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Old 04-06-2013, 08:10 PM
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Default Gusto is lame, and I'm stressed

Gusto came home from hiking last Saturday with a limp. I couldn't find any marks, or swelling, or heat or anything, so I figured he'd taken a bad step and just tweaked something. He certainly had no interested in letting the lameness slow him down at all. I've never dealt with lameness issues in a dog (although I could write a book about my experiences with it in horses!), but figured I'd rest him a few days and see what happened.

He improved noticeably every day, getting to the point Tuesday where I could only kind of make out a limp right after he'd hop off the bed or a chair. Wednesday, I couldn't even see that. He was clearly losing his mind (he's used to at least an hour of off-leash running a day), so I brought him to agility practice figuring I'd let him run a few tunnels and do some focus work, but keep him off contacts and jumps. Well, one run through a tunnel and he was noticeably lame again. I had a few people look him over - again, nobody can see anything.

All of this is made worse by the fact that the constant vet issues I've been dealing with for the last six months or so are ongoing. The vet I had started using...well, for a variety of reasons, the dogs are being moved. I don't know to where. I figured I'd have a while to work it out since both got their heartworm/lyme tests and exams done already this spring.

A friend got me in with her vet, who is certified in chiro. She saw him on Friday morning, and said she absolutely doesn't think it is a broken bone issue (I went in, among other things, to see if he needed an x-ray), and couldn't find any heat or anything in the leg. His neck was apparently really out on the side he was lame on, and she said she suspected there was an irritated or trapped nerve there that may have been causing the lameness. She thought it might be fixed, and said to rest until Sunday and then try doing a bit with him to see how he was.

And I know it is only Saturday - but I don't think he's any better. He still looks fine wandering around the house most of the time, but has moments where he moves quickly or something, and is really gimpy for a minute or two after. I don't see this magically being fixed by tomorrow. He's also starting to go nuts. He doesn't care that he's lame, he wants to DO SOMETHING. We've worked so hard at getting him 'in the game' for all training, that even the more mellow stuff we do is fairly high impact.

I'm partially venting, partially stressing out loud, and partially looking for advice/ideas. If he's just pulled something that even a vet can't get him to react to while manipulating his body - would he still be like this a week later? I thought about trying to get a referral to our local orthopedic vet - but I really think it is soft-tissue, so is that even relevant? Plus I still need to call and get the records transferred to another vet, and holy crap I hate making calls like that and having to deal with the inevitable questions.

Someone wave a magic wand and set my puppy right again, please?
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:14 PM
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Ugh, sending major vibes to you and Gusto!

I've been in somewhat the same boat for over a year now. Soft tissue injuries SUCK!

Here's hoping you find a good vet and an answer for Gusto. In the meantime try a little Traumeel or Arnica for inflammation and just do some light massage and range of motion at home. Just move each joint anatomically and stretch him out really well.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:23 PM
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This is giving me flashbacks to my last year with Kim We thought at first that she had hurt her shoulder but it ended up being her neck and back, mostly back, as these things often are. And we were playing musical vets around that time as well.

You have my utmost sympathy, is what I'm trying to say. Good vibes for a fast heal.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:25 PM
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He is getting arnica, despite the fact that I generally put homeopathy in the same catagory as unicorns and little green men. Someone at agility gave it to me to use, so I have been.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:56 AM
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I have nothing to add except I understand. Fred is still on limited movement, and after next week I suspect will be on 6 weeks strict rest (think he needs keyhole surgery)...

Young active dogs shouldn't be allowed to get lame!!!!

I can sympathise, its very frustrating, mainly the not knowing. But also the wanting to DO stuff with the dog!!
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Young active dogs shouldn't be allowed to get lame!!!!
Agreed. It's probably the worst part of it for me; he's not letting the injury slow himself down at all, so he's completely baffled that I'm not getting him out, and starting to act pretty miserable. I'd be okay with skipping agility for a month or something, if it meant he could still go run in the woods or play fetch or wrestle with his friends. Sadly, life doesn't appear to work that way.

Quote:
This is giving me flashbacks to my last year with Kim We thought at first that she had hurt her shoulder but it ended up being her neck and back, mostly back, as these things often are. And we were playing musical vets around that time as well.
Was it sudden onset with her? The vet really thought it was neck and back with Gusto as well, which I'd sort of buy, since it looks up high to me. But she's also a relatively new chiro certified vet, so I kind of wonder if it isn't a "when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail" kind of thing.

I appreciate the sympathy and good vibes. For whatever reason, I was just falling apart over it last night. He looks fine again this morning, in the house and trotting around the yard for his bathroom break. I guess we'll try another day or two of rest, and really buckle down about finding a permanent vet.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:34 AM
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I'm coming to terms with things now, but I was a mess after our last vet trip...

You just want them to be able to enjoy life. I just want to run him on the beach and do all the fun stuff I had planned

Hopefully you'll get it sorted soon. We have our scan on Thursday, so hoping its what we think it is and nothing more.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
Was it sudden onset with her? The vet really thought it was neck and back with Gusto as well, which I'd sort of buy, since it looks up high to me. But she's also a relatively new chiro certified vet, so I kind of wonder if it isn't a "when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail" kind of thing.
Yeah, it happened while Kim was zooming around with Mira I think. She tried to cut Mira off while the 'triever was beelining for a toy. 'Triever doesn't turn while going to toys and Kim ended up jumping over Mira to avoid being run over...landed funny. But she was hot and high and didn't act like anything was wrong...then a little bit later she was moving a bit oddly. By the next day she was lame. It would come and go and make ya crazy...she could mask it fairly well so when we went to the vet she acted like nothing was wrong (stranger danger...we are friends but I shall show no weakness!) then when it was back to just us she was off again. It ended up being a whole saga but in her case it took us a little bit to figure out what was wrong so when she was adjusted back it was more likely to misalign again. Plus she's older...not old but not a puppy...so it just takes longer to heal. And god forbid she just walk through life and allow herself to heal...of course not, she is the Zoom Monster whose favorite activity is tearing across the yard in a crazy zig-zag pattern...so she was on leash restriction for quite a while to keep everything where it should be so it could heal.

I hope I have the timeline right...I haven't had my coffee yet and didn't pull out my notes, but yeah it was infuriating because just when you'd think she was a-okay again, she would sleep funny or step funny and it would tweak and she would be dead lame...then an hour later she would seem to be okay again...it was maddening.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:06 AM
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Yup, that sounds almost exactly like what we are dealing with. He goes from looking perfect to playing with a ball for 2 minutes to limping for 5 minutes to fine again to 'holy crap, he just got off the bed and is nearly on three legs'. All that about 10 times a day.

Was it mostly just chiro that you did as far as treatment?
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:12 AM
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I'm sorry, that is incredibly stressful to deal with. My guess is that rest is what he needs, and that's really stressful too.

If it continues, I'd see the orthopedic vet. They can diagnose soft tissue too, it was an orthopedic vet who diagnosed my friend's dog's iliaposas strain.
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