Our ~9 year old English Cocker is suddenly limping and walking as though she's very stiff. She was out hunting for two days a week ago (Wednesday and Thursday), and she is usually stiff for a day or two after, but she didn't start really looking stiff until Sunday and it's been progressively getting worse all week. Yesterday she peed on the deck twice because going down the steps in the yard was too much. I'm concerned with how rapidly she seems to have gotten so stiff, or I would guess it was a general osteoarthritis-like issue. She's usually very active and only stiff after a really rigorous day. Any suggestions? Does she need a trip to the vet? Are there some safe OTC pain killers we could give her to help with the stiffness? Aside, we have a crazy neighbor who was shooting a pellet rifle at the dogs a month+ ago (per another neighbor's report). We found one small scab on her then, but haven't seen anything since. She hasn't been out without relatively close supervision since then, so I'm pretty sure there shouldn't be any recent wounds, but wanted to make sure this isn't something that could be related to an infection.
Pet's Sex: Female
Pet's Age: 9
Hello,I would love to help I just have a few additional questions.Each answer is typed individually so please allow me a few minutes after your reply.Has she had any tick exposure when hunting?Is she limping on the front or back?Where was the scab you found after your neighbor was shotting at them?
She has had tick exposure, but they're usually pretty good at getting something like a generic frontline on them (she's my brother's dog and hunts with him, just living with us while he's away at college). We're in ND and I think tick season has been over for a while due to the cold.She seems to be stiff in the front and the back. I haven't really been able to isolate where the limp is; it looks like maybe a little more so in the front left. She has a small knot under her arm on that side about the size of a pea, but I think it's more likely a little lipoma. It's been there for a while and not red or warm. The scab was right above one of her shoulders, but gone now with no redness or swelling or heat.
Thank you for the additional information.Limping in the front and back is often due to a problem in the neck. This can be a ruptured disc, herniation of a disc, spinal tumor or I would also be concerned that there may be a pellet in there and we do not know if it has lodged by the spine Here is additional information on thishttp://www.michvet.com/library/neurology_ivds_neck.aspTick borne illness such as lyme disease is also possibleMeningitis and encephalitis will also need to be ruled out as wellhttp://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Dog-Health-Center/Brain-Spinal-Cord-Nerve-Disorders/Meningitis/Symptoms.aspxI would suggest getting in to the vet as soon as possible. They will want to do x rays to look at the neck and back as well as look for any signs of a pellet.I would not give any over the counter meds. Aspirin is safe in some cases but if you use this your vet may be unable to give necessary medication for 7 daysI hope all goes well, please let me know what the vet says. Please reply back if you have additional questionsCandy
Practicing Veterinary Technician for 23 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer