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Strange hip/leg issue
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Strange hip/leg issue

Hello.  This is my first post. I have a 9 or so year old terrier mix (shelter baby). She has had arthritis issues in the past (limited mobility when we hit cold snaps - usually manage with heat).  This morning, she was laying on my chest, shifted her weight slight, and starting yipe-ing. I put her on the floor to see what was going on.

When I put her down, she was dragging her left rear leg slightly.  She was shaking and panting - we let her rest - she calmed down and laid down,with the"injured' leg sticking straight out.  She has been able to sit, lay on both sides, walk, and even started up the stairs when I went to the bathroom  - all without yelping,and all while dragging the left leg.  Her joints feel fine, she allows me to squeeze and manipulate the leg and joints without yelping - she does shake and pant a little when she sits, until she finds a comfy spot, so she is experiencing SOME discomfort.  She will put weight on the leg.  She just seems to tense the leg and keep it straight while walking.  

We're wondering if anybody else has had this problem?  There isn't a vet locally that is open on the weekend, and it's crazy expensive to go to the doggy ER here .. . she's sleeping comfortably, is drinking water, although she hasn't had much of an appetite.  We're thinking maybe some kind of muscle cramp, or a strain?  Any thoughts?  She's my baby so I hate seeing her uncomfortable, and the leg dragging has me very concerned as she's never done that before.

Thanks
Tags: leg dragging, Arthritis, hip/leg, cramps
11 Comments Post a Comment
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612551_tn?1247839157
From what I understand I'd give the dog a day or two to see if the condition improves.  If it doesn't a trip to the vet would be a good idea.

It does not sound like anything is broken, but if I read correctly the dog is small and sleeps with you in bed.  This could result in injury due to a person rolling over on a small dog - seems that was not the case, but  a thought.  You also mention arthritis and cold, it is unusually cold in NJ, single digit this morning again, so that may be a major contributor.

Finally, I'd expect a mixed breed Terrier to be capable of reaching an age of 15, that's been my experience, albeit I have recently come to the conclusion the mixed breed "Terrier" we adopted from a pound many years ago was in fact a mixed breed coonhound  : )  Fine dog in any case, and too big and dirty to sleep on the bed.  Our current rescue, a Westie, is small but is NOT a lap dog.

Let us know how it goes, your experience will be read here and some will benefit from the knowledge you gain.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your reply.

It actually happened when I was laying on the couch, and we were all wide awake, so rolling over on her isn't a possibility.  She's about 17 lbs., and other than the occassional arthritis issues, she's healthy.  We're in Iowa - frigid cold last week which didn't seem to bother her, and it's been warmer the past couple of days.  She usually has arthritis issues when it's a sudden cold snap, so I don't think that's necessarily what's going on now.

After a night of rest, she seems to be more comfortable.  She still has the leg "locked", dragging behind her, and is trying to walk on the front of her paw, but she's hobbling around like it's nothing - she went outside to go to the bathroom today, I caried her inside, set her down to take off my coat, and she was halfway up the stairs. . . I'll definitely update.    
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462827_tn?1333172552
Welcome......This is what I want you do do.....Stand your dog up on all fours..Turn the back paw (Bad leg) under where it's folded underneath....If he cannot turn it right side up (To normal position) almost immediately, then get back with me ASAP.....Until then, do not let your dog run, jump, play or even attempt stairs......Put him in a confined area or crate.....Only CARRY him out to potty & carry back in to confinement......

I have to go somewhere for awhile, so I don't have time to go any father at the moment......Let me know......Karla
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Avatar_m_tn
She has been knuckling over periodically - and she seems to try to attempt to flip the leg back over (as in she notices it's not right) but it doesn't seem to bother her. She does adjust her legs and lifts them when getting comfortable on her pillow.

I know knuckling is a sign of DM . . . the thing that doesn't seem to be adding up is the "yipe" she let out yesterday before this whole thing began.  From what I've read on DM, it comes on suddenly and the dog just can't tell where it's leg is positioned.  I've looked on a lot of boards and sites today, and nobody mentions a sudden pain before the paralysis.  She definitely was in pain when the yipe happened so we've been kind of leaning towards pinched nerve maybe?  

Nothing really seems to fit as far as a diagnosis.  We're restricting her movement as much as possible (she isn't crated - I think she has bad shelter memories -  she just shook uncontrollably when we've had one in the past), but has basically just been laying on her pillow.  
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462827_tn?1333172552
Please Google IVDD (Intervertabral Disk/Disc Disease)....The information you need will be there.....I believe a disc has protruded into her spinal column....It's very painful when it happens & NO trauma has to take place.....The purpose of crate rest is to keep the disc from rupturing...If it does, she can be paralyzed from the waist down.....

The surgery to correct the paralysis runs anywhere from $3000-$7000 depending where you live.....Once it turns into an emergency like this, you only have about 36 hrs. to correct it...

She needs to see her Vet tomorrow & get some anti-inflammatories & Pain management to get the disc to go back down on it's own...It usually take 4-6 weeks to allow time for it to heal........This disease is extremely painful, thus the not wanting to eat.....

I wish you luck, Let us know what you find out & how she's doing......Karla
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the luck and the thoughts . . . I just googled it, and it doesn't seem quite right either, but I appreciate the input. She's actually been eating/drinking/doing her business normally today.  The only symptoms she seems to have are the lameness and knuckling.  She doesn't seem to be in pain at all today either.

Keep your fingers and toes crossed for us.  





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462827_tn?1333172552
Please, keep us updated...I have TWO Disc Disease dogs..One has been paralyzed & had the surgery & the other had conservative treatment alone w/Acupuncture to heal quicker.......Both have been successful outcomes & never missed a meal! Well, except the one while he was in the hospital!  :)

Let us know how she's doing....Karla
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Avatar_m_tn
Well, I posted but apparently the reply is wandering about in cyberspace.

Her vet diagnosed her with a herniated disc.  She said that Ella still had good feeling in both legs, and thought that she had a pretty good chance of recovery with conservative care.  She's on Rimadyl for an anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxer, and is on strict rest for 2-3 weeks.  We've created a little doggy fort for her out of an old wire kennel, so she's contained but can see everything . . . plus it's easier for us to lift her out of.  

I was lucky enough to have a snow day today,so she got some extra snuggle time . . . plus it put me a little at ease to see how well she's adapting.  No change one way or another yet, but it's still early. Staying positive!

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462827_tn?1333172552
Great news, glad you got the diagnoses from your Vet.....Now, the healing can begin! ......Keep it up....It goes faster than you think!   Thanks for returning with the update.....If you have any other questions, please let us know.......Karla
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462827_tn?1333172552
How's your Ella after 3 weeks? Doing well, I hope.....Just checking on her....Karla
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for thinking of us :-)  Between adjusting to our new schedule and her "daddy" and I getting engaged a couple of weeks ago, we've been busy!!!

We have made slow, steady progress.  Her vet gave her another 10 days of Rimadyl (which runs out in a few days), and she just got her last muscle relaxer this morning - her use of those for the past week or so has only been in the morning, to help her stay "quiet" while we're at work as she hasn't been showing any signs of pain.  

She definitely has increased use of the leg and paw.  She is still dragging slightly when we allow her to take a couple of steps, but is correcting her paw  about 80% of the time when it knuckles over.  She's doing her "happy spins" again when we mention certain words.. . back to her happy go lucky self.  She was able to bring the leg up to clean it the other day, and we see her stretching the muscles and toes. I think she has the ability to do more, but is being careful (which I have NO problem with!!! ).

She did actually have a mini jail break, and burst out of her cage this morning and sprinted towards the door (maybe 5 ft). We're still keeping her "quiet"  but it at least made me see that even if she doesn't make a full recovery, she'll be happy and able to run!

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