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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20909
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My 10 month old pitbull puppy woke up this morning and was

Customer Question

My 10 month old pitbull puppy woke up this morning and was not bearing weight on his hind leg. Once he got moving it seamed better. Throughout the day after laying down for a while he would limp alot sometimes not bearing weight. It was definately better as he walked and moved. We have notice him periodically favoring or limping on that leg in the past. Should we take him to be seen or do you think it's a sprain or muscular.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Did he have any traumas, falls, slips, or injuries before this started?
Can you confirm that he can bear some weight (Even for a moment) on this leg?
Any swellings, sores, bruises, bony crunching or instability when you feel the leg?
Do all the joints flex and extend without him being sore?
How many times has this happened in the past?
When he favors it, is it usually after lots of activity or play?
Or just random?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi ,
He is bearing weight after a bit, but when he first gets up no. When I took him out yesterday he seemed better the more he walked. He plays with the pitbull puppy next door and they play "wrestle " alot but nothing spacific that we noticed as far as when it happened There was a few time we noticed him favoring that leg a little but nothing like this. The was a little swelling in the leg no bruising and has full range of motion. Didn't notice anything out of ordinary when pressing. When he lays back down and tries to get up its worse initiallly
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We noticed a few weeks ago he jumped off my daughters bed and limped a little after then he was fine. And one other time after running alot he limped a little. We rescued him so we have only had him a few months
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
Now while his signs do tell us that he is still quite tender (and stiff when he first gets up), I am glad that he can put some weight on this. The reason is because that at least rules out hip dislocation or nerve damage. As well, that bit of swelling you saw does make soft tissue injury, muscle strains and sprains more likely here then anything more sinister. And I would note that while hearing that a pup has intermittent lameness does raise concerns about underlying issues (ie hip dysplasia, luxating knee caps, tendon issues, etc), if he does tend to do so after rough housing that may just be our culprit.
Therefore, in this situation, we can try home supportive care if he doesn't seem overly sore. Therefore, to start, we need to make sure that we restrict activity and rest him. Specifically, we'd only want to have lead walks into the garden to do his business and then back inside (no stairs, jumping, running, playing, or climbing on furniture). I know it will be a challenge but just as strains for us, this needs resting.
As well you can use a bit of supportive care to help this settle for him. If he is amenable, you can consider massaging or warm compressing the affected leg. If you don't have a warm compress on hand, you can make a microwaveable one by filling a sock 2/3rd full with rice and popping it in the microwave for a few minutes (of course, do give it a shake afterwards to distribute the heat and make sure its not too warm before use).
As well, since his signs are mild without overt pain, you can consider some supplements to naturally reduce inflammation and support him. For example, you can consider supplementing him with fish oil (omega 3 or 6; EPA/DHA) and/or glucosamine/chondroitin. In regards ***** ***** former, these can be helpful as they do have anti-inflammatory properties. Dose-wise, we tend to give this at a rate of 20mg per pound of their body weight. And while more a long term option, it could just help soothe his inflammation and get him more comfortable quicker. And if he has an underlying issue like hip dysplasia lurking, these can really be of benefit.
Furthermore, you can use glucosamine/chondroitin here. These are a nutrient supplement that is available at your vets, pet shops, and health food stores (as capsules, liquids, and even treats). They work to aid joint suppleness by helping cartilage replenish itself and blocking enzyme destruction of cartilage in the joint. Normally we give dogs 300mg glucosamine + 50mg chondroitin a day per 10 pounds of body weight. So, these would be worth consideration for him as well.
Finally, since we have had situations like this before, I do want you to monitor him closely. If he isn't picking up over the next few days, we'd want a check with his vet. They can palpate his knees, check tendon laxity, and have a feel of his hips. If there is anything suspect, then an xray would be ideal. Otherwise, if they give the all clear for those, they can dispense dog safe pain relief (ie Metacam, Onsior, Rimadyl, etc) to reduce inflammation in the leg and get him comfortable and more mobile quicker for us.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best, *****
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