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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is also posted in Lab Health and Nutrition, but I only got one response.

Just seeing if anyone has any ideas....thanks!

Sorry if this is long winded but I'm beside myself with what to do about 3 yr old yellow lab Daly.

Daly started limping slightly about a year ago. At first we weren't even sure he was limping, and it wasn't just a funny walk, but we started noticing that it would get worse after heavy activity. We took him in to my regular vet, had xrays done, and they found nothing. They warned us that shoulder injuries (which they suspected it was) are notoriously hard to diagnose and treat. Boy were they right. They recommended going to the University of Minnesota vet hospital to have him checked out. We did, we went over our options, but at the time he really wasn't limping that bad and we thought the less is more approach might be better if it was going to be a lot of poking and prodding on him that came to nothing. Sometimes he wasn't even limping. We did 6 weeks of Rimadyl and lower activity, and he was fairly limp free for the next 7 months while we slowly ramped up activity.

Around 3-4 months ago Daly's limp started getting MUCH worse. To the point that he would slow down when walking. This is not a lab to slow down for anything either. We took him back in to the U of M hospital, they attempted to get a pain reaction out of him when examining his shoulder but my Daly is very stoic and wouldn't say boo. They finally had to have me leave the room and then he apparently gave a pain reaction. Poor dude was being brave for me. Had an ultrasound done and decided to try arthroscopy because they suspected it could be the biceps tendon (we were really, really hoping it was the biceps tendon, apparently great success rate with fixing the biceps tendon injuries). It was NOT the biceps tendon, but they did find blood in his shoulder joint (supposedly incredibly painful) and a torn joint capsule (not sure if I'm saying this right, the dr's notes aren't in front of me). That was 4 weeks ago tuesday that the surgery was done. He was on 2 weeks of complete rest and now 6 weeks of two 5-10 minute walks a day (it's a lab people, feel for me here, he's miserable at this level of activity). He's not really better. The worst part is that none of the surgeons have seen anything like Daly's presentation of symptoms before and all think it's really odd. They don't know if he'll get better, and they don't think the torn joint is the main problem, but they're not sure what it is. They have even thrown out the possibility of a nerve tumor causing this.

We are so sad, he's bored and miserable. My heart is just aching for him, and it's spring. Even a walk around the block is painful for him though. I know he's still on the mend but the vet has made me feel like he may not get much better.

Oh the expenses that are piling up on us! We are basically not able to afford anything else after this last surgery and all the associated bills.

They want to do an MRI, and that could lead to a surgery (read $$$$). My questions:
Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this? What did you do?
Is there anyone here who was able to find a cheaper MRI? Where? How?

I would really appreciate any advice or other stories like ours. Thanks so much.

(I used to come on here when Daly was a pup, but lost my other login - so hi to everyone again!)
 

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My heart breaks for you. I too had a dog with a shoulder injury. I was lucky enough to not need surgery but we did do Physical therapy for about a year. I will say that Pysical therapy is wonderful. The swim tank, the Ultra sound therapy, and the massages with warm and cold packs can break down lots of scar tissue which is what your pup is probably building up now after the surgery. You need to break that down and keep him/her limber. Yes it is expensive but you also learn what you can do at home yourself to help keep the visits down to a minimum. I also gave my girl all natural supplements but I don't remember the name of it. Good luck and I hope you find your answers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. krisinme - if you remember the name of the supplement, please shoot me a message. We've talked about the physical therapy but it's challenging because of the money and time issue. They have therapy from 8-4...we both work 8-4. Which is fine for appointments every once in a while, but not as a regular thing. I'll have to see if work will be flexible.
I'm still frustrated but I need to work on being patient too. It's hard with a wiggly dog bouncing around you....especially when he's not supposed to be bouncing!
 
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