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Rosie_MRCVS, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1065
Experience:  BVetMed MRCVS, Qualified veterinarian of ten years in small animal practice in England
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My 5 year old golden retriever just started limping this afternoon.

Customer Question

My 5 year old golden retriever just started limping this afternoon. Front left leg. I have no idea what happened. He comes to work with me most every day. He was fine this morning, running around but all of a sudden began limping. I checked his paw and found nothing.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When he lies down for awhile and starts to get up he limps very badly but as he walks more the limp is not as bad.
Expert:  Rosie_MRCVS replied 2 years ago.
Hi I'm Rosie one of the vets and I'd like to try and help you and Bailey. I'm sorry to hear that he has managed to hurt himself. Generally with limping patients there are a few things that could be going on. These include a fracture (a broken leg), a muscular sprain, joint pain (or early arthritis), a cut to his foot, a broken nail or something embedded in his foot, like a thorn.
Generally speaking, if it was a broken leg then obviously he wouldn't be able to put weight on it at all so i think we can rule that out fairly easily. Similarly, if you have checked his paw I would feel happy ruling out a cut or other injury (like something stuck in his pad) to the area. If you didn't check his nails in detail it would be worthwhile checking those again. A split nail can be incredibly painful for our patients (sometimes even causing them to be 100% lame on the affected limb). It is also worthwhile pulling the fur away from the nail bed - where the nail joins the toe - and looking for signs of infection (oozing/redness) or inflammation (redness). If he has a nail bed infection then you need to get him to the vets as they usually need fairly long courses of antibiotics to sort them out.
Having said that, with the history above I think the most likely thing to have happened is that he has sprained one of his joints. Being the breed he is he might have a predisposition to elbow problems, and if he leaps about a lot this can easily cause a carpal (wrist) problem. Joint sprains and muscle sprains are often worse when the patient starts moving after resting, and then wears off. This is also a typical sign of arthritis.
I think it would be well worthwhile resting him for a couple of days - no long walks, no running, no jumping - just out on the lead for five minutes to go to the toilet and that's it. If it is a simple sprain then it should start to improve. If he doesn't improve then it might be something that needs a vet visit for some anti-inflammatories to calm things down. I don't think it will be anything hugely serious, but I do think he may need some treatment depending on how he does.
I hope I've helped - if you have any questions from this then just hit 'reply' and I will get them and get back to you. Otherwise please leave a positive rating.
Thank you, ***** ***** luck, Rosie.
Expert:  Rosie_MRCVS replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jeff,

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