My dog limps

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by kristin, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. kristin New Member

    My dog is only a little over a year, and everytime she gets up from sleeping or laying down she limps with her front right leg. She has done this since i got her when she was 4 months old. But it has been getting more pronounced. The limp goes away after a few minutes, and then she can run around like crazy, like nothing was ever wrong.
    Im really worried about her.:dogsad: We have an appointment with the vet tomorrow. So i hope there is somthing i can do for her. I have started giving her Glucosomine & Chondroiten for her joints.
    Any ideas about what is going on?

    Oh, and she also has a little growth or somthing on her shoulder under the skin... I have been told it is probably a cyst, or calcium deposit.

  2. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    The cyst/calcium deposit could be causing her discomfort. If it's not, it could be a wide variety of things. Dysplasia or a number of other things.

    My 4 yr old Border Collie is slow to get up after she's been lying for a period of time. I talked to my vet about it and he said it could just be arthritis. Dysplasia can start appearing as young as 5 months I believe. My vet recommended starting her on joint supplements and see how she responded before doing extensive testing.

    It's good that you're going to have it checked with your vet. Really he/she's the only one who can give you a definite answer. Good luck, hope all goes well. :)
  3. kristin New Member

    I got the same answer from my vet. So i am putting her on glucosomine for a month and see if it helps. If not, i will get it xrayed to see what is going on. *sigh* my poor baby...
  4. snooks Experienced Member

    My understanding of glucosamine as a supplement since I take it is that it's not a short term useful treatment for dog joint pain esp in a puppy. I've had knee, neck and back surgery so it's protective to some degree (but with no certainty) for long term preventative degeneration of my cartilage. My older Golden took it too starting around 6 yrs.

    Glucosamine helps provide a matrix for cartilage that deteriorates as a product of aging. Because glucosamine levels drop as we age this seems weird to treat a puppy with it. Chondroitin the other part of this supplement needed for efficacy of the treatment helps stop the deterioration of the cartilage. A puppy isn't a good candidate for short term relief treatment with this supplement as far as I understand and just re-read on line. If a puppy has limping problems I suspect it would not be age deteriorating cartilage so you're wasting money perhaps on the gluc/chon supplement. It would be appropriate in a puppy MAYBE if this were going to be a high impact working dog for some LONG time protection (like years away). Not months. Foods with glucosamine are a rip off b/c they don't contain nearly enough to be effective unless you feed the dog to obesity.

    I would guess hip dysplasia, arthritis, an injury, and there is a defect where the two leg bones grow at different rates causing some twisting of the leg though it is surgically repairable with good success. I would go to an orthopedic doctor for a better opinion and not waste money on the expensive supplement but spend it on an x-ray and exam. Maybe the vet hopes with some rest if it is a strain it will heal. If it's gone longer than a month go to the orthopedic dr. It will save u $$ in the long run to have an expert check it once rather than several vet follow ups.

    Be careful with the gluc/chon dosage and timing between doses as in dogs it can build to toxicity. I'm not sure ur vet is correct. At least poke around on line. Be very aware that most of the Google and answers that are PAID to pop up on top are websites that sell and produce the supplement and designed to look like research though they are ADS. If the site is a drug company or sales outlet don't use that site as valid research. Most injuries my dogs have had were first treated with anti-inflammatory drugs not G/C. I could be wrong since I'm no doc but I'd hate to see u waste $$ and risk permanent damage to ur pup.

    To save $ at the ortho take all of ur records in hand not just faxed and any films so they won't redo anything.
  5. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Has your baby been on a large breed specific food(assuming you're feeding kibble) since puppyhood? The thought just occurred to me that you have a giant breed pup... Not that this would make her limp, but just curious.
  6. kristin New Member

    No im not feeding her large breed specific food. I never even thought about it. She is my first dog ever, so I'm so cluless. I have no idea what im doing. I feel so bad, cause she is an amazing dog, but i dont know what to do for her. Thank you for the idea.
    And to Snooks, thank you for all the information. I just took my Vets advise for the glucosomine, and had no idea it can be toxic. And i didnt even know there were orthopedic doctors for dogs... Like i said i have no idea what im doing. I will look into getting her into an orthopedic doctor. I want to do whatever i can for her.
  7. snooks Experienced Member


    Tx Cowgirl makes a good point about the dog food. Big breeds need to grow slower so their bones will be stronger to support their eventual size. Some puppy food, even large breed can be higher calcium than adult food. U might ask an orthopedic vet about what type of food not nec what brand b/c they aren't nutritionists and many sell science diet which i think is awful dog food. Off topic tho..we have another discussion on that in another forum here.

    The breeder, for my latest Golden puppy, suggested large breed adult food for her specific breed lines (not that this is right for all dogs) but just so ur aware. Maybe since she's already over a year switch to a large breed adult food just to slow down the calcium. I like Evo and Innova kibbles quality wise even tho the bag is more u can feed less and maintain the dogs weight because the ingredients are more digested and less full of fillers like ALL grocery store and most chain store pet foods. Wellness core and Nature's Balance are also good foods. Don't feed science diet, Purina, beneful, iams, eukanuba since it's mostly by-products, sugar and corn, meat meal, and fillers.

    To find an orthopedic specialist or go to any major vet med teaching university if u have one near. You can call your vet and ask for a referral to and be sure to do ur homework on vets. You want a board certified orthopedic vet preferably a diplomate. There's an animal owners tab at right.

    The above site tells u how long they've been in practice and their specialy like orthopedics. I entered Denver co and found several---one I go to is on Animal Planets E-Vet Interns Dr Robert Taylor. The info here you can help u make a good choice. You can enter ur city and state etc and there is some good info and faq's there.

    Best of luck. I think this will give u a one shot eventually cheaper answer to the question about the limp which I would be very concerned about at given age for over 8 months. Untreated chronic inflammation or injury will cause arthritis eventually and can be very painful. Hopefully the answer will be simple but at least you'll know it now.

    Let us know ok?? :dogwink:
  8. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Large breed foods typically have more glucosamine, chondroitin, calcium, and lower fat. She needs food with these levels.

    The "best" foods:
    Wellness Core
    And many more...

    Better of the pet store foods:

    Blue Buffalo
    by Nature

    The "BAD" foods:

    Science Diet
    Other grocery brands.

    Let us know how everything goes. :)
  9. kristin New Member

    Ok, thank you to both of you. : ) I went and got her EVO large breed kibbles. She loves it already!!! :)
    I hope this will help with her limp. But i will also get her checked out by a specialist to see if there is anything i can do.

    Thank you!!!
  10. snooks Experienced Member

    Mix it half and half with her other food for a bit and do a slow change if her tummy gets upset. Dogs sometimes have a hard time with very sudden changes in diet. Some don't. I switched cold turkey off of Canidae when I heard of some contamination problems and had a little soft poop for a couple of days.

    Hope things turn out okay. Glad to hear about the Evo, its a good kibble. Just watch the weight, you might need to feed less than the previous food and usually always less than it says on any bag. Those numbers are upper limits in most cases.
  11. kristin New Member

    Oh ok thanks!
    The food i used to give her said to give her 4-4 1/2 cups a day, but the EVO says to give her just 2-2 1/2 cups a day. I guess that is because it is beter quality. I just feel like its not very much... but i will follow that unless she seems to gain weight.
  12. snooks Experienced Member

    checking in

    How is everything Kristin?? Ur pup okay?
  13. kristin New Member

    Ack, Hello everyone! I have not been on this web site in a long time! Im sorry, I have been very busy with finals and work and Diesel. ANYWAYS...
    I actually just got back from the vet today, and Diesel has dysplasia in both front elbows. The vet says she has joints of a 12 year old dog, not a 1 1/2 dog... I'm very upset about it, especially since there is not much i can do except for a very expensive surgery... or pain medication.
    As far as food goes, the EVO is really good, her coat is super healthy and shes even prettier than before. So thank you for that advise. I appreciate it. :)

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