mystery limp

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pitgrrl
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mystery limp

Postby pitgrrl » Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:58 am

I believe I've asked about this in the past, but I can't find the thread, so here's the short re-cap:

About 3 years ago Streets developed a limp. It was pretty noticeable, and recurring, but never lasted too long. One day, seemingly out of the blue, in the middle of a walk he just refused to move and had to be carried home. Once there he could barely move without screeching so off to the vet we went.

X rays of his neck, shoulders, elbows and examination by 3 different vets proved useless. Everything looked perfect and none of us to even locate the specific area causing the problem, beyond just that it was something in his front half.

A few weeks of restricted activity and a couple of days of anti-inflammatories and he was fine.

For a whole year he's fine, no sign of a limp at all, then last summer he starts having a slight catch or glitch or something unnoticeable to anyone but me in his gait. Again though, it's there one morning and fine by the afternoon. I take him to the vet a couple more times, once we discover a small cut in his foot and assume that's the issue, another time we can't figure out at all what is going on and she just suggests some rest.

Every fall/winter/spring there is no sign of the limp, summer roles around and it shows back up, never anywhere near as sever as it was initially, but there on and off none the less.

So here we are again, Streets has this weird "catch" in his step on average every couple of weeks. It usually only lasts a few hours to a day and then disappears again. I've spoken to my vet about it and she doesn't seem too concerned and only suggested massage and not going on long walks (which is verging on hilarious because I refuse to live with a wound up psycho Streets).

The other out there theory I had, after reading about this in humans, is that inflammation in one part of the body (in this case Streets' flare up of colitis which happens in the spring/summer every year) can cause inflammation in other parts of the body, specifically joints. In theory my vet seems to think this is remotely possible, but has never seen it.

I can't find a chiro or acupuncturist who work on animals here, and in any case I still don't know what exactly the issue is.

So, the question, finally lol Do I get more x rays taken? Do I get a 4th opinion? Do I assume it's some weird muscle injury or arthritis in his toe or something equally hard to figure out and just leave it be? Are there other options I'm not thinking of?

I apologize for the length of this , it's just driving me a bit nuts trying to figure it out. :oops:

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Postby Maryellen » Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:43 pm

was he checked for lyme or erlichia?

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Postby pitgrrl » Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:49 pm

Yup, for the lyme, but 3 years ago. The thing is I'm literally in the middle of a city, we barely see a mosquito, much less a tick. It would be shocking really for it to be related to anything transmitted by bugs or other animals (dogs and pigeons excluded).

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Postby Chili Peppers » Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:57 pm

It seems to be an immune related problem. Something like rheumatoid arthritis or a form of lupus ? Have you tried Dr Guindon ? Or maybe ostheopaths ? Elisabeth Camus in Lachute or Micheline Turcotte in Beloeil.

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Postby Maryellen » Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:08 pm

is it more pronounced on sidewalks/roads rather then grass/
it could be joint related..

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Postby pitgrrl » Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:27 pm

Chili Peppers wrote:It seems to be an immune related problem. Something like rheumatoid arthritis or a form of lupus ? Have you tried Dr Guindon ? Or maybe ostheopaths ? Elisabeth Camus in Lachute or Micheline Turcotte in Beloeil.


I have been to Dr. Guidon, for a different issue, but I did mention this as well. I think he's a wonderful guy, but unfortunately the type of homeopathy he practices doesn't really suite Streets very well.

I'll look up the other two people you mentioned though. I don't drive, which makes everything very annoying, but maybe there's some way to do it.

Maryellen wrote:is it more pronounced on sidewalks/roads rather then grass/
it could be joint related..


It's not necessarily more pronounced on one vs. the other, though we spend so much time walking on concrete that it's possible I'm just not noticing a difference really.

It's also so hard to tell because I'll literally take him out and he's walking funny, then he gets back in the house, runs around, jumps and then the next time we go out he's fine.

Massaging his neck/shoulder area seems to *maybe* help? :dunno:
It seems to appear more often after he's rested for a while post-long walk, but sometimes not.

Don't get me wrong or anything, it's really not a pronounced limp at all, nor does it seem to stop him from doing anything, it's really just a subtle irregularity in his gait most of the time that it appears and then 1 out of 10 times that it happens it's quite noticeable, but he recovers very quickly.

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Postby Chili Peppers » Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:31 pm

pitgrrl wrote:
I have been to Dr. Guidon, for a different issue, but I did mention this as well. I think he's a wonderful guy, but unfortunately the type of homeopathy he practices doesn't really suite Streets very well.

I'll look up the other two people you mentioned though. I don't drive, which makes everything very annoying, but maybe there's some way to do it.


I think Dr Camus or Dr Turcotte might be able to help. If you need help with a ride or something, get in touch with us (through Patrick whom you already know). We'll help if we can.

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Postby lovek9s » Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:36 pm

I know you said you did a check for Lyme but I would consider doing it again. Layla had a similar situation. We had x-rays and nothing showed up. She continued to limp - it wasn't always pronounced sometimes it was subtle. It came and went over the course of a few years, etc. The limp was in her front right leg.

We took her to the accupunturist who tested her for Lyme and found a "strong" positive. We treated her for Lyme and postponed the accupunture and her limp went away. The vet said it may come and go so we'll just treat her as needed.

About 3-5 years ago we had our prior vet give Layla a Lyme test and the vet was skeptical because she said the Lyme test can be inconclusive. They can have Lyme and no symptoms or have the symptoms and the Lyme doesn't show up. At the time she tested positive but didn't have the symptoms yet. At the time we had her tested because our other dog was Lyme positive.

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Postby pitgrrl » Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:47 pm

I discussed lyme at length with my vet as clearly, that would be one of the first things you'd think of with suck a situation.

The thing is I'm really not exaggerating when I say there would be no where for the dogs to encounter a tick. Downtown Montreal is made of concrete, with only pathetic little patches of grass they call parks. Squirrels and fruit flies are as close as we get to nature. My loft is even made of concrete lol

I am going to ask my vet about it again, but I remember even when we did test for it a few years ago she told me I was probably just wasting my money.

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Postby Maryellen » Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:49 pm

if you have mice in the city you have ticks.. ticks originate from mice.. if there is grass there are ticks.. trust me, they are everywhere (except the antartic LOL....) its worth it to have him tested just to rule it out.. if he does have lymes and it goes untreated it will affect his organs eventually...

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Postby pblove » Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:47 pm

Zoe before I even finished reading your post my first thoughts were, I bet it is the acid reflux thing affecting other parts of his body now.!

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Postby pblove » Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:51 pm

and also want to let you know that my senior dog is also doing the acid reflux thing now too,(about every 6 months) along with the wird limp several weeks after the reflux goes away!

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Postby pitgrrl » Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:06 pm

pblove wrote:and also want to let you know that my senior dog is also doing the acid reflux thing now too,(about every 6 months) along with the wird limp several weeks after the reflux goes away!


Gawd Sharon, obviously our dogs are meant for each other. Perhaps we need to start the Institute for the Study of Dog Set On Driving Their Owners Insane with Strange Ailments. lol

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Postby ZiggysMom » Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:39 pm

Better be ready for a humongous influx of applications!

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Postby gooeydog » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:40 am

The initial incident you describe sounds like what Annie (my Dachshund) had a couple summers ago, she developed a kind of off gait on her left front leg (I had just started biking with her again and thought maybe it was just soreness, so I just eased off on her exercise for a bit), then one day she started yelping if you touched her anywhere, and walking hunched up, still limping on that leg. When I took her to be seen, they manipulated her neck/back, and x rayed her, she had a belly full of chicken bones (raided the trash the night before). We assumed that was the cause, fed her a bunch of bread and got some pain meds for her, re x rayed the next morning and they had moved on out of her stomach.

A few days later, she started screaming again when touched, and walking off again. I took her back in, and a different vet (we have two we normally see, this one has a dachshund also) looked at the x rays again, didn't see anything either. When he manipulated her neck though, he said it felt tense, and that she could have a pinched nerve or disk problem. The only way to really diagnose either is by myelogram or MRI, both of which are pretty costly, so we decided to try confinement and meds (pred) first.

Initially, there was a bit of improvement, then a few days in, she was back to screaming if you even reached towards her, we ended up adding a muscle relaxer (robaxin) to her meds, and that helped a lot. I also discovered that crating her seemed to be compounding the problem, I think because she needed to be able to stretch out a little bit at times, so I put her in an ex pen instead. It took about 2-3 weeks for her to return to normal, and I kept her restricted for another couple weeks, then gradually increased her exercise, starting with swimming (in the tub), and moving back up to her normal activity level.

She hasn't had any problems since, though I also try to avoid running her long distances on pavement, since that may have brought on the issue.


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