn't improve so i took her for x-rays 2 days ago. The xrays showed nothing, no OCD, nothing, just normal growth plates. So they said to have her only walk for the next 4-6 weeks, no running or playing and potty breaks on the leash and if it still doesn't improve then bring her to see a orthopedic specialist. Now many of you know that it is extremely hard to keep a puppy from wanting to run and play and i feel horrible not throwing her ball for her, i feel as though she feels like she is being punished. Last night she went outside and kids were playing her and she would stop running once in awhile and lift her right leg, take a break and then start running and playing again.
Im a softy, forgive me please, and can't make her not play for 4-6 weeks, so before i take her a specialist to really see what is wrong with her does anyone have and suggestions?? Is rest really the key? Has anyone ever gone through this before??
Did they take elbow xrays?
Sorry Angela, but you aren't doing the dog any favors by not letting it rest. You are prolonging the pain. Dogs are dumb and they will not rest themselves. Its up to us as their protectors to make the decisions and if the vet said rest, then the dog should be resting and only going out to potty on a leash. Then right back into the house. No its not fun for you or the dog, but think about how long this is going to go on if you don't allow the dog to rest. You might do damage that cannot be reversed.
♣ Laura ♣
Thank You! Yes they took xrays of her right shoulder and elbow. I understand that I am not helping her by not making her rest. I find it extremely difficult to do, so I would almost rather have her see a specialist so I can see what the problem really is instead of her resting for 4-6 weeks and that possibly not making it any better. I guess I was trying to see if anyone has been in this same situation before and what any results were. She is really healthy otherwise and in good shape, very lean and weighs about 53lbs. Thanks.
Did you vet mention pano? I can't remember the full name, but it's basically growing pains. Both of my guys had them at about the same age as your girl. It wasn't constant though, and on Tucker it went from one leg to another.
"Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"
So see the specialist. In my experience with my dogs, (not to scare you) but all problems ended up needing specialist intervention anyway. My old vet had us resting Hudler for 4 weeks and in the end we went to a specialist only to find out he tore a cruciate and needed surgery.
Sometimes it's better just to go to the best vet right away and get right to it instead of waiting and seeing...
REST REST REST the dog!!!
My oldest lab went through this at about 8 or 9 months and I was in panic mode.
No OCD, no elbow probs. We guessed Pano.
We put her on SIX WEEKS of crate rest, leash walks. Gone. Never resurfaced.
Pano can generally be seen by xray and most of the time it can wander from leg to leg.
Definitely see a specialist.
♣ Laura ♣
I agree- see a specialist and take your x-rays (radiographs) with you. Many general practitioners aren't as good at reading elbow radiographs in cases of elbow dysplasia- especially at such a young age- since there aren't the degenerative changes yet, and they don't see this type of thing day-in and day-out like a specialist does. I would do it asap so that you can hopefully prevent any further trauma to her growing bones and joints.
Will she let you flex (bend) her elbow all of the way (so that it is virtually folded in half) when resting or does she stiffen up or wince?
~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~
"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon
Thank you everyone so far for all of your input. Yes I can bend her elbow. I can touch/squeeze/apply pressure all over from her paw to her shoulder and it doesn't bother her. It only bothered her when the vet pulled her leg all the way out to extend it straight. Thanks again!
As previous posters said above, a general practice vet is not always equipped to make determinations on elbows. I had my Lab x-rayed at about 4 months old because of intermittent lameness in front legs, and the vet saw nothing wrong in the x-rays. The vet recommended rest and anti-inflammatories. The lameness came back, and I had him x-rayed again at 6 months old. Again, the vet saw nothing and recommended rest. I wanted to get better answers and had the latest x-rays shipped to a radiologist who came back with diagnosis of elbow dysplasia.The xrays showed nothing, no OCD, nothing, just normal growth plates.
I took my Lab to an ortho vet immediately with both sets of x-rays. The ortho vet saw definite signs of elbow dysplasia in the first set of x-rays and also in the second set. I wish I went to see the ortho vet right away and did not waste two months letting his elbow fragments stay in his elbows and do more damage. So, my recommendation is to seek an orthopedic vet immediately.You are probably not doing the full range of motion on your puppy. The front legs should extend to almost 180-degree angle. From her response to the vet's manipulation, it appears that your puppy does not have a full range of motion.Yes I can bend her elbow. I can touch/squeeze/apply pressure all over from her paw to her shoulder and it doesn't bother her. It only bothered her when the vet pulled her leg all the way out to extend it straight.By not letting her rest, you're letting her injure herself. She is a puppy and does not understand that she should take it easy. You are her caretaker and she relies on you to make the right decisions for her. If she has bone chips in her elbows, they are grinding away her cartliage. It's the worst assumption, but until you know what's going on (by going to a specialist), give her the benefit of the most conservative treatment. Of course, the puppy still needs to go out to potty and should be allowed to roam around the house and do little walks to keep her muscle mass up, but don't let her run or jump. You're not doing her any favors by letting her injury herself further.I understand that I am not helping her by not making her rest. I find it extremely difficult to do
I hope you can get in to see an ortho vet as soon as possible. And I hope that it's something minor. Either way, let us know how it goes. There are quite a few of us here who have dogs with elbow dysplasia and went through treatments, surgery, rehab, etc.