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Emms

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Like most people on forums, I could do with some help please with my Border Collie cross Jack Russel, yes that did happen and yes, my boy has the traits of both breeds. Lets start at the beginning, Charlie is a rescue from Dogs trust, he is now 7 but we've had him since he was around 6- 8 months old, other than working through the process of finding him food that agreed with his tummy (now on raw food which is brilliant) he's generally fit and well.

Around the age of 2, Charlie started limping on his back left leg, took him to the regular vets where we were told there was nothing obvious, he had some metacam (dog ibuprofen) and sent us away - no change in his intermittent limping, after awhile we went back again, he saw a vet who was a osteopath, had a small treatment with her and we were advised to take him for hydrotherapy, a year later still no change, no better, no worse (although he loves the swimming my pocket does not at £28 for half an hour). Back to the vets again they did an x-ray on his leg (showed nothing) then they referred him to a specialist orthopaedic vet, she thought he had a patella luxation, on the day of the surgery, they knocked him out, x-rayed again and said its not the knee its the hip but because Charlie is a young dog, it was advised to leave it and wait for it to get worse.
Since then Charlie has been back to the vets, and was referred to another specialist (this time we went to their facility, fairly local but with a good reputation) here they carried out their own X-ray (which showed nothing other than a possible area of slight calcification, importantly no knee or hip issues at all as the 1st specialist had said) they had him on Galliprant (anti inflammatory) and a human pain killer (I forget the name) together with 6 weeks of very limited exercise, no jumping, running etc, this made zero difference to the problem and still the intermittent limp persisted. We then got referred to their neurological team, he had an MRI scan - the scan showed nothing of concern.
We have been back twice since the MRI scan and 3-4 months ago we stopped the pain meds, my logic was lets see what he is like without them and the answer is the same, no change, no worse no better, the specialist vets are stumped, they do not know what is happening to Charlie or why, after all these expensive tests and examinations there is no answer for it, one vet did say the only true way to see what's happening would be to open him up but it feels drastic to take such action.
The last few weeks we have noticed him to be in pain, after being asleep and getting up he doesn't weight bear on the rear leg until he's stretched and hobbled a little, then walks on it fine after its warmed, sometimes he wants to sit on the sofa but can't jump up, jumping down is easier as he uses his front feet like a handstand. Charlie is an active chap who loves to ball chase but we stopped throwing the ball to allow for recovery this did help a little with the limping but he is very squeaky ball focused and I felt we were taking away this thing he loves the most, so we have limited ball play now and longer walks.

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions then I'd be grateful to hear them.
Many thanks Emms
 
Welcome to the forum. This must be so frustrating for you.

Does it make any difference what sort of surface he's walking on?
 
I'm also wondering if you would go back to the vet who said it was his hip and ask exactly what they saw in the hip. Maybe even ask for a copy of the X ray to show to vets who say that his hip was fine.
 
Ideas - only the obvious things that you have probably already checked I'm afraid - like, has anybody checked his paws rather than hips and knees?

And, I have heard of dogs putting on a limp to either mimic their owner, or get extra attention. I think it's really unlikely and would never have believed dogs could do something like that if I hadn't read it myself. But is that possible? Does he ever 'forget' when something exciting takes his mind off it?
 
I'm also wondering if you would go back to the vet who said it was his hip and ask exactly what they saw in the hip. Maybe even ask for a copy of the X ray to show to vets who say that his hip was fine.
Hey JudyN,
Thanks for your reply, I have a copy of the X-ray and MRI taken last year as I figured yet another specialist vet will be required, it doesn't matter what the surface is he walks on either, he will also do a hop, skip, limp when out on a walk, there is no pattern to it.
I don't want to think of him being in pain, another thing I missed off my essay earlier (lol) was he will just jump sometimes, like something has bitten him or like when we get cramp and you have to move quickly, he seeks us out for comfort then settles down - I feel its like a sciatic nerve or similar but that was the disregarded when I asked them about this symptom.
 
Ideas - only the obvious things that you have probably already checked I'm afraid - like, has anybody checked his paws rather than hips and knees?

And, I have heard of dogs putting on a limp to either mimic their owner, or get extra attention. I think it's really unlikely and would never have believed dogs could do something like that if I hadn't read it myself. But is that possible? Does he ever 'forget' when something exciting takes his mind off it?
Thanks for your thoughts Joanne, we have already checked head, shoulders knees and toes and almost everything in between, I asked my normal vet for an MOT for him and nothing was out of the normal.

I have too heard of mimicking behaviour it just doesn't fit (perhaps from my blinkered view) neither me or hubby have a limp and there is no pattern to it, it can literally be walking fine, then a few steps later limping but it is almost every time now he gets up from sleeping, we are not rewarding the behaviour by making a fuss either but he is very clever, I just started button training to see if I can get him to tell me the problem 😆
 
Hi and welcome from me too. I'm unsure why your vets would dismiss your thoughts on it maybe being sciatic nerve or similar when they've pretty much checked everything else but... Have you filmed him getting up from sleep, trying to jump or the limp when he's moving? It sometimes helps to show a vet what you mean.
It may also be worth you consulting an animal chiropractor or osteopath and see what they say. My old vet (who also did acupuncture) would always gently feel down the spine and by watching the dog he could see if it was a problem there, if an unexplained limp was presenting...he always checked manually all the options and movements he could before even considering scans, xrays etc... which quite often come back inconclusive...
 
A dog physio would be worth considering too. I'm pretty sure that humans get tweaky hips/backs/knees and nerve pain that don't show up on MRIs and X rays, and guess the same applies to dogs.
 
Hi and welcome from me too. I'm unsure why your vets would dismiss your thoughts on it maybe being sciatic nerve or similar when they've pretty much checked everything else but... Have you filmed him getting up from sleep, trying to jump or the limp when he's moving? It sometimes helps to show a vet what you mean.
It may also be worth you consulting an animal chiropractor or osteopath and see what they say. My old vet (who also did acupuncture) would always gently feel down the spine and by watching the dog he could see if it was a problem there, if an unexplained limp was presenting...he always checked manually all the options and movements he could before even considering scans, xrays etc... which quite often come back inconclusive...
Hello Flobo, thanks for your thoughts - he did see an osteo vet but just the once, he is also a pickle with allowing people to touch him, Collie panic sets in and he get very scared so I can understand why its difficult for vets to assess him but I think this could be the route to explore again.
 
A dog physio would be worth considering too. I'm pretty sure that humans get tweaky hips/backs/knees and nerve pain that don't show up on MRIs and X rays, and guess the same applies to dogs.
Great idea, I if I can find an osteo physio, fair point about us humans getting adjustments and doing certain exercises for strengthening etc I shall look into this. thanks again to all.
 
If he's worried about being examined, this can be a problem as his muscles will be tense and the practitioner won't be able to assess him properly. One option is to pay extra to meet the physio on a walk - then the physio has plenty of opportunity to assess his movement, and can gain his trust on the walk. I did this once with my dog and though he got suspicious and reacted when she tried to work on his muscles, she was at least able to tell that his issue was probably just tight muscles rather than a joint problem. She'd barely have been able to touch him if we'd gone into a consultation room.
 
👍that's a good idea, I'd rather him be assessed in a natural environment, once he gets to know someone he is very sweet with them.
Many thanks!
 
I used to have a veterinary chiropractor come and check my dogs over, as they were working dogs and sometimes took the odd tumble. Maybe a helpful alternative to try if one is available.
 
@Emms, if there's a dog agility club near you they will likely know physios and osteopaths.
 

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