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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Labrador Limp

Yellow Labrador with Ball
My 9 month old puppy recently developed a limp about two months ago. She never seemed to be in any pain, always up for playing and running around. However, we were getting worried so we took her to the vet last week for x-rays. She told us that she limps to favour her left front leg, however the x-rays showed us healthy shoulders and elbows. Its been two days since the x-rays and she limps worse, hardly putting any weight on her foot - however the vet said this is normal and that the leg would be sore for a couple of days because of the x-rays. Is this limp just growing pains? Nothing to worry about?

Ahh - we went through this with Cheyenne. I tell you - that dog can go through anything and never let on that she is in pain or uncomfortable! Play is play: no matter if they have a limp or not!

This problem can easily resolve on its own as it may just be a sprain. When our Lab was displaying this, it was her front elbow and the vet thought that she could have OCD. Now OCD can be corrected but even with her the problem went away on its own after following some simple at home care steps our veterinarian gave us:

- Crate rest for 23 out of the 24 hours in a day.
- Allowed out of the crate for bathroom (potty) runs.
- Must be taken outside to go to the bathroom on a leash only.
- No doggie daycare.
- No dog parks.
- No jumping and running with her sister, Dakota.
- Steroid/ anti-inflammatory medication once a day. (Metacam)
- Joint/hip supplements twice a day. (recommended)

This went on for 3 weeks before she was all better and I highly recommend it. If you don't have the anti-inflammatory medication, you can request some from your vet or just do without. Today she is still on the joint/hip supplement (Cosequin DS) but doesn't show any signs of ever having a problem.

Our Labbie prayers are with you!

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Blogger Beth said...

My Gracie slipped in the mud at the dog park last year and when I turned to see where she was she was laying on the ground with her leg flopping around. I thought for sure it was broken and wouldn't you know we were about as far from the truck as possible. Gracie tried to walk, but would not put weight on her leg. A kindly man offered to carry her back to the truck (all 80 pounds of her) and he got her almost all the way back. We got to the vet where she underwent a rigorous exam with nothing broken or torn apparent. We were sent home with anti-inflammatories. The next day you'd never know she couldn't walk the day before. I think she gets periodic "stingers" in her elbow. But like your Cheyenne, play is play and ain't nothing goin' to slow her down. I haven't started her on the joint supplements, but it might not be a bad idea. Do you have a brand you could recommend?

April 30, 2008 6:11 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I highly recommend Cosequin DS chewable tablets. They are a little more expensive then buying human supplements but you can get them cheapest at and they offer free shipping. Our girls get 3 tablets a day each and it has kept Dakota's hip dysplasia well under control.

Good luck!

May 01, 2008 7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Shannon, its Ashley. An update since my email - we tried one week of bedrest and metacam and the limp seemed to get better but didnt go away. We went to a specialist who felt her and decided that based on her age and breed, she could have elbow dysplesia and he wanted us to get an arthoscopy done. We werent happy with his advice because it seemed like he based his decision off so little and we could go and do the surgery and still find nothing. My husband and I decided to just keep an eye on her and we figure that she will let us know if she is in too much pain (plus we dont have enough money for the surgery). However, perhaps I should put her on bedrest again for longer?

May 04, 2008 1:51 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...


If the problem has lasted more then a week, I would seek out another vet's recommendation. There may be some soft tissue or ligament damage that may need special care other then bed rest. Just call around to the vets in your area and ask them if they have a large breed specialist and explain the problem.

We originally had a different vet at the same clinic we go to now but he just didn't have the knowledge of large breed dogs we had been looking for and had waved off a lot of our questions. So, we asked the clinic for a vet with large breed experience. They gave us Dr. Work - he not only owns multiple Labs of his own but practiced many years as a Great Dane specialist. Heck, there aren't many larger breeds then that! :)

If it were not for him, we don't think we would have gotten such great care with Dakota's hip problems and Cheyenne's need to get into trouble. ;)

Let us know how it goes!

May 05, 2008 7:28 AM  

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