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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11029
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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I have a 9 month old half Labrador half Dachshund female puppy.

Customer Question

I have a 9 month old half Labrador half Dachshund female puppy. About 6 weeks ago she started limping on her right front leg, with no apparent injury. She plays hard at Doggie Day Care twice a week and chases my older Lab/Dachsie the rest of the time. She limps especially upon waking in the morning and after a lot of exercise. At the vet visit she exhibited no pain upon manipulation of the leg or her neck, but she is not an expressive dog anyway - unlike my male! The x-rays confirmed she has not yet stopped growing at 35 pounds, but her front paws are very turned out. My vet is hoping she will outgrow this, and first put her on Rimadyl. This was not effective, so she was placed on a course of steroids and glocosomine. The limpiong got a bit better the first week of the sterods, but has now resumed. I want to know if she could outgrow this? Are there any other treatments possible? My vet said that surgery was not warranted unless the paw was extremely turned out so that she was walking on the top of her paw. She has recently become very hesitant when jumping off of the couch and can no longer run full out.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. John replied 6 years ago.
Hello. Thanks for writing in. It sounds like she has what is called a valgus deformity. This occurs when there is abnormal growth in the bones of the forelimb that causes the paw to point outward. It is a common condition in chondrodystrophic breeds, such as Dachshunds, but it is not really a normal condition, per se. It can cause increased strain on the wrist and even lead to a misalignment of the bones that make up the elbow and lead to a condition called elbow inconguency. It can be painful and may actually require surgery. If the x-rays were recent, I would see if your vet can send them to a veterinary radiologist for a consult. If they were done a few months ago, you might want to retake them and send them to a radiologist to read. The abnormal growth in the forelimb can be surgically corrected, but it doesn't always need to be. it depends on what the x-rays show and how bad the clinical signs are. It might be a good idea to get a referral to a veterinary orthopedic surgeon and have them evaluate the x-rays as well. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope this helps.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for the quick reply. Can I expect that she will develop this condition in her left front leg since it appears that it is a deformity she has had from birth?
Expert:  Dr. John replied 6 years ago.
You are very welcome. It just depends on the severity of the other side. It is always possible, but it can just be one limb that is affected. Hope this helps.