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LennyDVM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 548
Experience:  30 years as owner of a mobile practice treating dogs, cats, horses and other pets.
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Customer Question

Hello -
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.

No question has come through. Could you repeat your question?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I have a 7 year old very active chocolate lab that has a combination of issues. Something is going on with his pelvis and he is lifting his left leg. He uncomfortable and is limping/won't put his left leg down. He has been to his regular vet which could not identify a reason for his condition and recommended rest (Duh) and gave him rimadyl & tramadol for pain. After a week, I took him to the local chiropractor (well know - works at Oakland Zoo) and she identified the issue with the pelvis and several areas of the spine and soft tissue/muscles aroung thigh. After her treatment, he was more comfortable and moving better. Now 3 days later, he is back with muscle spasms in the left thigh. What should I do??? Give him the vet pain killers again? This is going on 3 weeks now. (Online) -- Deposit Made!
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.

I'm going to opt out and let someone more familiar with this type of issue answer this for you.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.

Ok -- thanks


Expert:  LennyDVM replied 9 years ago.

Hi -


Lame for 3 weeks is a significant time. Have x'rays been taken?


Dogs that hang a back leg and won't put it down or put it down very gingerly often have stifle problems. Did the vet localize the problem to the pelvis or a specific part of the leg?


You said the chiropractor found soft tissue/muscle pain along the thigh. This is compatible with stifle pain. Stifle injuries usually occur after jumping up to catch something, jumping in or out of a truck, etc.


The leg becomes weight bearing and twists at the stifle putting stress on the anterior cruciate ligament. This is an extremely common problem in dogs and Labs seem to be particularly prone perhaps because they are generally very active.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.

The vet did not identify any thing specific - just that the issues appeared to be in lower back/hip area.


No xrays have been taken.


The dog regularly runs like a manic -- loves to chase the ball, deer, turkeys, whatever uphill/downhill (we live in the hills).


What should I do now?




Expert:  LennyDVM replied 9 years ago.

Given the 3 weeks since this occurred, you are past the wait and watch phase.


I would recommend getting a diagnosis. If there is an orthopedic specialist or a vet with orthopedic exam and treatment skills in your area, start there. You should be able to ask your vet and get a referral. I'm suggesting this because you need someone who has experience with orthopedic injuries and trained hands to do the physical exam part of the diagnosis and determine what needs to be x'rayed. I'm suggesting going through your regular vet because it keeps him/her in the loop and is a learning opportunity.


Depending on the findings of the exam, x'rays of the hind leg/stifle and pelvis are likely to be needed.


Soft tissue injuries require rest to heal. Stifle anterior cruciate ruptures do best with surgery. It doesn't sound like a long bone fracture - both the vet and chiropractor would have found it, but hips and stifles can have other bone/ligament damage.


Keep him quiet or as quiet as possible. I'd give rimadyl and not tramadol, but have only my personal preference for that statement. I think that orthopedic injuries are inflammatory and rimadyl treats inflammation. Tramadol treats only pain.


I would very much appreciate knowing the outcome if possible.


I wish you and your crazzy dog the best. I have a bunch of crazzy Dobes and love to see then in action.


Let me know if you have further follow up questions.

LennyDVM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 548
Experience: 30 years as owner of a mobile practice treating dogs, cats, horses and other pets.
LennyDVM and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I was cleaning up my email and remembered that you asked for a follow-up.

After extensive review by 4 different vets and functional exams and xrays, it was determined that my Ringo had a neuo issue in the meduial sacral area/spine. He was not a surgical candidate. While a leasion on the area could not be seen, it was the suspect. We continued a couple of weeks after this with pain meds and some shots to the spine but he went downhill quickly and lost all control of his back legs then bladder. He had to be put down Oct. 19th. It was a very sad ending to a wonderful dog.
Expert:  LennyDVM replied 8 years ago.



I appreciate you taking the time to give me an update. Neurologic problems can be hard to diagnose and hard to treat.


I am very sorry that you lost Ringo.