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Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6939
Experience:  Small animal medicine and surgery - 26 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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My labradoodle is having lameness in her back leg. Started

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My labradoodle is having lameness in her back leg
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Does anything look different with Labradoodle's legs/feet? When did this start?
Customer: Started yesterday....
JA: How old is Labradoodle?
Customer: 2
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know?
Customer: there seems to be no swelling and she doesnt seem to be in pain when I move the leg around and check it

Hi there - welcome to Just Answer!

It is 12:15pm in my time zone and I just logged on. I'm a veterinarian with 26 years experience and I'd like to try to help you and your dog. Veterinarians are unable to prescribe medications for animals they have not examined. I may, however, be able to offer some suggestions on how to help. First, I need a bit more information in order to better understand what is happening. Please could you tell me:

1. is it both back legs or just one?

2. When did this problem start?

3. Is she licking at the leg(s) anywhere?

4. Was your dog playing with another dog or doing anything more active than usual in the last few days?


Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Hi Dr. Fiona! The problem started yesterday. It is her leg back leg and she has been licking the paw. She was at the lake over the weekend so she was more active.I checked her from her hips down to her toes and she does not act like anything is painful and nothing looks swollen.

Has she been licking the paw just since this started?

Can you gently squeeze each toe and see if any of them hurt?

Is she putting it down at all, or holding it off the ground at all times?

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
she has just been licking it recently. I have squeezed each toe and checked each toenail and she never flinches or shows signs of pain. she will put it down for a short minute but quickly picks it back up or sits down

Thanks for doing that.

So, the licking started AFTER the limping?

Is she licking the top of her foot or the bottom?

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
the licking started after. It seems to be more prominent licking on top of the foot close to her toenails thats why i checked them really good but never saw anything.

Hmmm... is there any redness or oozing at the base of any of the nails where they attach to the skin?

Customer: replied 25 days ago.

Ok. She sure isn't making this easy to figure out!

If she is standing, and you pick up the OTHER hind leg, will she bear weight on the left? Or does she sink to the ground or lean on your hand that is lifting the good leg?

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
I will have to try that

Are you with her and able to do that now?

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
I am not. Can i update you later in the day. It is 12:55 here

Sure - same time zone as I am in. I'll be around for most of the day. If I don't reply immediately it may be because I am out walking my own dogs.

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Thank you so much!

No problem! :-)

I'd also really LOVE a short video of her walking, taken from the affected side

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Perfect! I will send one :)


To send a photo or file, it must be 5MB or less and in one of the following formats: GIF, PNG, JPEG, ZIP, RAR, PDF, DOC, XLS, PPT, DOCX, XLSX, SWF, FLV, WMV.

If it is bigger than that, upload to dropbox and send me a link

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Dropbox Link:

Thanks for that video - it's very helpful. I'm sorry I keep trying to catch what her name is?

I’ll send my answer in many small sections as the system will not allow me to share large amounts of information in one section. My answer is quite long as I want you to have as much information as possible.

**If you find this information helpful, please accept the answer and click on a STAR RATING so I am credited with assisting you. **

The video shows that your dog is bearing some weight on her left hind, but limps severely and prefers not to bear weight on the limb. There are a few things that I would consider in a Labradoodle dog this age. I'll go over what I would be checking for on an exam, what I think is most likely and what you can do to help her.

Dr.Fiona and 5 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

1. She could have a patellar luxation.

This is a problem in some dogs in which the groove that the patella (kneecap) sits in isn't deep enough. With this problem, the patella can pop out of the groove and suddenly the dog cannot use the leg.

You can see this often if you watch Jack Russels running - you will see them hold up a hind leg for a few beats and then put it down again. This is a classic symptom of a patellar luxation, and then spontaneous return to the normal position. BUT sometimes it doesn't pop back in.

In these cases, surgery is usually recommended to deepen the groove in which the patella sits.

This is not a common problem in dogs this size, and although I would consider it, it is not particularly likely.

Here is more:

Dr.Fiona and 5 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

2. She could have stretched or ruptured her cranial cruciate ligament.

This is something humans get as well, but in humans it is called Anterior Cruciate Ligament.


The cranial cruciate ligament is one of the structures that stabilizes the knee joint. It is prone to problems, especially in large breed dogs. If the dog is in motion, and the lower leg is held still (by going down a hole, getting caught on a string, etc) while the upper leg keeps moving forward, there will be damage to this cranial cruciate ligament.

The symptoms seen are usually a sudden onset of hind-end lameness, with toe touching seen at standing and walking, but the dog often carries the leg when running.

Here is more information about this problem:

And you can see more here in this video:

This is something that your vet can diagnose by checking for a "Drawer sign"when manipulating the knee. It is often corrected surgically, but if the dog has only STRETCHED the ligament and not torn it, it may heal with rest.

3. Your girl may have a fracture (broken bone) of one of the bones in the foot.

This is quite unlikely because with a fracture, dogs typically don't bear any weight on the limb. However, you have mentioned her licking at the foot, so it is possible there is a hairline fracture of one of the toe bones. I have seen this many times with a dog getting their toes jammed under the door of a crate, or between the planks of a deck, and then twisting somehow and causing a fracture, usually in the foot area. Symptoms are a sudden onset of non weight bearing lameness, just as you are describing. Usually they hold the leg up and don't toe touch at all.

X-rays would help to diagnose this.

Here is more:

So, in summary, there are a number of different orthopedic conditions that can all give these same symptoms you are describing in your Labradoodle.

In order to diagnose this, a veterinarian would have to perform a thorough lameness exam, orthopedic examination, and a neurological exam. The vet might well suggest an x-ray. For this part, it might be necessary to give your dog a pain killer to allow proper positioning for the x-ray without hurting her. I do think your dog needs to see her vet to have this looked at. Something is going on, and the sooner it is diagnosed and treated the better.

Until you can see your vet, keep her as quiet as possible with only brief walks on leash to do "potty business."

Be particularly careful with her if she has to go UP stairs as this is when all her weight is on the back legs and she is more likely to do additional damage.

I hope that this helps you to help your dog! 

The most important thing is to keep her REALLY quiet and prevent her from going up any stairs (carry her if you are able; if you are not, let me know and I can tell you how to help her with a towel-sling).

If you need more information, just reply and I will still be here to provide it!

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.


I hope your dog feels better soon. Best wishes and stay safe!

If this has been helpful, please accept my answer and CLICK ON A STAR RATING.

If you need more information, just click on reply and I will still be here to provide it.

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.


Customer: replied 25 days ago.
I was wondering if it might be a fracture as well... at the lake she jumped off the dock and the water is not that deep and the bottom is nothing but rocks. She kept jumping up from the water off the rocks using her back legs and that is what I keep thinking might have caused an injury

Ahhh! That does make sense then, especially as she is licking at the toes. Usually you can identify the area with gently pressing on each toe. Alternatively, she may have hyper-extended a toe with all that jumping on uneven surfaces.

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
I had a poodle that had her knee pop out and I would alter it and pop it back in but he knee feels fine. Last night when I put pressure on her toes where she was licking she acted like that area was the pain area and there was acute swelling on her foot. What are the treatments for a hairline fracture?

Xrays to confirm and make sure it is not something more serious (bone cancer - unlikely but possible). If it is one toe, we would splint the joints above and below for about 8 weeks, keep the dog limited in activity, then repeat radiographs to make sure it has healed.

I have a zoom meeting starting in 4 minutes but will be back in about an hour and a half and am happy to help with any follow up questions at that time.