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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19324
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My lab won't put any pressure on her front paw. This has

Customer Question

Hi. My lab won't put any pressure on her front paw. This has been going on for some time now. We've had X-rays and she's been examined by a vet but they don't see anything wrong with it. The swelling comes and goes. We've had her on glucosamine for about two months thinking it may be arthritis (she is 9) but that's not helping either. Any ideas?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 9 months ago.

Hello.

Where is the swelling? Over the shoulder? Elbow? Wrist?

Could you post the x-rays here so I can take a look at them?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The swelling is actually just above her paw. She has always slept with that paw turned backwards which is why we were thinking it may be something like arthritis since the x-rays (which I don't have) didn't show any fractures.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 9 months ago.

Thanks.

It sounds like it may just be arthritis. I would consider rechecking x-rays at some point. My main concern in that area would be osteosarcoma. This is the most common bone tumor that we see in dogs. We typically see bony changes on the x-rays. If the swelling has worsened, then I would recheck the x-rays just to make sure. If there is a bone tumor, the leg will need to be amputated. If it's not a bone tumor, then I would treat assuming arthritis.

Here is some info on bone tumors in dogs:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=1035

If it's arthritis, there is no real cure for this, but it can be managed a lot of ways:
1. Keep him at an ideal body weight, overweight dogs are much worse
2. Anti-inflammatory meds- Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Metacam
3. Other pain meds- Gabapentin, Tramadol, Amantadine
4. Joint supplements- Glucosamine, Chondroitin
5. Using a diet J/D (joint diet) can actually supply glucosamine, chondroitin and essential fatty acids without having to supplement. You would get this from your vet.
6. Low impact exercise- swimming, slow walks, stretching

You do not need to do all of the above, but a good combination of what works is the best way to manage chronic arthritis in dogs.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 9 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Gary