How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jennifer Welsh Your Own Question
Jennifer Welsh
Jennifer Welsh,
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 296
Experience:  Veterinarian at Banfield Pet Hospital
2235453
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Jennifer Welsh is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My seven year old lab has always had some ️Spring allergies,

Customer Question

Hi! My seven year old lab has always had some ️Spring allergies, but this year we had a flea problem at our farm and she got them bad. Before I knew it she had lost a lot of hair & weight.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Using the wrong medication for fleas can be dangerous. You should definitely talk to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name?
Customer: We got the fleas under control, her fur is growing in, but she's basically dragging a back leg.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?
Customer: She had a sore on that hip, same one that she's limping on now, but it was treated and healed completely. Only residual issue isn't using that leg now.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I should add that what started as a slight limp now is a dragging leg and her muscles have really atrophied on that side from about the waist down. As we got the fleas under control I expected her leg to get better too. We started her on albon yesterday.
Expert:  Jennifer Welsh replied 9 months ago.

Hello! I am Dr Welsh and I am happy to help with your questions today. I am sorry that your pup isn't feeling well. Let's see if we can get to the bottom of this. I have just a few additional questions for you so that I can make the best recommendation.

how long has the leg been having issues?

Is she using the leg at all?

is she on any meds currently?

any other illness?

when was the last time she saw the vet?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you! Glad to hear what you think. A little background to help establish maybe what happened. This summer I noticed when I'd be at the barn Sailor would roll around in the dirt a lot. I didn't think much of it until one day I got a closer look because I could see she was losing fur and there were fleas on her rump! Lots! I treated her with Capstar & gave her a bath with flea/tick shampoo. I planned to apply frontline 48 hours later. That's also when I noticed the sore on that left hip. It wasn't oozing, it just looked a little raw. Her skin was clearly irritated from the flea bites. The next day, she had tons of fleas on her again & was showing weakness in her back legs. I gave her another bath and went ahead and applied frontline. We've since gotten the fleas in check (with treating their sleeping area and each dog multiple times with Advantage & Frontline sprays as well as frontline between the shoulder blades). I don't feel like the Capstar helped with them at all. We have three labs and although they all had fleas, Sailor took it the worst. As her fur began to grow back in and her skin cleared, she went front limping with that leg to now not using it at all. She would put it down correctly (pawpads to the ground) but now it often swings and drags topside down. The muscles look atrophied. It is only the left leg. She's eating well & having regular bm & urinating. She's sweet as ever & still tries to do everything she did before.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
8226;Leg issue started mid-flea issue 6 weeks or so ago
•Started Albon antibiotics yesterday
•Was at the vet August 2015 for vaccines
Expert:  Jennifer Welsh replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for that information. in regards ***** ***** it only works for 24 hours and only kills adult fleas. so once that time is up they can jump right back on. so that is good for the initial clearing but then need to apply different product, which sounds like you followed up appropriately.
A couple things I would be worried about - a reaction to one of the medications, particularly since it happened around the same time. However, it would be weird to only have it in one leg, and I would have expected to improve.
the biggest thing i would be worried about would be an FCE lesion (fibrocartilaginous embolism). you can read more about it here.

Another possibility is that she tore her cruciate ligament in her knee. this is common in labs and can be traumatic or chronic (from being overweight, predisposing injury, arthritis, etc).
If the hip is subluxating or luxated out of place, you can see that as well.
another possibility is a ocd lesion in the hip or knee (a chunk of bone that has developed in the joint)
based on what you are describing, FCE is hiighest on my list. however, without seeing the pet it is hard to say for sure. I wish I could do an exam over the internet, it would make things much easier!
I think it may be time to get to the vet to see what is going on, especially with the muscle wasting.

Expert:  Jennifer Welsh replied 9 months ago.

I know that was a lot of information. Does that answer your question completely? Is there anything else I can answer for you?

Expert:  Jennifer Welsh replied 9 months ago.

if there isn't anything else that i can answer then I wish you two the best!

Thank you for reaching out today. I hope that I have answered your questions completely. If you are happy with my service, please provide a rating when you exit so that the website can compensate me for our time (3* or higher). If you are having difficulties with the site rating, you can type excellent,good,fair. If you are not satisfied, I'd be happy to continue our conversation.

Expert:  Jennifer Welsh replied 9 months ago.

just checking in as I didn't hear back from you. how is your pup doing today? were you able to get her seen yet?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
We've seen the vet and her hip is in place and surprisingly wasn't out of socket. No hip dysplasia. She appears to have some nerve damage and complete loss of feeling in that leg. We are going to give her 4 weeks to see if it improves (not expected to) and then amputate it.
Expert:  Jennifer Welsh replied 9 months ago.

aw I am sorry to hear that. The rads appear relatively normal. FCE makes the most sense, but there is possible disk space narrowing at the lumbar-sacral area, but hard to see on pics of the rads. I hope that with meds and time she starts to improve! If not, then amputation is the best bet. dogs (and cats too) do really well on three legs, likely it is slowing her down and once removed you will see a huge improvement. while it sucks, she can still lead a normal life!

Let me know if you need anything else! I hope it works out for you both!

Related Dog Questions