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Thread: Lame 4 month-old pup...

  1. #1

    Unhappy Lame 4 month-old pup...

    My pup started limping a bit the week before last. Vet had a look and was confident it was just some soft tissue damage (muscle or ligament) and he gave us anti-inflammatories. He was a bit up and down with it - sometimes much better, then going really stiff again - and Friday last week we ended up getting him X-rayed to rule out elbow dysplasia or some other bone or joint problem. Those came back clear fortunately and if anything he seemed at his best Friday night and Saturday morning (maybe as a result of being caged at the vet for a day...), but then he had a mad moment Saturday, launched himself across the kitchecn and pulled up sharply again. He's been struggling again since then!

    I'm relieved it's not dysplasia, as it's a known issue with the breed (Australian Labradoodle... ) and I was starting to fear the worst, but I'm struggling to see any improvement. To be honest I think the biggest problem is he's a 4 month pup and mad as a bucket of frogs, so keeping him quiet enough to give it a chance to heal properly is nigh on impossible! He's not getting any long walks and no run around at the moment but I'm wondering if I need to keep him crated for a few days to give it a chance to heal. That would contain him but I know he's not going to be happy with it!

    So, I'm guessing pulls and strains like this are not uncommon in pups and wondered what the advice might be to help get him back on track.

  2. #2
    On both my labradors when pups always seemed to limp quite frequently on the front legs. The ligaments and muscles have a lot of growing to do at 4months of age and are easily pulled and strained. This is why you have to be very careful on the amount of exercise. They both grew to be extremely fit strong dogs, with very few injuries in there adult life. I did not find the problems when I used to breed the spaniels, but the dogs are a lot lighter and smaller in stature. At this age I would keep a close eye on it but not worry too much just keep an eye on the exercise.

  3. #3
    Hello Andy.

    I have a 9 month old GWP pup, and two weeks ago he ran in to a tree while having a mad 2 minute hooley..... No immediate problems, but then like your pup he was carrying his rear right leg within a couple of days, and fluid started building up....

    Long story short, and after 8 x-rays, any fracture / tendon damage was ruled out, but he somehow had bacteria / infection in the stifle joint, so he was on a IV drip and anti-biotics for a few days.... Ultimately, now he is home, he is on a `short` lead, while he recovers - even when he goes out in the garden for a wee etc.... He is climbing walls through lack of free running / exercise, but until he re-habilitates himself enough to stop favouring the leg, that is all we can do.... Slowly, slowly, and let youth, and time do the healing.

    We also cut down his food due to avoid weight gain during inactivity.

    Good luck, it is not easy....

    All the best.

    Neil.

  4. #4
    Howy308 - that's encouraging to hear. We have been careful on the exercise for that reason. Breeder advised 5 minutes per month, so only up to 20 minutes at this stage. I really don't think he's been over-exercised, just tweaked something while having a run around and then too bl00dy boisterous to give it a chance to heal.

  5. #5
    Neil - that's a nightmare! Hope he's on the mend now.

    It's really demoralising when they're hurt because you know all they want to do is have a run around and trying to stop him is just stressing everyone one out! The kids are petrified of hurting him.

    On the plus side, he doesn't seem down about it at all!

  6. #6
    what kind of floors do you have (where he spends the most time and play) ? Could be as simple as slip/sliding on slick floors keeps him stoved up a little...

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by daven View Post
    what kind of floors do you have (where he spends the most time and play) ? Could be as simple as slip/sliding on slick floors keeps him stoved up a little...
    Tiles, which is great for mopping up but doesn't help with traction for a mental pup! Although he has more or less perfected a nice drift technique when doing high-speed laps around the kitchen table.

    Seriously though, you're spot on in terms of contributing factors and it's something we're trying to manage by keeping him under control on those occassions when he gets a bit hyper and looks like setting off for a sprint/slide.

  8. #8
    Andy,first off-X-rays at 4 months will not help.Were the X-rays sent to the BVA?
    Did the BVA give you the scores back for a 4month old pup?
    Most vets can't tell by looking at the X-rays whether there is dysplasia or not-I'm sure Apache,Buchan or Srvet will correct me if I'm wrong.

    What will help is stopping your dog being hyper/drifting.....

    That is not helping the pup.

    Start controlling the dog now or it will be doing as it pleases very soon.

    If it can walk.

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  9. #9
    It is quite difficult to rule out elbow dysplasia at such a young age. The radiographic changes can be really very subtle and are often overlooked. Furthermore X-rays are an insensitive way of assessing joint congruity and CT is generally preferred. The BVA scheme does give you a diagnosis as it is only aimed at selecting breeding stock. I would suggest exercise be restricted to short lead only walks for the next two weeks. If the lameness persists beyond that I would suggest reassessment. It may be worth asking your vet if the X-rays can be assessed by a Specialist in orthopaedics. I would be happy to have a look if you wished as we offer a radio graphic reporting service anyway.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by srvet View Post
    It is quite difficult to rule out elbow dysplasia at such a young age. The radiographic changes can be really very subtle and are often overlooked. Furthermore X-rays are an insensitive way of assessing joint congruity and CT is generally preferred. The BVA scheme does give you a diagnosis as it is only aimed at selecting breeding stock. I would suggest exercise be restricted to short lead only walks for the next two weeks. If the lameness persists beyond that I would suggest reassessment. It may be worth asking your vet if the X-rays can be assessed by a Specialist in orthopaedics. I would be happy to have a look if you wished as we offer a radio graphic reporting service anyway.
    So I'm right enough then srvet....
    Dysplasia in a young pup as such cant be detected conclusively.
    Breeding stock at 4 months????
    If pup is lame-I'd crate it and only let it out on lead to empty it's bowels.
    Noticed Andy you were on about crating it anyway.
    If the lameness persists after NOT letting the pup run around daft then I would seek a specialist-not just a vet.....

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