Limping- what could be the cause?

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Postby Stormy » January 24th, 2010, 11:11 pm

Laney (6 yr old 45lb pit bull mix) limps when she wakes up from sleep. I *think* its only on her right side, BUT she rarely sleeps on her left side.. so it may be the left side bothering her as well, I just may never see her limping on that side b/c she rarely lays on that side.

When she wakes up and stands she will hold her left right paw up and then put it down and limp for a few mins. Its never for very long. Mikey and I took her out to the park and ran her for a long time recently, and she didn't limp after that, nor does she limp after any other physical activity. It seems to just be after she's first woken up. Any one have any idea what it could be? Anything I can do for her?

*I plan on taking her to the vet, but I'm sure he's going to want to xray it.. so I can't go til after I get my taxes back*
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Postby hugapitbull » January 25th, 2010, 12:04 am

Don't want to alarm you, because I am sure limping can be many things, but it most definitely is an indicator of osteosarcoma. See if you can make payment arrangements for the initial visit for a diagnosis. The sooner the diagnosis and treatment for osetosarcoma, the better the chances of long term survival. If you need long term care, the vet may work with you on that as well, or there is Credit Care which is a credit card for medical expenses. Some folks on the tripawds forum have used it. Details at http://www.carecredit.com/

Good thoughts to you and Laney.
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 25th, 2010, 12:41 am

Could be many things...she could be sleeping on it wrong, and it falls asleep; could be that she's got elbow problems; could be arthritis just in that shoulder; could be that she has muscle issues that aren't going away, etc...

If anything like this is on-going...definitely get her to the vet and have them check her out...
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Postby Malli » January 25th, 2010, 1:17 am

front leg or back leg?

I'd suggest restricting her exercise to leash WALKS only, even out to pee, until you see the Vet, that way you can also see if it helps.
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Postby SLS61185 » January 25th, 2010, 1:51 am

Patch did the same thing like 2-3 months ago... He woke up one day and started the limpin' thing. He did it for agood week or so, everytime he woke up. THen he just quit doing it one day. He had to go in Dec. to have a check-up and have his shots renewed... They did blood work and said everything came back fine, so who knows. I never said anything to them about the limpin'.

Oh, and he sleeps on his back most of the time.
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Postby hugapitbull » January 25th, 2010, 5:43 am

Trouble's initial limp was a couple of days. I had an appointment with the vet but she stopped limping, so I canceled. A few weeks later the limping started again. This time I got her in the next day. I expected to get meds for arthritis and come home happy. Instead I came home with an osteosarcoma diagnosis and a broken heart.
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Postby Stormy » January 25th, 2010, 12:46 pm

hugapitbull wrote:Don't want to alarm you, because I am sure limping can be many things, but it most definitely is an indicator of osteosarcoma. See if you can make payment arrangements for the initial visit for a diagnosis. The sooner the diagnosis and treatment for osetosarcoma, the better the chances of long term survival. If you need long term care, the vet may work with you on that as well, or there is Credit Care which is a credit card for medical expenses. Some folks on the tripawds forum have used it. Details at http://www.carecredit.com/

Good thoughts to you and Laney.


oh Yikes. I wasn't thinking it could be anything that serious. Thanks for letting me know.I'll definitely see what I can do to get her to the vet ASAP.

Malli wrote:front leg or back leg?

I'd suggest restricting her exercise to leash WALKS only, even out to pee, until you see the Vet, that way you can also see if it helps.


Its her back leg. Both of them. I watched her last night after she got up from laying on her left side and she limped on that side too. From my unprofessional observation, I would say that its coming from her hips. She has been only doing walks, other than the day we took her out to the park, which like I said didn't really seem to bother her. Exercise doesn't seem to phase her. Shes just limping when she gets up from sleep.

Thanks everyone.
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 25th, 2010, 12:49 pm

Oh, I thought it was the front...sorry about the elbow observation! ;)

Sawyer has luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps), and he'll sometimes come up limping after sleeping in certain positions...or sleeping on certain surfaces (he's a Service Dog, so he sometimes sleeps on hard surfaces).

It could really be anything...but I'd get her to the vet to have the check her over.
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Postby Malli » January 25th, 2010, 12:54 pm

yep, ideally the Vet is best - and the only true source that can narrow it down for you.

Osteosarc. is rare, but its a good example of the wide range of causes of just about any symptom in Vet. Medicine. You can use this example with just about anything, almost any symptom can be nothing or it could be fatal.
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Postby plebayo » January 25th, 2010, 2:01 pm

Could be a torn or partially torn cruciate. Your vet would just have to feel the knee to see if the ligament is torn.
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Postby mnp13 » January 25th, 2010, 2:30 pm

What does she sleep on? Riggs is noticeably more sore if he sleeps on the less-padded dog bed at night. If it's arthritis, she may just need to loosen up a bit after she wakes up.
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Postby Stormy » January 25th, 2010, 2:36 pm

mnp13 wrote:What does she sleep on? Riggs is noticeably more sore if he sleeps on the less-padded dog bed at night. If it's arthritis, she may just need to loosen up a bit after she wakes up.


I have a clik clak couch (similar to a futon.. but no metal bars) that I sleep on and if she's not sleeping with me, she is sleeping in the matching clik clak chair that we bought as a bed for her.
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Postby Malli » January 25th, 2010, 3:22 pm

mnp13 wrote:What does she sleep on? Riggs is noticeably more sore if he sleeps on the less-padded dog bed at night. If it's arthritis, she may just need to loosen up a bit after she wakes up.


But any pain is still bad pain, and should be treated. Chronic pain is debilitating and will worsen if not addressed.
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Postby Marinepits » January 25th, 2010, 7:47 pm

Malli wrote:Chronic pain is debilitating and will worsen if not addressed.


I still kick myself for not recognizing Katy's symptoms earlier and treating appropriately. I always thought, "Eh, she's a little stiff, no big deal, she's older, she just needs to rest". I was shocked when I saw her first x-rays and saw just how bad her arthritis is. She never complained but HAD to be a in good deal of pain. :(
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Postby Brownies Mom » January 25th, 2010, 9:01 pm

We recently went through the same thing with A-Jay. My husband kept saying he thought the dog's leg was falling asleep on him, because he only seemed to limp (or seemed to limp worse) when he got up from sleeping. The limp would come and go. We got x-rays, and it is not osteo and he has great hips with no displasia or arthritis. She noticed something that she couldn't actually identify, but said it could be a small tear in the cruciate liagment (it was on the side he was limping on). For the third time, they tried the drawer test and were still unable to get any movement, so she could not be certain about that.

I later found a lump behind the knee of the leg he was limping on. He was showing signs of allergies like chewing his feet and they were sore, so that was affecting his gait, too. We believe the lump was a swollen lymph node, probably caused by the staph infection he had, because it went down (and the limping stopped) when the staph infection was treated with antibiotics.

Who knows? :| I was scared of osteo too because limping that starts and stops is one of the signs. But it's also a sign of a torn ACL, and probably many other things, too. I don't want to sound like a parrot, but -- who knows? :|

Good luck at the vet's office. :thumbsup: We'll keep fingers and paws crossed here!
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Postby mnp13 » January 25th, 2010, 11:23 pm

Malli wrote:
mnp13 wrote:What does she sleep on? Riggs is noticeably more sore if he sleeps on the less-padded dog bed at night. If it's arthritis, she may just need to loosen up a bit after she wakes up.


But any pain is still bad pain, and should be treated. Chronic pain is debilitating and will worsen if not addressed.

I agree, but with the case of arthritis, what are the options? The pain isn't going to go away, so it's meds for life or palliative care.
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Postby Malli » January 26th, 2010, 3:54 am

supplements and/or pain meds, if you can block the pain cycle with the pain med they actually become less sensitive when the medication isn't covering them and they handle it better.
Supplements on their own can also help because of the effect they can have on the joint and sinovial joint fluid.

If the animal is in constant pain it is a vicious cycle, the receptors become more and more sensitive to it, the inflammation triggered by the pain response also causes discomfort and can accelerate the damage done to the bone.
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Postby Stormy » January 30th, 2010, 12:14 am

Well, my girl has a vet appointment for next week.

I'm praying its nothing major. She's the most energetic, bouncy dog in the house. It just isn't fair for her to be the one that possible has something wrong with her that will limit her activity. :(
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Postby ParisStreetPitCrew » January 30th, 2010, 12:23 am

Best wishes for a good vet visit.
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Postby Marinepits » January 30th, 2010, 8:19 am

:goodthoughts: Keep us updated!
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