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 Dr. Joey Your Own Question
Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Joey is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My dog Lola is a Staffordshire Terrier aged approx. 4.5

Customer Question

My dog Lola is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier aged approx. 4.5 years. She is a rescue so we do not know her full history. At the beginning of December I took her to my vet as she had become very stiff on her back legs, a little grumpy and then I noticed a swollen lymph node (popliteal) on her right hind leg. My vet took blood, testing for lymphoma and an aspirate of the node. All results came back fine except that the lymph node was 'reactive'. I was give a week's course of antibiotics for her, and after that it did go down for a time. 3 weeks later I took her back to the vet as her back legs were still very stiff and looked to me like arthritis. The vet took x-rays which he said were normal and also sent off samples of the joint fluid for testing. These were also normal except for some changes in the cells of the synovial fluid. I was told that these are definitely not cancerous, and that it was likely early stages of arthritis that would not necessarily show on an x-ray. The vet also said he suspected cruciate ligament disease. Since then, she has been on Onsior 20mg daily, and Yumve joint supplements. On the whole her movement is improving, however her lymph node is still enlarged, and now the other hind leg one seems larger too. They both seem to go up and down regularly. My vet can not really explain this and I just wondered if it could be as a result of the inflammation/pain in her joints. There are no wounds at all to either of her back legs or paws. Thank you.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 7 months ago.

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for asking your question and trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 16 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

I am sorry to hear Lola is experiencing this. Sounds like your vet is doing all the right things to try to find out why. My one question is if she was screened for tick-borne disease (especially Anaplasmosis and Lyme disease). If not, then with the lymph node swelling I would highly recommend this as a next step. As well, screening for fungal diseases, if there are any in your area is also appropriate.

Could this be due to inflammation in the joints? Yes, it could. Your vet did a great job getting joint samples to look for this inflammation which would not show up on X-rays by doing a joint tap. This makes it less likely to be just joint inflammation. Hip dysplasia can cause pain/lameness and would have been seen on the X-rays (hopefully they were reviewed by a board certified radiologist and if not, then this is another good next step). I would also recommend having an evaluation of her spine/back to ensure no spinal lesions. This can be easily missed but can cause the symptoms that are being seen. If she has neurological deficits and nothing seen on screening X-rays then referral to an orthopedic specialist or neurologist is in order to have advance imaging such as CT or MRI to look for soft tissue issues.

The other thing to think about is this could be a neuromuscular disease or a problem in the muscle such as myasthenia which can be screened for via lab testing and/or muscle biopsy may be helpful.

I am at a point I need to know what questions you have. I hope that the information I provided has been helpful.

Please let me know if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer.

If you received all the information you needed, then kindly submit a rating.