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Thread: Nero is limping :(

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Nero is limping :(

    He landed a bit awkward when jumping after a ball about 10 days ago. Ever since he's been limping on and off. He is struggling to get up after resting and needs a few steps to walk normally - like an old dog! But once he is up and walking he is fine, playful and happy. I have drastically restricted ball play in the past 10 days. He was only allowed to swim for it - not run for it. And I kind of hoped it'll go away without a vet visit, because vet visits are expensive and super-traumatic for everyone if Nero is involved.

    It's not going away 10 days later he still gets up as heavily as an old dog and he doesn't put weight on his hind leg when standing but stretches it a bit backwards only resting on his toes. He is fine walking/running tho - go figure. Anyway, I just made a vet appointment for Wednesday morning and am already freaking out just thinking about it... it'll be awful. And I'm worried I might get told it's his hips

    Did anyone here ever get a hip examination done on their dogs? What does it involve? Are they being put under usually? I cannot imagine how the vet is going to put Nero through an x-ray consciously. But then I'm not sure if putting a needle into him is going to be much easier... oh god it's going to be awful...

  2. #2
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    Hi Margoo

    I've just had sort of manual feel up type exams on my dog. If the vet can feel looseness and you both can see your dog limping... then a proper hip exam with xrays and general anaesthetic may be required.

    Frequently Asked Questions
    To obtain diagnostic radiographs, it is important that the patient and the surrounding musculature be completely relaxed. For the comfort and safety of the animal, this requires sedation and/or general anesthesia.

    Typically, three separate radiographs are made during an evaluation. The first is the compression view where the femurs are positioned in a neutral, stance-phase orientation and the femoral heads are pushed fully into the sockets. This helps show the true depth of the hip socket and gives an indication of the "fit" of the ball in the socket. The second radiograph is the distraction view. Again, the hips are positioned in a neutral orientation and a special positioning device is used to apply a harmless force to cause the hips to displace laterally.

    This position is the most accurate and sensitive for showing the degree of passive hip laxity. Passive hip laxity has been shown to be the primary risk factor associated with the development of DJD. A hip-extended view is also included for the sole purpose of examining for existing joint disease such as osteoarthritis. The PennHIP procedure has been safely performed on thousands of patients.
    So the above technique involves dislocating the hip if it isn't already - under GA so it is a bit controversial because of that.
    "apply a harmless force to cause the hips to displace laterally"

    I had my knee dislocated under GA when they were operating on it after I busted my ACL... it's pretty standard and my knee doesn't randomly dislocate (tho it did while my ACL was broken).

    Oh and it's very expensive... not so much the xrays (hundreds) but any op to do something about the HD (thousands).

    I think my finger is broken not bruised - cos if it was bruised - it would have healed up by now (10 days or so) and it hasn't, so I'm guessing for that - it's going to be 6 weeks+ instead. And probably even more crooked than it was before (family hand shape).

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    melbourne australia
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    Default

    That's a pretty full on description of what exactly they 'do' to your dog.
    Im in same boat now with Brian.

    I am not going to have xrays, or surgery, for my reasons. that's not the issue.
    the what do i do now? how to i manage his pain, yet allow enough break through pain, to remind him not to trot. And never run, jump, stalk our other dog for fun, dont do, what is naturally rewarding in his life.

    Im in week 3. And if i give anti imflams, he's not so lame, so does zoomies, and hurts the injury. Or i leave him in pain, and he's rather a wuss. My other 2 are more stoic, but this one not so brave. And you have to consider this variable.

    Id love an update and what you plan to do. Its tricky without insurance.

  4. #4
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    We tried insurance but they wanted his history and given his breed ( lab x rottie) and his history ( pano as a pup) it was pretty clear from what our vet said that they'd exclude joints. So there you go.
    I still have the hope that its nothing. Because brave he is NOT! Drama queen first class...

  5. #5
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    There was a lady around here that got a sort of jointed leg brace for her antique poodle - which enabled him to walk comfortably - tho not exactly run and play...

    I couldn't find anything like it with a quick google but here's a leg brace for hip dysplasia...

    Hip Hound Brace - Ortho Dog

    There's also been some group that has been putting a metal connector into the bone of dogs that have amputation so a prosthetic can be attached directly to the metal stump... and those seem to work really well. I think they've started doing that to humans now.

    Some sort of brace that allows a dog to move but encourages it to walk instead of running might be helpful...

  6. #6
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    I hate it when dogs go lame. However it could be anything. Might be his cruciate so I guess they will do the drawer test. I had one of my young dogs radiographed for his hips and it was all pretty straight forward. They sedate them and x-ray them.

    I usually put mine on crate rest and restricted leash walking untill they either impove or I have taken them to the vet to find out what is going on. You really should restrict his running to allow whatever it is time to heal if it is going to. I know it is hard but you have to tough it out.

    Good luck with Nero and hopefully it is not something too serious.

  7. #7
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    Hi margoo,

    Haven't had anything like this myself...but it might not be too serious and I'm sure x-rays will tell...I hope it's good news for Nero.

    I'm not surprised insurance said no...pet insurance is a rip off...especially their "Deemed to be pre-existing" BS.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

  8. #8
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    His joints/legs have always been his weak point. He had Pano on all four legs, poor pup. And not knowing better I walked him too far, too fast, too early. So limping is a recurring issue, especially when getting up after resting. Usually a few days rest will fix it, but not this time. When walking he is fine... and it's bloody difficult to explain to him why he can't chase the ball.

    Anyway, what's worrying me is watching him getting up after resting. It looks pathetic and he can't bear any weight for a while. And not putting any weight on his rear leg when standing is new too... he hasn't done that before. Today and yesterday was much better tho. I sometimes think he knows when a vet visits comes up and decides to skip the drama queen for a while.

    In any case I hope for some clarification that his hips are an issue / no issue. Then I can either stop worrying or I know we have a problem and we need to think about how to manage long term.

  9. #9
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    OK. We had our appointment this morning. The good news is that his hips are just fine. The bad news is that he most likely ruptured his cruciate ligaments. The question remains if it's a part or full rupture. As pointed out by you guys the only way to find out for sure is to put him under and do xrays. On advice of our vet we have decided against it for now. He said the symptoms he presents are pretty clear and despite Nero being tense as hell (panic mode) he could still feel quite a bit of movement doing the drawer test.

    He is not limping so badly that we need to do something right away. The concern is that the supposedly part rupture turns into a full one if he ads another injury. He talked us through both options: surgery or conventional treatment, i.e. keeping him quiet and giving anti inflammatory. He did point out that most conventional treatments end up in surgery if the dog is heavier than 15 kg anyway though. So there is still a good chance that we might need surgery down the track. But we'll have time to think about it. We have decided on conventional treatment for now, hence there is no need to get xrays because regardless of whether it's a part or full rupture the treatment is to keep him as quiet as possible. Cost for surgery he said would be between 1500 and 2500, which I found to be quite good news. I had expected worse.

    For now the course of action is to keep him as quiet as possible. It not going to be any fun! No balls, no zoomies, no chasing rabbits. He is allowed to swim though so in the next 6 weeks our walks will consist of an orderly walk on the leash to the creek where he may fetch sticks out of the water. I forgot to ask the vet about these braces tho... will email him and get an opinion if that would help.

    I have hidden all balls. Nero is sulking.

  10. #10
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    I went through all that with one of my dogs. Ended up with bilateral cruciate surgery. Worked a treat, however I went with the expensive option TPLO as she was a working dog and I had specialist friend who did it for me at a third of the cost. She recovered fully and continued to work and do agility. She recently passed at age 14 and her legs were still good.

    There are 2 yahoo groups which have loads of info. One specialises in conservative option, the other in all surgical options.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 11-26-2014 at 09:11 PM.

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