Intermittent limping behind in young dog?

(10 Posts)
Twattybollocks Tue 15-Jan-13 16:47:56

My loony staff is 2yo. Last week she pulled up short whilst chasing ball and was on 3 legs for a few strides then fine. Since then she has hopped and been sore on the same leg about 10 times, but absolutely 100% between times, up and downstairs ok, on and off beds, able to run round like a nutter. Ive noticed that when I scratch her stifle she points her leg straight out behind, as if shes enjoying it, doesn't mind me touching it at all, but then when she puts her leg down she is wobbly on it and hops for a couple of strides before being fine again. She's not off her food, not showing distress or objecting at all when I prod/poke her stifle or anywhere else on that leg, but something's obviously bothering her.
I've got her booked in at the vets tomorrow but just wondering if anyone has seen anything similar and what it turned out to be

Twattybollocks Tue 15-Jan-13 16:54:00

I've seen something similar in horses with a locking stifle, but not sure of dogs can get this!

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 15-Jan-13 17:37:44

Ruptured cruciates or luxating patella would be top two problems both of which can need surgery in some cases so I would suggest a trip to the vets.

Twattybollocks Tue 15-Jan-13 17:52:13

I think it's her patella, Ive had a good feel and it feels a bit wobbly on that side.

Twattybollocks Tue 15-Jan-13 17:52:48

I can move it with my fingers, and not as much with the other side. Bugger. Hope it's not an operation!

Twatty our girl had an operation for a luxating patella just over a year ago - it was grade IV (worst it can be). You'd never know now, and she recovered from the op really well. If it's only mild (Grade I) they don't need surgery, apparently.

Incidentally, my boy had a similar issue when he was younger, he seemed to damage his joints really easily. The vet couldn't find anything wrong, so we took him to hydrotherapy for a couple of months, and it built him up enough that we've not had a problem since.

Let us know what the vet says tomorrow.

Twattybollocks Tue 15-Jan-13 20:26:35

Hmm. I think looking at the definitions it's def grade 1. She has maybe done max 3-4 hops before putting her leg down and being 100% fine again. I wonder if the weakness has been triggered by an injury- she Has never done it before until last week when she was running round like an idiot, suddenly went lame, then was fine again, then she has been doing it on and off every day since. Seems very sudden for a shallow joint to become an issue.

digerd Tue 15-Jan-13 21:09:00

Sometimes it is a genetic weakness, usually hereditory.
Good luck at the vets tomorrow.

Twattybollocks Wed 16-Jan-13 21:02:41

Well vet confirmed it is indeed subluxing patella, possibly been triggered by her being a complete loony in the garden, but definately an inherited condition. She is on painkillers/anti inflammatories for a few days with orders to rest (not sure how I'm supposed to get her to do that) and hopefully it will settle. She will probably need surgery at some point if it keeps happening, but it's grade 1 at the moment. I hope we can hold off surgery until later in the year as I'm due dc3 in. 4 weeks and if she has to have the op and is on cage rest I don't want her to associate that with the arrival of new baby, she will be stressed enough by that as it is!

Aww bless her.

If it helps, we adopted our girl from the local rescue knowing she had the condition - she had it when they found her roaming the streets in August 2011, and decided not to sort out the surgery until she was settled in a home as it would be less stressful for her. It was December 2011 before we adopted her and January 2012 before she had the surgery (paid for by the rescue centre). If they were happy for her to carry on with a Grade IV, I'd be amazed if you couldn't leave your girl with a Grade I until baby is settled.

Good luck with the birth. I'm due on Sunday (DC1). Eek!

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