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I have a 9 year old lab who started limping earlier today -

Customer Question
I have a 9...

I have a 9 year old lab who started limping earlier today - she also seems to itch the back of her leg. she is bathed regularly and has been regularly treated for fleas and ticks

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?

We checked the bottom of her feet and nothing she is not crying or wimpering when we touch her - it almost appears like a dead leg, like the leg fell asleep

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the dog's name?

Milky

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 4 hours by:
9/18/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Denver ER Doc, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Denver ER Doc
Denver ER Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,495
Experience: Small Animal Medicine and Surgery Internship, Veterinary Acupuncture trained, Wildlife and Exotics
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Hi there, sorry to hear that Milky is having trouble! I am Dr. Paul, an experienced emergency vet and happy to help.

Which leg is milky limping on? Is she putting any weight on it at all?

Thanks,

Dr. Paul

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
It appears hind leg
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I don't think I should have to call you and I've already paid 19 dollars for you to ask me - which leg? Now that's not a lot of money to get an answer from a vet but there is no reason to speak with you for another 28 dollars until I get minimum information
Dog Veterinarian: Denver ER Doc, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

I completely agree. Apologies for the delay -- I had to get a bit of sleep myself after a crazy day in the ER.

Please note, I did not request the phone call and additional money -- that part is automated by the system, and I do not like it much either. I actually don't do phone consultations, but rest assured I will try to help you this way.

Getting to the bottom of a lameness can be a bit tough without a full exam, but I can point you in the right direction.

If she is not bearing any weight on it at all, one of the main possibilities in an older lab is that she ruptured her cranial cruciate ligament (similar to an athlete ACL tear in humans). If so, treatment options are stabilization with surgery (better mobility, but more expensive) or pain medication and rest until enough scar tissue forms to stabilize the joint (less expensive, but less mobility as well). Note that this is a VERY simplified initial explanation. If this diagnosis is confirmed, you should have a discussion with your vet about the pros and cons of each approach.

That being said, you mentioned that the leg seemed "itchy" and that it appeared as if the leg fell asleep. In that case, I worry about a nerve issue, such as something putting pressure on the nerve coming out of the spinal cord and going to the back leg. This can come from a slipped disc, tumor, fibrocartilagenous embolus (FCE), hip dislocation, or fracture. X-rays and possibly MRI would be needed to confirm this and determine treatment options.

If Milky is bearing weight on the limb but limping, this is typically more indicative of a soft tissue injury. Some will resolve with time, but some will need pain meds and rest.

Bot***** *****ne is that, if she is not improved by this morning, you need to have a vet put hands on to isolate where the problem lies. The above is a decent primer on possibilities, but unless she is consistently improving at home with rest, there is likely an underlying disease condition that will need to be diagnosed and treated.

I hope that provides a bit more information for you, and again I apologize about the delay. Please let me know what other questions I can answer.

Thanks,

Dr. Paul

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Dog Veterinarian: Denver ER Doc, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Hi there, checking back in to see if my reply made it through and to see if you need anything else?

Thanks,

Dr. Paul

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