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Really hoping another lab owner can help me here. My lab is 3 years old and we have always enjoyed long walks together - she even climbed snow don with me when she was 2. No leg issues.

Since just before her 3rd birthday she started limping on her right front leg. I was pregnant at time so my partner would walk her or I would just take her to park and throw the ball for some exercise that she loved. There was no obvious accident but she just started limping. I rested her for a few days and it got better then as soon as she charged around again the limp came back. There was no sign of swelling or discomfort when you inspected her leg.

After a few weeks of this intermittent limp that came and went I went to the vet - he couldn't find anything wrong so just said to rest her for ten days and see how she goes. She seemed to I prove for a few weeks and I had my baby! Anyway then after a few weeks after going back to normal exercise and ball throwing it came back again so I went back again to vet. This time they gave her anti inflammatory and said rest her for 3 weeks. Her limp improved again but as soon as off tablets and walking again properly it returned!

After she had been limping for about 5 months on and off the vet finally got some X-rays done. They didn't show up anything - no apparent issues with her joints. They also did blood tests and all fine. He then told me to rest her for 6 weeks and I have started to give her glucosamine chews. Anyway 6 weeks have passed but her limp still comes and goes - sometimes it seems worse when she's been lying down resting for a while. Sometimes it seems worse when she walks downhill. Sometimes it seems better for a day or 2. The vet says she doesn't show any signs of discomfort when her leg is manipulated. She's miserable though and missing her long walks and ball playing. Has anyone come across something like this? I am so sad my 3 year old may never be able to have a decent walk or. Run around again ? Help!
 

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I am sorry your girl is showing discomfort when exercised, you have done the resting up then tested her normal walking with no improvement, I think I would now be asking the vet to refer her to a specialist or atleast ask for second opinion from another vet.

What you describe does sound similar to what we had with our girl last year, fortunately her xrays did show a cruciate problem which required an operation and after a long careful recovery period including physio, and slow build up she is perfectly fine now, one thing we do avoid though is ball retrieving as I think that may have helped to make the problem worsen in the first place, there is no problem with retrieving in water though.

I hope someone else can help with advise and you manage to get to the bottom of the problem.

June
 

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I agree with June. I'd be wanting at least a second opinion. It is possible the vet has missed something. Hope you soon can find some answers.
 

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I don't know if this helps, but in any case...

A couple of years ago, my other dog started limping. We called the vet and she looked at her paws and her joints and while she was talking with us and recommending we get some X-rays (see below) she started pressing around the spinal cord. Kara didn't really mind until she instantly lied down. We picked her up, then the vet pressed the exact same place and she lied down again. I don't know exactly what happened, but I believe it had something to do with the fact that at one time she got scared and ran away in the opposite direction and she might have pulled a muscle or something in that area.

I guess you could also press on and around your dog's spinal cord, but be very careful, it's supposed to be a rather light touch. To give you a reference point, you should apply the same pressure as if you're using somebody's doorbell. However, if your vet isn't annoyed if you're suggesting solutions, just say that you read that it might be an issue closer to the spinal cord and probably the vet will properly investigate your Hattie.

Regarding X-rays, many people still use X-rays to see what's wrong with some parts of the body. Unless you broke a bone, there isn't a great deal of information for you in an X-ray because you can't see the soft tissue. MRI scans are a lot better (and a lot safer and a lot more expensive, obviously) and very problematic in case of some dogs because of the constant thumping sound.
 

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Thank you everyone. Been back to vets this morning and he has referred her now for an MRI scan to try and see what's going on. If there is still nothing showing she will need a camera in her joint :-( just wish I knew what the problem is. The vet manipulated her leg again and no sign of where it hurts so still unsure if its elbow, shoulder or soft tissue problem.
 

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Have you considered visiting an animal osteopath or chiropractor.

Minnie regulary goes to her chiropractor. She had a limp when young and the vets wanted to explore after finding nothing on x-rays.

Hope your girl gets better soon.

Mandy
 
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Did the vet check her toes? I ask as one of mine has similar symptoms and she has Arthritis in a few of her toe joints. Arthritis is very common in Labs, even relatively young ones, unfortunately.
 

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I would also second examination of the spine, this often overlooked by vets particularly when a Labrador presents with a limp as the assumption is it's joint related due to the breed disposition with ED and HD.

Long story short, Jack was limping badly, he is known to have ED and arthritis, but he got so bad the vet said he would have to PTS as he was in agony, I got a 2nd opinion from a Galen therapist and Osteopath, along with Homeopathic treatment, it turns out one of his vertebrae was out of alignment, had nothing to do with his elbows at all.

Always worth a check.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi everyone, I am awaiting a CTscan and if thst is clear will request a referral to a chiro or osteopath. I have been thinking really hard about her limping issue and have noted a few of the following things:

- it's worse when she walks downhill or if she has been resting for a while.
- since the symptoms first started she has on and off made squeals of pain for what seems absolutely no reason. She does it fairly regularly (well couple of times a week where she'll squeal out in pain but she hadn't done anything.
- sometimes she squeals out when someone strokes her ear and I think she has her head slightly tilted when she walks/jogs. Ears were looked in and all fine though.

Do any of those points above shed anymore light on the issue?

Thanks
 

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I really hope this is a ligament, muscle or trapped nerve and not a joint issue

Once Judy got past puppyhood I thought she'd be fine forever unless injured. To be told last week she's probably got joint issues was sole destroying
We're off to Fitzpatricks next Tuesday and praying for good news

With your issue involving remote areas such as the ear I'd wonder if it could be nerves or neck vertebrate. I've no idea snd its no point second guessing, job for the experts!!!

I do wish you the very, very best of luck and hope all gets sorted and back on long treks ASAP!!
 
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