I would like to preclude that I am a young, full-time college student and I simply cannot afford a vet bill; especially if the news if a diagnosis of what my research on typical reasons for dogs holding up their paws is. I am hoping to find something more substantial from this website as far as a possible diagnosis and prognosis. My 7 year old flat-coated retriever has been holding his paw up for months, now. At first the pain seemed to be in his paw, which I thought would have gone away on its own. After about a week, he was till holding his paw up, however, the pain seemed to have migrated upward toward his elbow. The pain there lasted about two weeks, and then again migrated to his shoulder. His shoulder has grown in size considerably. My thought is it is partially from holding his leg off of the ground, however, there must be something else going on. His entire shoulder is one solid (very hard) mass of tissue; it is almost as hard as bone. Due to him keeping his paw and leg off of the ground, he has been laying a lot, not eating much or drinking much, however, he is still eating and drinking. He has lost a considerable amount of weight. He weighed 100 lbs. prior to this, and now, by estimation, he probably weighs 70 lbs. Also, he has been utilizing his other front leg to support his weight, which is now causing obvious pain. He has been licking his legs like crazy, so I know he is in pain. I have been giving him glucoseamine tablets, his food is a top shelf, Premium Edge, all natural dog food which also has glucosamine in it. In addition, I give him and arthritis medication called Arthro-Ionx, a medication that is loaded with pain management ingredients, which seem to help. He has been on the Artho-Ionx for about two-weeks now and I have not seen any improvement. I know it will take a few weeks to see results. His left leg, from paw to shoulder, is swollen, so I have been putting ice wraps on his legs several times a day to reduce the swelling, which he really seems to enjoy. His shoulder is very sensitive to touch. He displays all dog signs of having pain there. I am able to touch and hold his left paw and sort of knead it up to his elbow without any sings of pain. Just about the elbow is okay to the touch be he starts to get nervous when I gently knead or massage there. The closer to the shoulder I move, the more he is resistant; he will cover his shoulder with his head so I am unable to touch it, understandably so. On rare occasion he will allow me to put an ice pack on his upper arm/shoulder area. I am anticipating he may need surgery and I am planning to utilize my student loan funds to pay for it once they are dispersed. Regardless of the fact that he may need surgery, I am taking him to the vet immediately, as soon as I am able. Is there anything I can do in addition to help him. I was giving him buffered Bayer asprin 2 pills twice daily until I bought the Arthro-Ionx, as the aspirin is only a temporary use pain reliever. I am aware of the fact that I am not providing him with the adequate care he needs, so please do not make that a point. I feel terrible as it is. Any suggestions or advice that will be of help to him will be greatly appreciated. My e-mail address [email protected]
Thank you very much. I am hoping to hear from someone soon!