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Well last week I took my dog into the vet because after

Hello, well last week...

Hello, well last week I took my dog into the vet because after taking her in to get a bath she came back and was really limping/didn't want to put any weight on her leg. So after about 3 days we took her in too the vet and they did xrays and said nothing was fractured thank goodness and that it may just be her arthritis acting up (she's a 12 year old lab, Rottweiler, blue healer mix) so it's been a week since we've been to the vet and she started limping less over the weekend but now she's not weight bearing at all again and I noticed her elbow is really sticking out and her foot is turned inward when she does stand on her hurt leg so I was thinking maybe she dislocated her elbow or tore a couple ligaments up there which wouldn't have shown up on an xray but since she's so old idk if a $5000 surgery is something we should do or if there's some kind of brace we can get so hopefully you can help me out!

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?

Yeah there's no wound, her paws and paw pads are fine the only time she winces is when you get up by her elbow

Veterinarian's Assistant: The Expert will know what to do. What is the dog's name?

Grace

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Grace?

Not really, she's a medium sized dog, a bit overweight at 70 pounds and like I said she's 12 years old

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Answered in 23 minutes by:
10/20/2017
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10,462
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

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Can you tell me more about Grace? What medications are you giving her currently?

Can you share video of the limb?

Did your vet run any diagnostics aside from x-rays?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
As far as I know she just did xrays then just kind of looked at her. I can try to get a video one second.

Thank you. Also, what medications are you giving her currently?

Video or pictures will be fine so long as they show how she's holding the limb.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
It keeps saying the file is too large when I try to take a video then when I make it smaller it says invalid format so I have video if you have an email address or something I could send it to
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Currently she's taking prednisone 20mg 1/2 tab 2x day and tramadol 50mg 1-2 tablets 3x daily prn but I don't think we've ever given her 2 tabs at once
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
We started out with Rimadyl but it made he start losing her hair in little patches so we stopped that immediately
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
you can kind of see how her elbow is a little bowed out. Idk if I'm just being paranoid but her other one doesn't look like that so idk.

She sure looks like she's in pain. Did the vet happen to send you with a copy of the x-ray, as well?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No she didn't. She did say the xrays were clean tho and there wasn't anything on it. Would a dislocation show up on an xray? It would right?

Yes, it would. I'd be interested to know what part of the limb was x-rayed. The way she's holding her leg is highly suggestive of deep pain and the tramadol should really be helping. This could be arthritis but we usually see improvements with medication when it is. It's fairly uncommon, but larger dogs are prone to pain in this area with a type of cancer known as osteosarcoma. I don't want to needlessly alarm you but I do think she needs to be rechecked. The fact that she's improved slightly and now worsened is a concern.

Can you tell me more about the $5000 surgery that was mentioned?

Over the weekend, was she walking on the limb or at least placing it normally if not completely bearing weight on it?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
She was limping a little but yes she was putting weight on it and walking on it. My vet suggested that we could set up getting an MRI for her but that could turn into spending thousands of dollars in surgeries and tests and if it's just arthritis and from her just being an old dog we just don't know if it'd be worth spending all that money if she only has a couple more years in her ya know? Like if she was 5 or 6 this would be a whole different story and we'd absolutely get the MRI and any kind of procedure she needs but it's just a little more tricky because of her age

If she was walking on it normally, this may all but rule out the suspect dislocation, nerve damage, ligament problems, etc. I wouldn't blame you in not wanting to spend a great deal or put her through this if her time may be short. Here's what I would do: Schedule a recheck with your vet and ask about adding in another medication for pain to see if this helps, I'd ask for gabapentin. I'd also ask your vet to give you the top end dosage for each so you know how much she can take even if it makes her sleepy but gives her relief from pain. I'd then keep a very close eye on the leg. If this is osteosarcoma, you are likely to see boney swelling with time. I'd also ask your vet to show you the x-ray. If she did not have the limb x-rayed from the scapula down to the toes, I'd ask for this to be done as it may show what is painful on her. Something to try at home is mild touching across the entire limb. If you can figure out where the pain is coming from, be sure that your vet x-rayed that spot. Sometimes pain shows up before problems on x-rays show up. That said, with time, something should develop. If she has had ticks in the past, talk to your vet about a course of antibiotics for tick borne illnesses like doxycycline, as well, just to cover the bases.

That should get you through the next few days and let you know if investing money in additional diagnostics may be needed. I would personally be 110% sure the whole limb (tip of the toes to the scapula) was x-rayed before going in for an MRI, if you choose to go that route.

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PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10,462
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Alright, thank you so much, you definitely helped and put my mind more at ease. I will call the vet tomorrow.

You're welcome. Good luck!

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