Dysplasia, arthritis or ???

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Dysplasia, arthritis or ???

Postby dfwskier » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:30 pm

My 7 year old rescue is having problems. I've had him for 3 years. He is a normal sized 34 lb Brit, so if anything he is too thin.

He has great difficulty raising himself from a sitting or laying position. Until he was kenneled at my vet a few weeks ago, he was absolutely normal. No problems getting up. No problems running. No problems with stairs. I always thought he would kill himself running down stairs at supersonic speeds. When I picked him up two days ago, my vet told me about his problem, but he seemed normal jumping into the truck and going for a walk after we got home.




He was trained to sit to get his food bowl. He won't (can't?) do it now. He whines a bit while trying to stand up, and he struggles to do so. Once I had to help him up. He does seem to bunny hop or at least step gingerly down stairs. The counterpoint to what I just wrote is that he did three mile walks with me the last two days and showed nothing that would indicate that he is having problems. I have manipulated both back legs and he has shown no evidence of discomfort , pain or loss of range of motion.

Per my vet's suggestion, I put him on glucosamine and aspirin, and after one day he does seem a bit better, but he is still "stiff." I'll keep him on the meds for a few days to see if he continues to improve. If not, back to the vet he goes.

Could this be anything other than arthritis or dysplasia?

I've had Brits for 44 years and never had anything like this happen before. My other Brit is a 13 year old that is in perfect health. He does 3-4 mile walks with me every day, too.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
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Re: Dysplasia, arthritis or ???

Postby Cindy » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:46 am

I'm assuming he was tested for Lyme disease? Kayla tested positive for lyme but had no symptoms but6 my vet always said to be on the lookout for unexplained lameness. Its just seems rather sudden for it to be arthritis. Just my guess ....
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Re: Dysplasia, arthritis or ???

Postby dfwskier » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:21 am

Thanks for the reply, Cindy. Actually, he hasn't been tested for anything yet, although the vet looked at him just before I picked him up from his kenneling. We live in north Texas, so we're not really in a Lyme prone area, and he's not a hunter so he hasn't really been exposed to areas inhabited by ticks. We have no idea what might have happened to him i the first four years of is life before we got him.

What's so frustrating about the situation is the rapid onset of it. He basically went from a "high speed" overactive nut to mostly incapacitated virtually overnight. There were no leading indicators that something was happening. He seems profoundly unhappy.

He was able to slowly get out of bed this morning, although he almost fell over jumping off the bed. He was a bit more agile getting down the stairs, but still not good. His gate in walking around is almost normal after he walks around a bit. It's very strange.
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Re: Dysplasia, arthritis or ???

Postby Cindy » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:53 am

Since you don't know his background I would get him tested. But I agree that the sudden onset makes me suspicious it's something other than arthritis. Did he come from rescue and did they run any tests before you adopted him?
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Re: Dysplasia, arthritis or ???

Postby dfwskier » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:23 pm

Thanks again, Cindy.

Yes he came from rescue, and he was tested.The tests came back normal. I'm not sure I can find the results 3.5 years later, but I'm pretty sure a lyme test was not part of it.

He does not seem to be in obvious pain. He doesn't cry of whine when walking stairs, but he is impaired. He doesn't seem bothered by walking on flat ground. As I said yesterday, we've done two 3 mile walks that were pretty much normal. When he first gets up to start walking around he is a bit stiff legged, but is normal after just a bit of walking.
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Re: Dysplasia, arthritis or ???

Postby Barb Wright » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:23 pm

dfwskier wrote:..... Until he was kenneled at my vet a few weeks ago, he was absolutely normal.


Kinda sounds to me like he pulled a muscle, perhaps along his spine rather than actual leg muscles, while being kenneled. He is favoring it in certain positions and certain physical activities....mere aspirin helped with the inflammation so that is a plus. Of course a trip to the vet is indicated (though I would have thought the vet would have checked him out before you picked him up since it happened while kenneled), or if you see steady, albeit slow, improvement you might just give it a week or two more to see if the improvement continues. Muscle pulls and muscle spasms are hard to determine, but they definitely present pain indications with particular movements. Spasms can come and go, so they are hard to pin down. Muscles and tendons can be damaged sometimes with just the wrong twist at the wrong time. The older the dog (people too) the easier it happens.

Cindy is correct about testing for a TBD, but you might also think along muscles/tendon injury as well. Moderate exercise is important so that the muscles, even the possibly damaged ones, are used, just try not to let him get rambunctious until he shows that he is actually mending. Any exercise he does without pain is a good exercise. High quality protein in the diet is important to re-building and strengthening damaged muscles.

Just some other ways to look at what is happening.....will be interested to see what you find out.
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Re: Dysplasia, arthritis or ???

Postby dfwskier » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:40 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, Barb.

I had not thought about something as simple as a pulled muscle or tendon.

He's been on aspirin and glucosamine for two days now. He is showing signs of improvement. He showed some interest in his squeaky toys today for the first time (he's a toy nut). He jumped up on me and stretched - also a first.He ran up the stairs. We did another 3 mile walk and again he enjoyed it and showed no problem.

If he is still showing signs of moderate to significant impairment on Tuesday,. I'll take him to the vet.

Thanks, Again.
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Re: Dysplasia, arthritis or ???

Postby gagesbarb » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:17 pm

just catching up...I don't have anything else to offer, other than good thoughts and wishes that things continue to improve...
please check back in a while to let us know how things are going...
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Re: Dysplasia, arthritis or ???

Postby dfwskier » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:46 pm

Thanks for asking Barb. He continued to show some improvement. He showed even more interest in his toys. He ran the fence barking at people on the sidewalk (one of his favorite things to do other than hunt critters and play with squeaky toys). So he has no problem running. He did his fourth 3 mile walk since i picked him up - again with no indication of any problem and no weirdness in his gait . He shows no obvious evidence of being in pain. On the other hand, he continues to show significant weakness in his hind end, with the most significant manifestation being great difficulty in standing after he has sat or laid down. He also has difficulty walking down stairs and jumping into the truck. I helped him to his feet twice today. This from a dog that used to have no problem jumping over a 3 foot gate from a standing stop.
Last edited by dfwskier on Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dysplasia, arthritis or ???

Postby Barb Wright » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:50 pm

Be patient, he is healing. It takes time for the body to make repairs....as long as everything is progress just give Mother Nature time :)
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Re: Dysplasia, arthritis or ???

Postby dfwskier » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:21 pm

Well, I took him into the vet this morning. He jumped right into the truck, but I had to carry him out at the vets office. Of course, upon manipulation of his legs, he gave the vet no indication of a problem, but did not want to stand up from a sitting position. As I've said before, he shows no problem during lengthy walks.

At least I think I know WHERE the problem is even if I don't know what it is. He was on the couch before going to the vet When I called him, he oozed off the couch and did not put his left rear on the ground for 3-4 steps.

Anyway, the vet put him on tramadol and prednisone and said to limit his activity. So no more three mile walks for a while which will kill him.

BTW his name is Feller.
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Re: Dysplasia, arthritis or ???

Postby Cindy » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:13 pm

I'm glad you took him to the vet and it sounds like the course of treatment will hopefully do the trick. Don't you wish you knew what he did while being boarded???

Love the name!
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Re: Dysplasia, arthritis or ???

Postby gagesbarb » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:51 am

Just wondering how Feller is doing...hopefully the positive direction has continued...
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Re: Dysplasia, arthritis or ???

Postby dfwskier » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:25 am

Thanks for asking Barb.

Feller showed immediate improvement after 1.5 days on tramadol and half a day on prednisone. He was able to more easily rise from a sitting position.
Now after 4 days on tramadol and 3 days on prednisone he is maybe 90% of his old self. He runs. He easily rises from sitting and laying positions. Feller is a very high energy dog, and he lost that last week. That is mostly back. I typically describe him as the most entertaining (most nutty) Brit of the 8 Brits that have been in my life over 44 years - that too is mostly back. He is a dog with a very large personality.

That being said, he still shows reluctance to sit for treats and his food bowl - things he would automatically do in the past. So something is still going on. He does seem to sleep a bit more than he used to. The question is "is he really healing or is the tramadol letting him act mostly normal." Time will tell.

Have a good weekend.
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Re: Dysplasia, arthritis or ???

Postby Cindy » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:28 pm

Excellent news and I'd say just give it more time.
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