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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29787
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Foxy: 6 1/2 year old female mix. (best guess GSD and Red Healer)

Customer Question

Foxy: 6 1/2 year old female mix. (best guess GSD and Red Healer)
She has started excessively stretching both front legs, in the praying position, and her rear legs, out behind her. Seems like she does this all day long. When she gets up from resting or sleeping after being outside, after walks. She also has a limp on and off with her left hind leg. this isn't constant however. The limping started last summer and after repeated vet trips for xrays and hands on examinations, there are still no answers. She stopped the limping during the winter and this summer she started up limping again. The stretching is new this summer. There have been no changes in activity level. I would normally walk her about 3 miles 4 times a week, as i have her whole life. She was a little over weight last summer but I changed her food and feeding schedule, per vet recommendation, and was able to get the weight off of her and she is in the target weight area now. She doesn't appear to be in pain through any of this. Touching it or moving her leg doesn't make her act any different or act to be stressed in any way. I'm unsure of what is going on and what to do for her.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. It's important to note that the "prayer position" as you've described is most often associated with abdominal pain and, less commonly, spinal pain. If I were to investigate her behavior further, I'd carefully palpate (feel) her abdomen and perhaps either X-ray or ultrasound it, perform diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests to better evaluate her abdominal organs, and if nothing untoward were found, alter her diet. Supportive evidence of abdominal distress includes inappetence, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive flatulence or borborygymus (the sound of fluid and gas moving through a hypermotile bowel). Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.