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Dr. Dan M.
Dr. Dan M., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1503
Experience:  Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon
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I have a 4 and half month old Golden Retriever from the Philippines,

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I have a 4 and half month old Golden Retriever from the Philippines, she came to me around 3 months old with a limp but the vet couldn't determine what it was and thought it could be her hips. About 2 weeks after arriving I noticed that there was a lot of swelling between one of her toes on her left rear foot. The vet couldn't see any type of wound so put her on anti-inflammatories. 4 weeks later the swelling has mostly gone but the limp is still there a little and her foot is slightly pointed outwards as she runs.

Her hips and energy seem fine so the vet is going to take some x-rays to see if she can find a foreign object then try and remove it. If she can't see anything on the x-ray she'll cut the dogs foot open to try and find the problem.

This problem has been going on for sometime, she doesn't seem to be in pain but I'm sure it can't be helping her joints.

If I can avoid it I'd rather not have cut her open, do you have any ideas of what it could be?

Thanks, Jamie

I hope I can help with your question and do message me if you have any queries regarding my answer/advice.

I am sorry Charlie is lame.

It is possible that there are two problems going on one causing the persistent lameness and one which has caused an acute swelling in the foot.

To examine long term lameness and altered limb position it is sensible to perform x rays and examine the limb under anaesthesia. This will allow a full orthopaedic examination of the limbs and joints. It is important to rule out cruciate disease which is where the ligaments supporting the knee joint weaken or ultimately snap. If this area is OK then x rays of the pelvis will help identify any abnormalities in hip joint development (dysplasia). The severity of the dysplasia will determine whether surgery is a viable option or more likely long term anti inflammatory, joint supplement and physiotherapy/weight management will be needed.

At the same time the now smaller foot swelling can be examined. Foreign bodies are common in between the toes and usually if still present resurface quickly especially if antibiotics have been used. The surgery to explore these lumps is very minor and leaves a small superficially wound. If there is no overt evidence of a foreign body and so exploration is not thought appropriate, the limp can be removed or sampled so that a pathologist can identify the type of reaction that is occurring (resolving inflammation or if there is a local mass/tumour) again this should be straightforward.

So I think the priority is to determine the lameness using x rays and palpation and at the same time the lump can be assessed.

It is indeed possible that there are/ have been two problems occurring at the same time.

Good luck and I hope he is OK


Dr Dan Makin
Dr. Dan M. and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Jamie,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Charlie. How is everything going?

Dr. Dan M.