Satine is a little over 8 months old now. Over a week ago today, we were playing ball at the park and on our way back I noticed she had a slight limp in her front legs.
The next day when she woke up it was worse, but progressively got better within the next 15mins. For the next week, I limited her walks to just potty walks around the block on the leash. She continued to have the limp, again very noticeable right when she'd wake up, but still be there throughout the day, even keeping her inside / no activity.
We had tried aspirin over about 2-3 days during that week. We used 3 x 81mg ( baby aspirins ) as according to the info I found online. ( she's currently 46lbs )... This seemed to help while she was on the pain meds, but 24hrs after I took her off, it was no change from previously.
So today we took her to the vet. They did a physical exam and found that when they slightly twisted her front right leg ( rotating the shoulder ) that she had slight pain. So they took an X-ray of both front legs from her shoulder down.
No definitive diagnosis was found. The vet had warned us that some of the types of dysplasia are very difficult to diagnose using an X-ray. She had some very mild inflamation on one side more than the other, but both had some light bone inflammation near the shoulder joint.
The vet prescribed METACAM (meloxicam) http://www.entirelypets.com/membyme.html and complete in house rest for 1-2 weeks. If significant improvement is not seen, then we are going to an orthopedic vet, possibly going to have an MRI or orthoscopic exploration done to definitively diagnose her problem.
I know that dysplasia is prevalent in our large breed puppies... Does this sound about the best course of action / treatment? And if anyone has had their pup diagnosed with similar symptoms, or had a pup that had similar symptoms get better, let me know. Satine is a very active and happy dog. Besides the limp ( which I do realize is a sign of pain ) she has no yelping or problem chasing around our cat, bouncing around the house, especially being cooped up for this period of time. We live in an apartment so I was walking her / playing ball and running around at the park for atleast an hour + each day, split into two walks.
Thanks in advance for any input you guys can give!
I would find an ortho vet and have them look at the elbows to rule out elbow dysplasia. When Maddy was diagnosed with ED at 14 months, the vets xrays weren't conclusive, and they immediately referred us out.
I second the orthopedic specialist idea. I would get to an ortho vet asap (take your x-rays with you!) and get their opinion.
My Libby had surgery on both elbows for elbow dysplasia at just a bit more than 6 months...we had noticed an intermittent but pretty significant forelimb lameness (switched sides every once in a while) since she was 3-4 months, and a board-certified veterinary radiologist didn't see anything wrong on her elbow films taken at that time.
When I had them rechecked at 6 months while she was under for her spay surgery, the new films were sent to a radiologist that worked for 10 years for OFA (www.offa.org) and she said they were conclusive for FCP's bilaterally. The ortho vet found the same thing. http://www.jersey.net/~mountaindog/berner1/elbows.htm
Elbow dysplasia is a big problem in the breed, especially when they carry so much of their weight on their forelimbs. We see it relatively frequently, too.
~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~
"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon
Can you guys give me a rough estimate on how much elbow dysplasia surgery costs?
I just want to be prepared so I can get this fixed if she gets diagnosed.
I'm going to contact local Ortho vets today, thanks for the advice.
Also rule out OCD in the shoulder and elbows.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
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We spent about $2k in 2004 for both elbows. Good luck!!
So the Medicam instantly worked, and within one dose, her limp was completely gone. It's been almost 2 weeks now, and I'm considering taking her off to see if the limp returns before going to the orthopedic vet.
Again in my original explanation, our regular vet found nothing in the x-ray other than inflammation, and prior to the limp's 1st start, she was exercising hard chasing after a ball... I don't know if that was an injury or just sparked her first signs of Dysplasia.
Do you guys still recommend getting an MRI / seeing an orthopedic vet without seeing if the limp returns without the anti-inflammatory? I just wonder if I had over exercised her and the reduced activity level mixed with the Medicam helped her recover from a normal injury.
She was literally 100% in less than 24-hrs on 1st dose of Medicam and has been all 2 weeks. We have been going for walks, just no ball chasing and for less time / distance than we used to.
I think its certainly reasonable to wait and see if the limp returns. No one needs to spend more money than they have too. If it is elbow dysplasia it will return.
My first yellow lab had osteochondritis at about 8 months with it was a little piece of cartilage that had torn off and had to be removed before he was sound. His symptoms were intermittent lameness...apparently determined by that little moveable piece of cartilage.
Metacam is a pain reliever. So yes, it WILL work with one dose, just like taking Advil for your head or back ache.
If your dog is off the medication and not limping, then fine. But if you aren't allowing the normal activity of the dog, you won't necessarily truly see if the problem is gone or not. You have sufficient rest time. Go back to normal activity for the dog. If the limp returns, see the ortho vet.
If this were my dog I wouldn't jump right back into hard physical activity. Longer walks and swimming for about a week before any hard running is what I would do.