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Dr. Sara
Dr. Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 255
Experience:  DVM 19 years
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My mastif has had a lame shoulder for about a month now.

Customer Question

My mastif has had a lame shoulder for about a month now. Xrays were negative and blood work looked good according to the vet. She is in a great deal of discomfort. As of the last week she eats so fast that she regurgitates her food, then eats it. She's lost some weight and I'm sure some of it is her moving around to get to food. I mixed in some ground chicken & beef with beef broth and she eats it up!! I'm stuck
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about your dog?
Customer: There's no noticeable swelling or lumps around the shoulder. My vet said they didn't see signs of bone cancer, thinking going the orthopedic route
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Sara replied 4 months ago.

Hi this is Dr Sara, how old is your mastiff and when were the xrays taken?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
She's 7 1/2, xrays early May
Expert:  Dr. Sara replied 4 months ago.

I too have a giant breed who is 7 with major shoulder pain. I would recommend that you either have the xrays reviewed by a radiologist or you make a visit to a orthopedic Dr. near you for them to read the xrays. I would also recommend that you have films retaken by ortho(they'll probably tell you the same) because unfortunately there can be pain/inflammation in a bone/joint before changes are seen on an xray when it comes to bone cancer. I xrayed my dog a couple months apart to make sure this wasn't the case. In the mean time Rimadyl and or gabapentin would help to control the pain.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
She's on gabapentin now. Vet said they didn't see signs of bone cancer in the bloodwork, calcium level normal? This wasn't really a gradual limp either. She was playing fine on it, then the next day she's limping. I just figured it would've been a gradual limp
Expert:  Dr. Sara replied 4 months ago.

I too have a giant breed who is 7 with major shoulder pain. I would recommend that you either have the xrays reviewed by a radiologist or you make a visit to a orthopedic Dr. near you for them to read the xrays. I would also recommend that you have films retaken by ortho(they'll probably tell you the same) because unfortunately there can be pain/inflammation in a bone/joint before changes are seen on an xray when it comes to bone cancer. I xrayed my dog a couple months apart to make sure this wasn't the case. In the mean time Rimadyl and or gabapentin would help to control the pain.

Ok that does sound more like an injury. So maybe giving it a bit more time with meds. The gabais just for pain, is she on an antiinflammatory?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
she's also on Rimadyl. She's definitely better when meds are on board.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I also thought she had conjunctivitis going on but vet said it's Horners Syndrome
Expert:  Dr. Sara replied 4 months ago.

Ok, if you are comfortable giving it more time you can. If not, it would be ok to ask if there is a radiology service to confirm the diagnosis. Maybe phrasing it lime "before I make an appt with ortho, can we send the xrays out to a radiologist to be looked at so I'm not spending money I don't need to spend" A Horner's syndrome? Was she tested for tickborne diseases? not sure where you live.

Expert:  Dr. Sara replied 4 months ago.

sorry for all the misspelled words, my computer is giving me so much trouble this am

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
We live in Morton Grove Il, just outside Chicago. We are very close to a forest preserve as well. Not sure if that blood work included tick born testing. Guess I should ask? Should I contact the vet and ask that the xrays get read somewhere else?
Expert:  Dr. Sara replied 4 months ago.

Yes, i would ask about tick panel and radiologist. I'm personally never offended by this because I'd rather have another opinion than miss something on a patient.

Expert:  Dr. Sara replied 4 months ago.

I have to run out for an errrand but will check back later to see of you have more questions. Hope I've helped a bit

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Did your dog have bone cancer if I may ask?
Expert:  Dr. Sara replied 4 months ago.

No he just has severe arthritis. He is a Leonberger

Expert:  Dr. Sara replied 4 months ago.

Hi, I'm back and just checking to see if you had any more questions/concerns. If you are all set, we can sign off but I'm always available if you have questions. Thank you and have a good day.

Dr. Sara

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hey Dr Sara. So my mastif has lost a couple pounds, still lame, weak, lethargic. Can't seem to swallow any hard food so switched to soft. If she eats to much or too fast, she regurgitates it then eats it. My father in law took her to our vet when we were on vacation, they wanted to give multiple shots of anti-nausea & such. Also, her bark has become a high pitch "poodle" like bark. It also looks like she has conjunctivitis in both eyes. Thinking of taking her somewhere else. Your thoughts?
Expert:  Dr. Sara replied 3 months ago.

Hi there! sounds like things haven't improved all that much. It sounds like it is time for a more complete work-up. By this I mean, blood work and possibly an abdominal ultrasound. I am not sure if these things are all interconnected or multiple issues. What about the lameness? Still a problem?

Expert:  Dr. Sara replied 3 months ago.

Woops just saw the "still lame portion.

Expert:  Dr. Sara replied 3 months ago.

Does your vet have the capability for a more complete work-up? If not, you may consider a referral hospital with an internist.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
What would an abdominal ultrasound be looking for? Everything I'm reading appears like these are symptoms of tick born? Just seems like multiple symptoms are similar
Expert:  Dr. Sara replied 3 months ago.

The ultrasound because of age and now digestive issues. The trouble swallowing part is strange. Some sort of generalized weakness for some reason. I thought you were going to inquire about tick testing? Could still be, has she been put on a doxycycline trial? I guess, it looks like each individual problem is being handled as such but maybe there is a bigger underlying issue. That's my thinking behind a work-up

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
What is a doxycycline trial?
Expert:  Dr. Sara replied 3 months ago.

It just means that if it looks like a tick borne disease but doesn't test positive you can still "try" antibiotics to see if the lameness improves.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok. The vet told me they were thinking of putting her on antibiotics but haven't prescribed it. Is that because the blood tests were negative? It's frustrating because it seems so simple to try that if it could help yet they didn't authorize it
Expert:  Dr. Sara replied 3 months ago.

I agree, seems like a simple thing to try and if it works, great. However, I really want to caution against tunnel vision. If it seems like there are are issues arising i.e. the swallowing, vomiting...there may be a bigger issue at hand.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Myasthenia Gravis?