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Lame dog
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Lame dog

My dog has been lame on his front right leg for the past 2 months.  He limps all the time and the area that seems to be the problem is below what would be our wrist and the beginning of his toes (in the area of the 5 bones).  When he walks the area tends to shake and he has a 'crankiness' to it...kind of snaps.  Hard to explain!  He had an xray that showed everything looking problems.  There is also no swelling or tenderness to touch.  He was on metacam and complete rest (only going outside to urinate, etc. no running or stairs and limited walking inside).  With all of this, we have seen no improvement at all.  Our vet is puzzled as to what is wrong.  He is a 10 year old lab/shephard cross...85 lbs.  He has been a healthy dog overall.  He is a lot less active, although does try to play and run, but we are discouraging him.  Poor fella!  Please let me know if you have experienced anyting like this before.  We want our happy pouch back!  Thanks Denise
Tags: Dogs, problem, leg
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4 Comments Post a Comment
X-rays are great at detecting problems with bones, but not so great when it comes to soft tissue injuries.  Your dog may have injured a ligament or tendon, and an MRI would be the next test to conduct.  You'll probably have to ask your vet for a referral to an orthopedic specialist to have an MRI ordered.  In my opinion, that is a reasonable next step since rest and anti-inflammatories have made no difference in two months.  

You may also want to take him to a different vet clinic for a second opinion.  A few years ago our dog ruptured her ACL in her back knee.  The ER vet said she sprained her toes.  Huh?!  Two days later we took her to our regular vet and he correctly diagnosed the ACL tear.  It was later confirmed with MRI, and the injury never showed up on x-ray because the ligament is soft tissue.  Sometimes it just takes a different person looking at a problem to figure it out.  Any good doctor will appreciate a second opinion if he's big enough to admit he's at a loss.

Keep on trying to get some answers, and best of luck to you and your dog.  :-)
Thanks for your advice....what is the treatment for something like that???  Did your dog have to have surgery????  It is really hard to get to the bottom of this without spending a fortune on sometimes unecessary tests.  But, we do want him to feel better and certainly more comfortable.  
Until you have the problem diagnosed, there is no way of telling how expensive the treatment will be - if any even exists.  In my dog's case, surgery was necessary to fuse the joint with metal plates and screws.  That surgery is called TPLO, and is done on hind legs.  I don't know if it's done in the front or not, but I haven't heard of it.  Because her ligament was completely ruptured, there was no other way to repair it.  It was either let her face years of pain and being crippled vs. $4,000 to return her to normal life.  We gave her a normal life and took the hit to the bank account.

Frustration is the name of the game in any difficult diagnosis.  Yes, some tests will come out normal, but that doesn't mean they were unnecessary.  I just means that one or more conditions have been ruled out.  Same thing goes for humans, but we keep pursuing answers.  As responsible pet owners, our dogs deserve nothing less that the same process.

Your dog may not even need surgery depending on what the injury is.  The one thing that's certain is he won't get better without medical help.  Have you looked at the Care Credit web site for financing medical and vet bills?  That may be an option for you if treatment is going to be very expensive.  If your vet refers you to a specialist, as them if they accept Care Credit or offer any other kind of financing.  Most specialist hospitals have financing available since their services are necessarily more expensive than the typical storefront vet clinic.  MRI and CT scan machines ain't cheap!  :-)
Hey i Have a shepherd with the same problem. He is on meloxicam and tramadol. Lots of xrays done. Nothing found need to have mri done but the cost is so high. Did u have an MRi done and how is your dog doing
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