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Discussion Starter #1
Odie is about 1 year and 4 months old now. Something strange has been happening lately. It's been going on for awhile, so I'll start at the beginning of the story.

It was early march and I was over at my parents house with Odie. The neighbor has a dog, and both dogs were outside running up and down the fence over and over again. This probably lasted close to half an hour.

When I let odie inside he was tired and went to lay down on the rug. It was when he got up that I noticed a limp. It appears he wasn't putting his full weight on his left front leg.

I figured that he just pulled something or fell down wrong. He's done that in the past, and been fine in a day or two. But this time it's different.

It's been a little over a month now, and he's still limping on the same leg. He doesn't limp all the time. Only when he first gets up after laying down. He'll limp for maybe 15-20 steps and then he's fine. After 15-20 steps you'd never know he has a problem. For the first 3 weeks or so I was really easy on him. I barely even played with him, and there was no walking or fetch. But after seeing no improvement after those three weeks, I thought some exercise might do him some good. So I started walking him 3 times a week and playing some light fetch. The symptoms haven't changed. He doesn't yelp, cry, groan, or anything. He just limps for a short time, and then he appears fine.

Does anybody know what could possibly be going on here? I would take him to the vet if he was limping constantly, or appeared to be in a lot of pain, but given the circumstances and the thinness of my wallet currently I just can't justify a several hundred dollar vet bill that I can't pay right now. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks

My room mate thinks he has arthritus. But is this possible with a dog this young?
 

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Unfortunately, it could be many, many things, and the only one who can say for sure is a veterinarian.
 

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Hopefully it's just a soft tissue injury but as Baloo says, it can be anything. It needs to be checked out (xray) if it's gone on this long. My hunch is a bad elbow... that said, do you have him on any glucosamine/MSM supplements? They certainly won't hurt. When I've had an injured dog, I double my MSM (increase to 2000mg) per a holistic vet's recommendation. I also recommend pups to be on glucosamine from ~3 mos on thru 2 yrs (when I do OFAs). Good luck. I know times are tough, but hopefully you'll find a way to make ends meet. Anne
 

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Please get the dog to the vet right away. You need an xray to know what's wrong. If you are lucky, it is a soft tissue injury, and you'll need to do alot of crate rest to get it healed. But since labs are very succeptible to elbow problems, you need to find out right away. Things like FCP (google it, it's a form of Elbow Dysplasia) can exponentially ruin a joint if you let it go too long...bone chips wear away the cartilage in the joint.

Maddy went through this and never limped consistently. But the xrays showed surgery was required and 5 years later, she has an awesome quality of life.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've done a lot of thinking today and I've decided to bring him to the vet next week. Whatever the problem is, I don't want it to get worse. It really sucks because I really don't have any money right now, but I think in the long run I'll be happy I took him in.
 

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I am glad you are taking him to the vet. I think if you want to know what you are dealing with that's the only way to be sure
I think I recall him being lame before - something is going on and it's unlikely to be arthritis at his age - but it could be. I suspect given that he's lamest when he gets up you aren't looking at soft tissue but the only person who can tell you for sure is the vet and the vet is likely to want to do xrays - it won't be cheap and the answers may not bring you much comfort but I think it's important so you know how to treat him - every day and when he's lame.

I'm so sorry you are going through this - hang in there
 
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