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  #1  
Old May 6, 2009, 01:09 PM
ScoutieDog ScoutieDog is offline
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Great State of Maine
Posts: 6
Default Anyone else have limping problems?

My Scout (age 11) has a noticeable limp on his right leg when he walks; he seems to not be putting his weight on it. Sometimes when turning he makes a sort of half hop. He hesitates jumping in the car or walking up steps. When he gets up from napping he takes a long time to get his balance. The limp is very noticeable upon waking, but gets less noticeable with use. When standing for long periods, he sometimes just lifts that right foot ever so slightly so it's not touching the ground.

It came on very suddenly about two months ago. If there was an injury, I did not witness it. He does not get on furniture.

He is generally in good shape, is at an ideal weight. Has been taking Soloxin for thyroid about three years, taking eye drops (like Restasis) for dryness for longer. Changed to a low fat Hills Science Diet around Christmas time to keep triglycerides in check.

He had a full hip x-ray about two months ago with nothing remarkable, not even any signs of arthritis. Have had two different vets do a physical examination from the tip of his toes up to his hip putting him through a full range of motion and he shows no resistance to any movement in any direction, no whimpering. The only abnormality they can detect is a slight atrophy of the muscle in the right leg.

Started over-the-counter Glucosamine and Chondroitin for about two months ago on the vet's advice, but no apparent affects. Started Rimadyl ten days ago, one dose a day with no effect, was this morning advised to bump up it to two doses a day.

FWIW:

1. For all his life he has been antsy about having his feet touched. I am a very hands-on owner, very cuddly with my dogs, and this is the first one to ever show resistance to having his feet touched. It's been that way since he was a pup.

2. I travel a lot for my job and I used to board him with a very reputable kennel, but he would come home absolutely worn out and sleep non-stop for two days. And, often show sings of lameness so much so that I'd take him to the vet. The vet ran a series of tests as this recurred several times and found nothing and eventually decided that he simply played too hard when boarded. The kennel owner confirmed that he ran around and barked non-stop. Found another boarding alternative (a neighbor who would keep him in her home) and he came home from that boarding in perfect condition. So, no more kenneling.

3. Once or twice a year he will lick his right foot obsessively until it is pink, the vet will treat it with a shot (steroids?), he will stop licking and it will heal just fine. But it is the same foot as he is limping on now. The vet believes it is probably an allergy, but it's odd that it doesn't always happen at the same time of the year (same season).

Our regular vet is stumped. This morning she started mentioning other alternatives--acupuncture, referral to an orthopedic specialist (my vet has an orthopedic guru of the practice, who we saw once, she found nothing other than the slight muscle atrophy).

I'm wondering if any other Sheltie owners have unexplained lameness limping problems. I'm convinced there is some underlying something that he's had all his life with his legs, and that 25 years or so from now someone is going to do a study and "discover" it and give it a name and that we are just dealing with someone no one has "found" yet.
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  #2  
Old May 6, 2009, 01:15 PM
SheltieLuver SheltieLuver is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 758
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Honestly the first thing that came to my mind with his age and you metioning that it is worse when he first wakes up sounds like arthritis. But, if your vet is stumped???

Have you gotten a second opinion from another vet? Maybe a bone specialist?

Welcome to the forum by the way!
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  #3  
Old May 6, 2009, 01:28 PM
ScoutieDog ScoutieDog is offline
 
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Location: Great State of Maine
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I've gotten opinions from two vets in the same practice, and I have full faith in the practice as my last vet (who I also respected highly) hand-picked them for me when I moved across state four years ago.

My regular vet has been in practice twenty years and the vet who started this particular practice has been practicing thirty years. She is not certified per se as an orthopedic specialist but of the vets in that practice she is known as the one with the most orthopedic experience, so she examined him once, too.

I'm just convinced there is some sort of underlying syndrome / condition that has never been diagnosed that would explain the licking, the limping, the dislike for touching. Sorta hoping that someone else with a Sheltie will pop up and say "as a matter of fact, we've that same experience with our pup's legs/feet..."
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  #4  
Old May 6, 2009, 02:09 PM
Katherine's Avatar
Katherine Katherine is offline
 
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Location: Charleston SC
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If the legs, shoulders, and hips have been ruled out as a source of the problem, I can't help but wonder if it might have to do with the spine and nerve issues ???
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  #5  
Old May 6, 2009, 02:11 PM
Noneeds4me Noneeds4me is offline
 
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Location: Southern California
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Is it possible that he is straining something in the same leg time and time again throughout his life? Maybe his "gait" is off a bit, and he's prone to small injuries recurring? I know our almost 14 year old girl limps now and then..sometimes it is very apparent.. Sometimes she gets going too fast for her own good, and pulls something in that very same leg each time. Your babe has had this all his life though, and not just in his "Senior" years, right?

Just my guess ;-)..
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  #6  
Old May 6, 2009, 02:20 PM
ScoutieDog ScoutieDog is offline
 
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Location: Great State of Maine
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The limp is new. He's had a nice gait his whole life. (He's not a show dog, but an "oversized" pet quality dog from a show line.)

The foot he licks obsessively is the same foot that is now limping; the vet has always assumed the licking was allergy-related, but we've never done allergy testing, so now she is curious if the licking was a response to a pain there instead of an allergy.
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  #7  
Old May 6, 2009, 02:27 PM
Tamara Tamara is offline
 
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Location: Michigan
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My sheltie, who's about four months now, sometimes limps after sleeping. But he usually works it out and is fine. He doesn't lick the foot though... But it is odd. I think maybe it's because he gets a little carried away with my sister's dog and doesn't think before he acts. He can't jump on the couches yet, so when the other dog does it he tries to do it as well, but usually just ends up slamming against the side of it. He never acts like it hurts though. I think at my next vet appointment I'm going to ask about it.
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  #8  
Old May 6, 2009, 02:32 PM
Crystal1 Crystal1 is offline
 
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Location: Ft Worth, TX
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I don't know if this could be anything like your dog, but one of my dogs used to act like she had arthritis. It started when my Crystal got a bit older, and I decided to add a new female sheltie puppy to the family. Crystal had arthritis and fell all the way down the stairs one day. I was very concerned and hurried down to help her and check her out. She seemed okay, and I of course gave her a lot of attention. Little did I know that the puppy was watching us. The next day the puppy threw herself down the stairs. At first I didn't know what to make of it, and rushed down to check her out. She was fine and happy to get the attention. Next thing I know the puppy is falling down or limping every chance she gets. I realized what was going on, and tried to ignore her, but every once in a while she would limp and I would check her out. I finally took her to the Vet and explained what happened, and asked him to check her leg. Like you said, the Vet put her through range of motion checks and she was fine. All her life she would occasionally limp. Then she started to get old and I couldn't tell what was her faking and what was real arthritis. She was diagnosed with arthritis, and on arthritis medication (prednisone) for the rest of her life, and I never knew when she was really hurting or not. Did something like this happen when your dog was young? None of my dogs have liked to have their paws touched. I just try to play with their paws now and then, so that I can cut their nails easier.
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  #9  
Old May 6, 2009, 02:37 PM
ScoutieDog ScoutieDog is offline
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Great State of Maine
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That's funny about them doing it for attention. I don't think that's the case here. This Sheltie is one of the most confident dogs I've ever seen, has no shyness issues whatsoever, and can come and ask for attention if he needs something, so I don't think he would fake anything. Plus, he limps when he is out in the fenced yard and not aware of being watched.

If you want to keep your Sheltie off furniture, try a Tattle Tale. Works great.
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  #10  
Old May 6, 2009, 02:40 PM
ScoutieDog ScoutieDog is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katherine View Post
If the legs, shoulders, and hips have been ruled out as a source of the problem, I can't help but wonder if it might have to do with the spine and nerve issues ???
If the Rimadyl doesn't do the trick, I'll ask that next time.

He plays less rough as he's gotten older. He used to run around in those Crazed Sheltie Circles all the time when he was younger, but rarely goes at it full speed as much anymore. And, when he does now, the bursts don't last nearly as long as they used to. Sorta miss those. :)
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