Can not determine why dog is limping

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Can not determine why dog is limping

This is a discussion on Can not determine why dog is limping within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I am stumped and concerned. My dog has been limping off an on but usually on for 4 months now. She is a 2.5 year ...

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Old 03-09-2018, 08:30 PM
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Can not determine why dog is limping

I am stumped and concerned. My dog has been limping off an on but usually on for 4 months now. She is a 2.5 year old American bulldog/ Pitt rescue. She started Christmas Eve almost seeming like her back legs just stopped working. I had to carry her outside to try and get her to posture. I was scared went to the emergency vet. They took X-rays that really did not show anything. They wanted to have her on medications that would keep a person in a coma. I took the anti inflammatory and tramadol for her and said no to the more extreme medications. She started to recover some but is a very difficult dog to stop from jumping around the house crashing into people and objects. After a few weeks it seemed that she was limping again and she switches off legs but seems to primarily be the left. I took her again to the vet but her normal on this time. She did not get X-rays but the vet reviewed the ones from the er. Said that they could not see the whole spine but were leaning towards a pinched nerve or disc issue. Gave her anti inflammatories and told me to watch her. If it does not let up we would do more X-rays. A week or so goes by and theimping became worse after a brief period of improvement. I rushed her back and they decided to keep her for the day and X-ray her spine and legs. They did this and still no sign of disc issues, arthritis, or any other injury. The vet said that they would give her more time to heal but if no improvement perhaps seeing a neurologist would be the only option because they could not determine the cause. She will show improvement and then seemingly re-injure herself. I try hard to keep her calm when I can but this dog has energy and still it would help to even just know the cause. We are in Florida so I doubt lymes/ticks. I am open to any suggestions.
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:32 PM
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:00 AM
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Hey there, my frenchie just had surgery for herniated discs. She would have similar issues which started 2 years ago. X-rays never showed anything and it took her being paralyzed in her hind legs for the vet to finally tell us to take her to a neurologist. Only an MRI/CT scan can pick up disc/spine issues. Unfortunately they are expensive but it’s the only way to start ruling things out or getting your pup the right treatment. If you can afford to do so, don’t wait any longer.
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:43 AM
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There's ticks everywhere and ruling out tock diseases will tell you that and is a lot cheaper than an MRI and neurologist consult. Lyme causes shifting lameness in different legs.
I'd do that first and if all tickborne diseases are negative then see the neurologist. My last dog had similar symptoms and the neurologist did an MRI to look for spinal disc injuries. When none were found and he ruled out everything else it was degenerative myelopathy, which is a genetic disease with is progressive with no cure. That usually only affects older dogs though.
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Old 03-13-2018, 07:52 PM
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Seconding the idea of a tick panel before you pursue imaging at a neurologist- particularly if you acquired her as an older pup or adult dog- exposure could have happened before you got her. I would ask for the send out panel, not the snap test (which only tests for 4 TBDs). AmStaffs and APBTs can also have a disease called cerebellar ataxia, which causes lack of balance/coordination, but not paralysis or limping- just throwing that out there in case it sounds like it could fit.

I have known of a few pit bulls/pit mixes who have had disc issues/IVDD symptoms, which I've thought is strange, and hope isn't becoming a more prevalent issue in the breed. Maybe because of their bulldog heritage? But I digress. I have had a dog with IVDD/pinched nerve, and her issues resolved with medication both times, luckily. Her xrays were fairly normal and my vet recommended treating based on her breed and symptoms, as often MRI or myelogram is needed to actually visualize and diagnose disc problems and it wasn't an option due to cost.

If you are concerned because of the dosages of the medication that are being prescribed, keep in mind that animal dosages can vary widely from human dosages, so what seems like a "huge" dose may not actually be for an animal. You can certainly ask the vet how they calculate the dose and check the math yourself if you are concerned.

If your girl does have a disc issue, it is imperative that you restrict her activity to prevent further injury and hopefully allow the injury to heal or stabilize. Usually strict crate rest and short leash walks are recommended for several weeks (at least), with a slow increase back to normal activity. It is unpleasant, but only temporary, vs not doing the restriction and having the issue worsen or become permanent.

Hope you figure out the problem and are able to find a solution. She's very cute
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