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Thread: Older dog suddenly limping on left front leg

  1. #1

    Default Older dog suddenly limping on left front leg

    Hi again! I know I'm only here with problems lol.

    I have an 8 year old Jack Russell cross that I rescued who has now started limping on his left front leg. He doesn't appear to have anything stuck in his paw or any obvious injury. I first noticed it on Monday and it has been happening on and off. I have continued to take him for very short walks as he gets depressed and skittish if he doesn't go out. One of our other dogs I believe is related to him and she had a cruciate ligament injury age 4.

    It's possible that he could have fallen off the bed/ slipped down the few back steps to the yard but there has been nothing in particular that I believe would have led to an injury. I have an appointment at the vet for tomorrow and I don't want them running off doing all these things unnecessarily that will cost a lot of money as we haven't got much work at the moment.

    Any advice for how to handle tomorrow?

    Thanks all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Melbourne VIC


    I am not a veterinarian so I will not suggest what it is or could be but will write from experience with clients' dogs as to the reason for their limps.

    - Torn ligament from jumping off something
    -Injured muscle from physical activity
    - Heart problem
    - Tumour pushing on nerve in the shoulder

    Look at how he is limping, if it's coming from the shoulder, knee, foot, etc.

    If the vet suggests a test, I would follow their advice, as there are many possibilities for what you have described. Some more likely than the other but not less possible.

    Good Luck with the vet trip. Keep us updated

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012


    My dog became lame in her front leg once a while ago. Completely out of the blue.

    Took her to a vet and got some anti-inflammatories for her as he thought she had just pulled a muscle. She never came completely right and turns out it was arthritis in her elbow.
    If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them. ~Phil Pastoret

  4. #4


    Thanks - they did mention and x ray over the phone. He will have had symptoms for 4 days then.

    I suppose it could rule out some things, but what I am curious to know is what would an x ray show other than a fracture? Would it show inflammation/ tumours/ sprains or other problems?

    It's just I know an x ray will be expensive and I don't want one if I can reasonably avoid it. On the other hand, if whatever it is gets a lot worse maybe he will need surgery which could have otherwise been avoided. I think he will also need to be sedated for an x ray and that's a risk to him too.

    I will let you all know what it is anyway.

    By the way my two oldest (age 9 and 10) both had vomiting/ diahroea at night for a few days so I took them to the vet. They got scourban (which is kind of like immodium) and a bland diet of chicken and rice. They got better, but one has since still had diahroea after eating her usual food of Canidae biscuits and a bit of my dog. Any idea what would cause sudden food intolerance?

    At least they have stopped barking (I think

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    It takes about 10 days for a bruise or muscle tear to start feeling better.

    Have you had a good feel of the leg to see if any bit of it is tender?

    A good feel by a vet - can locate fractures and tendon tears too. Xrays will also show these. Well almost always. It is possible to have break like a green stick that doesn't show up in the first xray but that's fairly rare.

    If they do need to do a repair on a fracture or ligament - they often want to wait a couple of weeks for the swelling and bruising to go down anyway. Check with your vet about this one too.

    If a feel up doesn't reveal a fracture - you could try some arthritis medication to see if that helps - if it doesn't then maybe it's something more serious.

    So ask your vet to lay out all the diagnostic tests and time lines... ie can you wait and see or is it best to get an xray asap... given it might just be a bruise or something that will go away on it's own provided you limit your dog's opportunity to aggravate it (no running and jumping).

    As for the vomits diarrhea - I heard something on the radio the other day about "norovirus" which causes gastroenteritis ie vomits and diarrhea. dogs can get a version of it. humans can get a different version (ie unlikely a dog will give it to a human) but it's highly infectious between dogs (or the human version between humans), it lasts quite a while in the environment, the critter is not sick for long enough for an immune system reaction other than the usual "I'm poisoned" reaction of the vomits and squirts. So the dogs can keep reinfecting each other.

    I found I had to change what dog food I was feeding my dog because the old stuff caused problems.

    I don't think I'd ever feed my dog "MyDog dog food". Or any other canned food. Well I recently fed her some optimum chicken and rice and the results were explosive. Not doing that again.

    Sudden changes in a dogs diet can cause problems, so feeding "mydog" as a treat can have unintended results. Better to continue with the boiled chicken and rice. And then maybe the regular food and not mess with other stuff.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Rural NSW


    Any of mine have a limp now and then. I just check them and watch and they clear up in a few days. If they don't they go to the vet. Jodi was limping on and off for a while. It seemed odd as she was ok one day or time but then not. Turns out she had a luxating patella (knee cap slipping in and out) $1500 op later and all is good.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  7. #7


    Thanks all - I him to the vet on Friday (last week). They were very kind and checked him for free since the other two had to have their vaccinations. The vet had a feel around and extended his leg a few times, and didn't note anything out of the ordinary. He was sent home with orders to rest for a few days, and by the next Wednesday he was fine again (like Hyacinth said If he hadn't recovered the next step would have been x-rays.

  8. #8


    'Megan Tones' - that is a really 'good news' type of update ! Good stuff !

    It is the same with us isn't it ? The older we get - it seems the more aches, noises and creaks are heard and felt.

    Hope you have no more leg problems with your pup !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    I do love an update. Especially a happy one.

    Fortunately for me - all my dogs injuries have been superficial (touch wood) so they've gotten better in the time it usually takes for a bruise or scratch to heal up.

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