Cooper Is Limping

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by Anneke, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Anneke Honored Member

    It is so tough when you have a dog, that does not show it, when he is in pain:confused:
    The weather is getting colder here, temperatures drop below 10 celsius, during the day and the first frost has been during nighttime.
    So last week I noticed that Cooper was walking a bit strange. It is not a real limp, because he does use his leg, but he takes a shorter step.
    First I thought he just pulled a muscle, so we didn't go for a long walk. When I mentioned it to my boyfriend(who walks the dogs for about an hour, when he comes home from work) he said Cooper walked just fine. He had been chasing Jinx and playing with her and had been swimming, as usual.
    But then during the evening walk he did it again.
    It comes and goes.
    It puzzled me, because I couldn't find anything wrong in his leg, no warm spots or any reaction from him while I was feeling his leg.
    Anyway, we remembered he had this limp on and off during last winter.
    So I am guessing he has osteoarthritis:( in a beginning fase.
    As far as I can tell it is worse when the weather changes(moist, colder)
    Ofcourse I will take him to the vets, but I don't think they will be able to tell anything, because Cooper has the tendency to hide what is wrong with him, while we are there:rolleyes: He is afraid of the vet, so he will act like there is nothing wrong and won't respond to pain stimulation(when the vet puts pressure on joints to find the sore spot)
    But in the meantime I have been thinking about how to make things easier for him.
    My dogs have thin pillows as their beds(because those fit in my washingmachine) and they can sleep on the sofa and our bed. But Cooper only uses the sofa, when we go to bed.
    I came across orthopedic dogbeds, made with memoriefoam(it takes the form of the dog, so it is comfortable) but they cost a ridiculous amount of money.
    And then, last night, it hit me... why not use a matress for kids?
    So I posted an add on a facebook site, where you can buy and ask for second hand stuff. And got a respond from a friend of mine, whose kids sleep in big beds now. She had a matress lying around and I could come pick it up for free.
    I did and when I came home tonight, I put it on the floor, to see if Cooper would like it.
    See for yourself:D
    [IMG]
    He loved it!!!!
    Now I have to get a matress protector, or how do you call those protective sheets, that are waterproof. (Need that, because he loves to swim, but stays wet for a long time, even after we dry him off with a towel and my cat likes to pee in the dogbeds:mad:)And make a nice slipcover, that I can wash.
    For now I used an old sheet and put his regular bed on top of the matress.
    Coop loves his new bed so much, that he chased Jinx off it:DHe slept on it the entire evening.
    So step one in helping him feel better, is a succes! Yay!
    [IMG]
    I'm also thinking of getting him a bathrobe to put on him when he is wet. Hoping it will keep him warm and dry faster. No use in using the hairdryer on him, he hates that.

    I have been worrying about him all his life, growing pains, as a result of that, backproblems. But I did not expect him to get osteoarthitis at this age. He will be 7 next april.
    If anything, I thought it would be in his hind legs, not his front leg.
    But if the vet can't help, I'll take him to see a homeopath, that has helped us before. I like the natural remedies better anyway.
    MaryK likes this.

  2. Dogster Honored Member

    Oh no, poor Cooper.:( I'm glad the matress worked!!!:) Hehe, I want to see a picture of Cooper in his bathrobe (once you get one) I think he'll look adorable!!!!:D Yeah, it's a good idea to keep him warm and dry, especially when it's getting cold.
    MaryK likes this.
  3. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    I'm sorry to hear about his limp :( You can have x-rays of his elbows to make sure. I would start a good joint supplement and essential fatty acids, these can really help. And if he has arthritis, ask for a few tablets of an NSAID (pain medication) to keep on hand in case he hurts himself, so you can give it to him right away. Dogs with arthritis can have very painful, acute flares and it would be nice to give him something right away, rather than wait till you can get him to the vet. He's also big, and from experience I know it is very hard when a big dog has trouble walking.

    The other thing I can't stress enough is to get him to be VERY slim. So slim that you could point him out among other dogs that look the same as "the thin one." Not to lose muscle, but to be as thin as possible. Even an extra 1-2 kilos is a lot of pressure on an abnormal joint.

    Great deal on the bed! Here in NY there is a big bedbug problem :cautious: so I would be too scared to accept a mattress from anyone, but it's great for you. Very smart!
  4. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Aww, so sorry about Cooper. Great find on the bed, and he def looks like he loves it! (y) Perfect size for him. Until you get a 'protector' for it, I used a big trash bag - I put the whole bed in it, then put the cover over top (in your case, maybe you could cut one up and spread it out flat and put a blanket over it or ?) when I had a boy on high doses of prednisone, causing him to leak. It would protect it from his wet fur ( and your kitty :oops:) .

    Adrianna is right about keeping him on the lean side if he's got arthritis, esp if it's a front leg. Dog's put more weight on their front legs than their back, so really important to make it as easy on those joints as possible.

    Keep us posted as soon as you know something. It is young, but 'stuff' happens to dogs (and people too) of all ages sometimes. :confused: It's just never fun watching our pups limp or be in any pain, all we ever want for them is to be healthy and happy, always.
    Dogster and MaryK like this.
  5. MaryK Honored Member

    So sorry to hear about poor Cooper, must be tough on you all, especially as he's a big dog, and obviously loves his walks.

    Great idea Jackie about how to protect his new mattress, which he obviously LOVES.

    I'm with you Anneke and prefer natural, homeopathic remedies. I use DOGtor X Formula which is fantastic for dogs with any form of joint pains. This doesn't preclude a trip to the vets to see what is causing the pain, but it does help the body heal itself, as you would know being into wholistic remedies. Also Sasha's Brand is very good, but not sure if it's available in Europe, whereas DOGtor X Formula is, I used it a lot at home with amazing results.

    Make sure he's very, very dry too when he swims. I know just what you mean about hairdryers, my boy Ra Kismet, who loves water, HATES them. I use a special 'doggy' towel, it's quite small but highly absorbent when he comes in soaking wet.
  6. Zsu-Zsu Well-Known Member

    How is Cooper? Any update, is he feeling better? Years ago I gave our poodle (leg pain)crushed alfalfa tablets in his food and he improved so my neighbor gave his shepard (hip pain) and also saw an improvement. Hope Cooper is well.
    MaryK likes this.
  7. Anneke Honored Member

    I haven't been to the vets, as he(Cooper) is doing fine right now. But I am still looking for some supplements. There are so many available, so I am trying to find something I like. But my big boy is happy and running around like nothing is wrong.
    I waiting for him to start limping again, so I can take him to see the vet:rolleyes:
    MaryK likes this.
  8. Amateur Experienced Member

    I did the crib matress thing a long time ago - perfect size for a dog
    but then I also broke down and bought a Therapeutic dog bed for the old boy - I figured with the washable covers and the fact that I will always have dogs - they will get used for a long long time. I also splurged on some fleece throws that cover the beds completely .. they are tough and easily washable as well instead of trying to wrestle with the bed cover.

    Anneke have you thought of trying to capture the limping on video just to be able to show your vet - they might be able to pick up something from seeing it as well. Hope he isnt in too much discomfort
    MaryK likes this.

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