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Hi All,

My Rottweiler is 4 years old, he is largely healthy, entire and weighs 51kgs (and isn't fat), pure with pedigree (i.e all health tests done).

Over the past say 2-3 months, I've noticed that he is a bit stiff and limps when he gets up from resting, once he warms up however, he is fine.

However, over the last few days, the limp has been terrible and he is avoiding that leg. Today it was a bit better though (having seen the vet yesterday).

So I took him to the vet, who said it could be a number of things, but is most likely either a joint issue, or possibly muscle damage. Time will tell.

He suggested i put him on Sashas Blend or similar and also said that my dog will need injections every week for the next month (the first injection being yesterday).

I have come up with a plan of action:

1: See dog chiro....see results.

2: Pending no improvement after the series of injections with the vet, investigate the issue further with scans, tests etc.

3: Gradually reduce exercise levels and increase mental training (very high drive dog that I usually have to exercise a LOT, otherwise he becomes destructive).

Does anyone have any ideas? Am I on the right track? I am assuming worst case scenario, he has arthritis (at a youngish age) and I will research on how to help a dog in such a situation. Any input from people who have been in such a situation would be much appreciated.

Thanks all,

DR.

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I know people who have had the vet give cartophen injections which have worked better in their opinion than the Sacha's blend.

One dog that I have seen has no limp anymore.

Swimming is supposed to help as it is low impact exercise so maybe try that as well as the mental exercise.

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My thoughts would be if you can find a good canine chiro or physio then I would go down that path ASAP. I know with my older girl until I knew about these things she would pull up sore and a friend interstate finally talked me into finding and getting an appointment for her and it all sorted itself out relatively easily - especially if its not something you regularly do.

Hope you can get to the bottom of your Rottie's lameness. Its hard when you know they are high drive and will work through whatever pain they have - when they are laid up you know they are really bad.

Edited by ness
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Did you have bloodwork done?

I had a dog with a limp (and swollen hock) and had several courses of rimadyl without resolution. There was something bigger going on with him and this was the manifestation of it (IM Polyarthritis).

Obviously much much less likely than muscular or arthritis.

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All i can say DerRottweiler is if you're not happy with your vet or if you don't see any improvement, go and see someone

else and get a second opinion, or a third opinion. What works for one dog, may not work for another. Some vets are good, some are

s*^t.

Your plan of attack looks like the right one though.

Edited by RL1
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I would get an xray first - before the cartrophen injections. You need to know what you are dealing with before you start treatment for "whatever"..

Edited by anniek
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I would get an xray first - before the cartrophen injections. You need to know what you are dealing with before you start treatment for "whatever"..

You're right, in away (this just my opinion) however I don't think Cartrophen/Pentosan does any harm to try, even if it doesn't prove to target the problem. But the thing is, if it does and the lameness is resolved as a result, then it at least gives you an idea you are on the right track without having to have taken your dog down the GA & Xray exposure path for potentially nothing.

As I mentioned, this is just my opinion but it is not a 'blanket' opinion for all cases.

Edited by Erny
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I would get an xray first - before the cartrophen injections. You need to know what you are dealing with before you start treatment for "whatever"..

You're right, in away (this just my opinion) however I don't think Cartrophen/Pentosan does any harm to try, even if it doesn't prove to target the problem. But the thing is, if it does and the lameness is resolved as a result, then it at least gives you an idea you are on the right track without having to have taken your dog down the GA & Xray exposure path for potentially nothing.

As I mentioned, this is just my opinion but it is not a 'blanket' opinion for all cases.

This is exactly what my friends vet said :thumbsup:

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Yeah - I think it is a conservative but not an unreasonable senseless approach. Care in the meantime, while you're watching and waiting, of course, for the mere fact that we don't really know what is going on at this point.

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I would get an xray first - before the cartrophen injections. You need to know what you are dealing with before you start treatment for "whatever"..

I agree.

Not addressing the real issue can cause further, irreversible damage.

We had the same problem with Chloe, kept being told the 'rest, pain relief and wait and see approach'... only to have her cruciates blow to the point she could hardly walk. She was also put on Cartrophen injections during this time - but it doesn't stop the damage. I regret not having pushed for a definitive answer sooner - especially after she had been taken to the vet numerous times with the same, recurring symptoms - it was just a vicious cycle.

The damage that was done in that time put her in alot of pain, and the damage the joint sustained in the meantime can not be repaired. She also had to have both meniscus removed because they were just so bad from too long being misdiagnosed.

For a larger dog, I would not be messing around with leg issues. But that's my own opinion from our own experience.

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I guess having a greyhound which does not need GA for a leg xray - and only cost $40 I always go that route first..lol

Our vets wouldn't need a ga to x-ray something like that. They even did my girls spine last year with two different views with no ga.

I would be getting an x-ray first to rule out anything urgent like bone cancer, then look at chiro, cartrophen, acupunture, etc once you have ruled out actual damage to the bone.

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I have just been through something similar so I know what you are going through.

The first thing I would do is restrict exercise. Complete rest can help immensely. I know you said that he gets better as he gets up and moves around a bit however this can actually be doing damage. You'd be amazed the improvement that can be seen from rest.

Check all his joints for heat/swelling regularly.

Watch his movement - is the limp just one leg or does it move, does he sit funny, has his behaviour changed ie not jumping in the car etc.?

Try the chiropractor/physio.

I would also get xrays and blood tests.

Good luck, hope you find out whats going on soon!

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I guess having a greyhound which does not need GA for a leg xray - and only cost $40 I always go that route first..lol

Our vets wouldn't need a ga to x-ray something like that. They even did my girls spine last year with two different views with no ga.

I would be getting an x-ray first to rule out anything urgent like bone cancer, then look at chiro, cartrophen, acupunture, etc once you have ruled out actual damage to the bone.

the other thing to consider is that sedation in a large muscular dog can help tremendously in assessing joint stability.

When my boy had cruciate issues the knee felt solid as a rock when awake (and he is very relaxed in a vet setting having grown up there) and xrays showed no abnormalities.

We tried a month of rest (in the backyard so no walks/jogs etc) and anti inflammatories with continued worsening of symptoms, probably because the dog is also highly exercise driven and stopping him from play was next to impossible. At that point there had been initially very subtle shortness of stride gradually increasing over about 2-3 months to slight but noticeable lameness. Oh,and he stopped taking washing off the line, I thought he was finally growing out of his puppy stage!

At the specialists movement was almost imperceptible under extreme pressure when awake (Hugo is stoic but he flinched when they put that amount of pressure on his good leg!) as even with muscle wastage there was just too much resistance.

Specialist xrays showed a problem with his tibial slope and a tibial varus (leg was bowing). Arthroscopy confirmed partial cruciate rupture and movement was easily noticed when sedated, obviously requiring major surgery.

While I know our case was complicated I do wish I had pushed for a more thorough workup sooner (not saying a chiro/physio wouldnt have picked up these problems sooner than a GP Vet though). The original surgery to straighten the tibia and correct the tibial crest slope initially appeared outstandingly successful but the pin to straighten the leg caused an avulsion fracture 2 months later. Having to take the dog back to specialist surgery (and another 6-8 weeks of cage restwhen we had just got the go ahead for short lead walks ) was bad enough, 2 weeks later we are still facing complications and there is a possibility he could still lose the leg.

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Thanks for all the input everyone I truly appreciate it.

I am happy with the vet, as he didn't seem to be on a mission to make as much money as possible.

The last time I went to the vet, they seemed keen on doing as much as possible in the shortest time possible (and it was obvious, financial gain was in mind, not the welfare of the dog).

I am going to take the dog to a dog physio on the weekend and see how we go. The limp is slightly better, but still apparent. The problem with my dog is, he seems to 'forget' he is hurt and will run when excited.

Failing any improvement soon, I'll definitely further investigate the matter, money is not a concern when it comes to the well-being of my dog. :) So if people suggest doing the tests ASAP, then I'll do them this week before the physio.

Thanks again.

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Often in certain situations adrenalin kicks in so they do tend to 'forget' about being sore. It's a common problem. My dog seemed perfectly fine every time we went into the vet. I'm sure she initially thought I was crazy.

Just explain it all to your vet in as much detail as possible. I wrote everything down and would go in there with a list of situations where he was sore :D

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they seemed keen on doing as much as possible in the shortest time possible

See, I prefer this than the 'wait and see' approach... Especially when you know your dog, and know something is wrong. I find this method to be time wasting and cost more money in the long run.

Especially with leg issues (unless they are short term problems that have only just popped up), I prefer to know exactly what I'm dealing with, and start appropriate treatment before more damage can be done. All dogs will keep going, regardless if they are in pain - and this is when most of the irreversible damage occurs.

I'll never mess with leg problems again.

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they seemed keen on doing as much as possible in the shortest time possible

See, I prefer this than the 'wait and see' approach... Especially when you know your dog, and know something is wrong. I find this method to be time wasting and cost more money in the long run.

Especially with leg issues (unless they are short term problems that have only just popped up), I prefer to know exactly what I'm dealing with, and start appropriate treatment before more damage can be done. All dogs will keep going, regardless if they are in pain - and this is when most of the irreversible damage occurs.

I'll never mess with leg problems again.

I agree - I always make the comment about my vet that you never leave wondering. I hear so many people who have multiple visits - try this try that - goes on for weeks, months.

I want to know now, and start treatment.

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