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Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16498
Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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my saint bernard has a sore back leg, not sure what has happened

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my saint bernard has a sore back leg, not sure what has happened to it but he is walking on it not limping but he has staggered a few times and tripped with it. I notice today it is warm to the touch
Hello! My name is XXXXX XXXXX it will be my pleasure to help you with your dog today.

Do you know how long Ogar has had a sore leg?

Does he sort of drag that leg?

Does he have tick exposure?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No tick exposure but I am wondering if my mastiff didn't step on him when we were in the car, seems to be as of Friday this started. I took him for a walk no realizing he had a issue and we were standing in dirt and it was like he had no grip and just fell to the ground but he hasn't fell since then. i noticed today a couple times it looked like his "toes" were dragging but he did that once on the carpet but hasn't done that again. He is still acting normal still jumping up on the couch

Thanks for answering my questions. I really appreciate it.

What you're describing sounds like a proprioception deficit, which is not uncommon in giant breed geriatric dogs who have some degenerative issues rather than an acute trauma (such as being stepped on). Granted, this absolutely could have been exacerbated by your other dog accidentally stepping on him.


You can find more information here:


The fact that his proprioception is off (where his feet are in space, which explains why he drags that foot) is always a key sign that there's something going on in his head or with the nerves to that parts of the body.


I think that if this were my dog, I really do think that the next step would be an x-ray to rule out things like bulging discs or spondylosis (a gradual narrowing of the spine that can compress the spinal cord which causes a misfiring of signals to the limbs). Unfortunately in St. Bernards, because they're so big and have such a long back, it's often where we find the problems.


If that comes back clear, then you may want to ask for a referral to a veterinary neurologist. These are the guys who deal with nerve issues day in and day out, and will be the most likely to figure out what is going on with your boy.


I hope this helps.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is this going to be something that is going to effect more than the one leg? I mean I love him to pieces but he will be 11 in Dec so we aren't talking about a young dog

It's possible. If this is a neurlogic issue, then it can have an impact on both rear legs. If this is something like an inflammation in a disc or somehting, it can be controlled with anti-inflammatories and/or steroids, so it might be worth discussing with your vet.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

seems like the rymadyl does help the leg I was concerned more cause its warm to the touch in that area its just above the foot

THat heat can indicate lots of things, from infection to an injury. If there is no puncture around the area that would allow bacteria in and cause an infection, then odds are that it's trauma...or a swelling in the soft tissue, which can be caused by either being stepped on or something like arthritis.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I don't think I mentioned that it is a bit swollen as well, sorry I am trying to tell you all but I am just so worried and can't get into vet till next week. He would kind of jump if u touched it but as of now he will allow you to rub and touch it today

It's possible then that it's from the other dog stepping on it. Since the Rimadyl does seem to be helping, then I think we should keep using the Rimadyl and try to limit his movement for the next few days. Try to keep him from jumping up or down from things and only outside to go potty and then right back in. Hopefully the Rimadyl and rest will get him feeling better.
Lisa and 4 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok thanks so much I will keep with Rymadyl and try and limit him, take him to the vet next week and have it looked at then. Thanks for the help