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Rickets.

(9 Posts)
ellangirl Mon 06-Jun-11 19:44:23

Went to the vets today as I was sure something wasn't right with her front legs, and I was right- she has rickets! I thought she was maybe overexercising. She has decent quality puppy food, but it obviously hasn't been enough. Now on huge calcium/vit d tablets but it should be correctable. Does anyone else have any experience of this? Will it really correct?

ellangirl Tue 07-Jun-11 09:52:33

Anyone? Should have specified it's my 14 week old springer cross puppy I'm talking about!

alice15 Tue 07-Jun-11 20:15:56

I am a vet, and was taught at vet school that rickets had practically died out since the advent of commercial diets. It was really only ever seen in puppies fed all-meat diets with no vitamin or mineral supplementation. I've been qualified over 20 years and have never seen it in a puppy on commercial food. I would be suspicious that there is something else going on here, if she has been on good food since weaning. If she is on a good quality food, there should be no need for extra supplementation.

Presumably your vet has Xrayed her before making the diagnosis, in which case the Xrays could be sent to a specialist for a second opinion for a cost of about £50. There are other conditions that can look like rickets on Xrays. If she hasn't been Xrayed then the vet is presumably making the diagnosis because her legs are bent, which can also have other causes. Hopefully the other vets on here will see this and have the same thoughts as me!

ellangirl Tue 07-Jun-11 21:19:05

That's exactly the sort of response I needed, thanks. I've been thinking that it's odd the more I think about it. I know the person she came from and have no reason to think there was a problem with weaning, and she has good quality food (and I've had her for 6 weeks) The vet that diagnosed it is widely regarded as a great vet here- very experienced, but no, no xrays. Her elbow joints are very enlarged, and the legs do appear bent. What other conditions can cause these problems with the front legs? Should I be taking her for a second opinion at another vets?

ellangirl Tue 07-Jun-11 21:33:20

Not elbow joints, I meant to say her knee joints sorry...

alice15 Wed 08-Jun-11 16:36:50

My first thought would be either metaphyseal osteopathy (also known as hypertrophic osteodystrophy, in case one mouthful of a name wasn't enough), but there are lots of other possibilities, such as premature closure of the ulnar growth plates (one of the long bones of the front legs). I think a second opinion would be wise, or you could ask the original vet to refer her to an orthopaedic vet, if you live somewhere near one and she's insured or you are happy to pay the cost of such a consultation. At least then you will be sure of getting an expert opinion, as of course I've not seen the dog and am just suggesting possibilities.

ellangirl Wed 08-Jun-11 17:37:13

Thanks Alice. There is no swelling around the joints, and she is not otherwise unwell or in pain as far as it is possible for me to tell. There are no specialist vets around here as far as I know- I live on an island, but we are going across to scotland next week so I could look at that possibility over there perhaps.
Thank you so much for your advice, I will update you if I find out anything further!

alice15 Wed 08-Jun-11 18:46:51

Less likely to be MO then. You will certainly get an expert opinion at Glasgow or Edinburgh vet schools, but that may be a long way away!

ellangirl Wed 08-Jun-11 19:30:50

I'm going to edinburgh anyway grin

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