We adopted our 2.5 yo pit bull A-Jay on 9/20 this year. Just a couple of days later, he started holding his right rear leg up and limping a little bit. Then it went away. Then it came back.
Then it went away. Then it came back really bad.
Again, went away - you get the idea.... About a week ago, I felt a big lump in the back of his leg, where his lymph node would be.
The other thing that began to show up about a week after we got him was he began scooting his rear on the floor. He had a clean fecal, so we suspected anal glands. We had them expressed a couple of times, and each time he was back scooting in less than 24 hours.
He also seemed to be scratching more and more. We switched both dogs over to the lamb and rice version of their kibble until we could see the vet.
A-Jay and I were at the vet's for over 2 hours last night. I knew this was going to be a process of elimination, and that I wouldn't have any final answers right away, so I was prepared for that. The vet asked me what I thought was going on and I told her allergies of some sort, which is causing the itchy rear and scooting, and maybe some skin infection that was causing the lymph node to enlarge. I told her I knew the lump could also turn out to be MCT or lymphoma, or the limp could be due to osteosarcoma, but it seemed like the lump was what was making him limp. She agreed with the allergies conclusion, and she said the lump seemed like an enlarged lymph node. I declined the fine-needle aspirate option, and asked for x-rays of the leg to rule out osteo. The x-rays showed no signs of osteo, no bone spurs, no arthritis and his hips look great.
She did see something on his cruciate ligament. He's been "drawer" tested a couple of times, and she had another vet there try it too, but no movement to indicate problems. She said if it was a small tear, the Rx would be rest, so if the limp doesn't go away when the lymph node goes down, we will try that as well. I will keep an eye on the lump to see if it grows, and if it does, we'll try aspiration/cytology.
She said he did have a staph infection and she gave him antibiotics, antihistamines, and a topical spray that has antifungal, antibiotic, and steroidal properties. The allergy attack plan for now is to get rid of infection, calm the itching and give the poor guy some relief. We'll keep doing the lamb and rice thing, and if that doesn't work, we'll try other novel protein source foods until we hit it. She said it could be a contact or inhalant allergy, but that food was the most likely source of the problem.
So this poor baby has been with us less than 3 months, and has already been to the vet 4 times, we keep messing with his butt, he gets itchier and itchier, his leg hurts sometimes, and he is still one of the happiest dogs I know, he has bonded with each of us, and you can tell he is happy living here. He is a great dog, and I just love him to pieces.
He is somewhat afraid of new people, but he went with the vet tech and he cooperated so they got the x-rays. I know that was hard for him and I was so proud of him.
I'll keep you updated as thing progress. Please keep him in your prayers. Thanks!!!