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Hind leg pain - What might it be?

jazzies mum

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About a year ago Jazz started having sudden pain in her right hind leg. It started as a yelp when sudden turning at speed and then progressed to really grabbing her when she jumps long and low. It is obviously really painful as she comes to me shaking and holding that leg up and out from her body often indicating with her nose that the sore area is high up, maybe stifle/knee area? Initially I had the vet do a full set of xrays which showed no dysplasia or joint issues and her spine appeared totally normal. While she was under they manipulated her legs and found no issues there either. She was prescribed an anti inflammatory pain killer, Meloxicam, to be given daily for five days and two weeks very restricted activity. This seemed to work at the time but she has had two more periods where I have had to do that same regime to get her going again.

It appears to be happening when she extends her leg straight out behind her and she no longer does that full body stretch where those legs trail out behind. She doesn't stand up on her hind legs to investigate something high up like she used to. When it happens it is like something has been out of place and the action forced it back. The strange thing is that I can rub and massage that leg and even move it about bending from the hock and up and down without her showing any further pain. After a short while she can use it again, weight bearing and not obviously limping. Watching her from behind I can see that she is stepping slightly short with that leg and throwing it out from the hip a little on the forward step. She also shows more discomfort walking than trotting so she will often slow jog. This is only immediately after hurting her leg. By the next day she appears totally fine again but will hurt it again if not kept from being too active.

The vet has a difficult job because she isn't obviously lame and they aren't able to manipulate her leg to see what is happening because she just locks all those muscles. I'm not keen to have her under anaesthetic again unless it is absolutely necessary as they found nothing last time.

Any ideas anyone? If you have had anything similar happen it could help if I can suggest something to investigate on Jazzies next routine vet visit. @LifeofRubie, you were saying both your pups have had some ligament issues?
 

Ravenbird

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Do you or your vets have access to class 4 Laser treatment? It's some kind of voodoo (LOL), but Reckless had an unknown reason for limping on the front left and weekly treatments of laser therapy cured it once, it came back a few months later & they did it again and it's never come back. They took all kinds of x-rays and were on a trip to say elbow dysplasia (elbows are OFA normal) but the laser therapy worked & it's never occurred again. No one knows what it was but that laser fixed it. It's just a "wand" they stroke over & over the area for about 10 minutes 2 or 3 times a week for several weeks.
 

jazzies mum

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Do you or your vets have access to class 4 Laser treatment? It's some kind of voodoo (LOL), but Reckless had an unknown reason for limping on the front left and weekly treatments of laser therapy cured it once, it came back a few months later & they did it again and it's never come back. They took all kinds of x-rays and were on a trip to say elbow dysplasia (elbows are OFA normal) but the laser therapy worked & it's never occurred again. No one knows what it was but that laser fixed it. It's just a "wand" they stroke over & over the area for about 10 minutes 2 or 3 times a week for several weeks.
That sounds interesting! I'm not sure my vet would have laser therapy available, but if it comes to that I will take her to where ever it is available. Good to know it had such a good result with Reckless. :)
 

Ddski5

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How old is Jazz?

Sorry to hear this, I know how much she likes to run!

Would rather it be a muscle strain than a ligament issue, either way rest and anti inflams would be my home mode of treatment.

I know a wholistic vet that swears up and down about that laser treatment.

Just had a text conversation with her and this is her reply:


Iliopsoas? Super common and very overlooked. ESP in running breeds.

The laser is cutting edge class IV cold laser. But all lasers are decent and I would add it to therapy. Also acupuncture can help
These guys and estim.

Also partial micro tears hard to diagnose. And usually respond well to above. Have a practice full of them.
 

Kaiser2016

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Watching her from behind I can see that she is stepping slightly short with that leg and throwing it out from the hip a little on the forward step.
This description made me think Jazz needs Chiro. My first experience with chiro (for me, not Kaiser) happened after Kaiser yanked me during a walk. I felt an odd sensation in my lower back, not quite pain but like something needed stretching. My hb insisted I see his chiro who told me one of my legs was 6mm 'longer' than the other due to being out of alignment! I questioned the chiro on how I hadn't noticed this myself, and he said it happens all the time but we don't notice because our hips compensate for the imbalance. The muscles supporting the skeleton also adapt to the new positioning, so deep tissue massage was also part of the treatment.

she no longer does that full body stretch where those legs trail out behind

After several visits I noticed another change. I used to have trouble squatting because of a discomfort (like a pinched nerve) that would start in my hip. If I stood up, the feeling would go away. Since getting chiro, I no longer have that problem either. The hip and leg issues were both on the same side. So, it sounds to me like chiropractic treatment would help.

Here's an old thread when Kaiser seemed to have a hind leg issue and iliopsoas was suggested there too:
 

jazzies mum

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Jazz will be 4 in June so is still pretty young. I am pretty sure it isn't a muscle tear of any kind as she doesn't flinch when I press and manipulate that leg, even when she has just screamed and is still holding it up. I don't force it straight out behind her though. She has no trouble squatting and getting up and the only thing is she seems to sit with that leg slightly turned out for that first day or two. And she seems to find the poop position uncomfortable constantly lifting and replacing that leg so that could be painful for her. (Or she is just trying to hurry the process along!) I will run Iliopsoas past the vet though and thankyou for the clue.

I read the old thread about Kaisers leg problem and it doesn't sound quite the same. It would be easier if Jazz had proper symptoms that stayed consistent instead of just going on as usual. Tough dogs!

My gut is telling me it is probably a ligament problem. Something that gets locked and then snaps back or something like that. The only thing I can think of that seems to explain the sort of pain she has is if you have ever picked up something heavy and gone to lower your arm and had your elbow not want to straighten. Then you have to lift up your arm to free up whatever it is because it is excruciatingly painful if you snap through the resistance.

Thankyou you for your ideas. A chiropractor for dogs is probably non existent out here in the boondocks just as cold laser treatments will be, but if those things prove necessary I would spend some weeks somewhere where she could receive treatment. She is NOT a dog who would be happy being disabled!
 

LifeofRubie

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So Moo had a limp that we couldnt figure out. Did a CT scan and that when we discovered he may have elbow dysplasia and had a sesamoid bone that had broken and healed. His limp was most likely due to the broken and healed sesamoid bone.

But now it was "confirmed" that he would have some sort of dysplasia.

We give Ligaplex II for tendon and ligament health (manganese), Dasuquin for Moo's joints, and Vit C for general soft tissue health. Neither dumb dumb has had ACL injuries (but they were also older when spayed/neutered).

Two of neighbors who's dogs have had one ACL go out have been told to start saving for the other and, sure enough, second one goes.
 

jazzies mum

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So Moo had a limp that we couldnt figure out. Did a CT scan and that when we discovered he may have elbow dysplasia and had a sesamoid bone that had broken and healed. His limp was most likely due to the broken and healed sesamoid bone.

But now it was "confirmed" that he would have some sort of dysplasia.

We give Ligaplex II for tendon and ligament health (manganese), Dasuquin for Moo's joints, and Vit C for general soft tissue health. Neither dumb dumb has had ACL injuries (but they were also older when spayed/neutered).

Two of neighbors who's dogs have had one ACL go out have been told to start saving for the other and, sure enough, second one goes.
I am fearful of ACL injuries! So far we have discounted any dysplasia or joint dislocation issues but she hasn't been given a CT scan, just x ray. The only thing to the good is that she isn't showing any severe lameness, just a strange gait when she has just hurt that leg. Can't hurt anything to be giving her Ligaplex and Vic C anyway with those stilts she runs around on! Thankyou for the info.

The vet did say that it wasn't always possible to see back injuries and that she might be getting a nerve pinching in her lower back. I don't think so as it would probably be more constant, but can't totally discount it either.

Meanwhile she seems to be recovered from her recent bout but no chuckit or mad dashing about for another month if I can restrain her! :nurse:
 

jazzies mum

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Just an update. After the routine vet visit there haven't been any great insights into what the issue with Jazzies leg might be. I am doing everything that the vet could think of to manage the problem and that includes no more manic games of fetch. :( Of course she is still up for plenty of fun and games that have less impact on her legs and I am never going to try to stop her from having happy zoomies or chasing the odd Magpie out of the yard. Later this year I will take her in for another round of imaging to see if there has been any change in her joints that might indicate arthritis. Suspect cruciate ligament inflammation as well but the vet reassured me that if she was going to snap a ligament it would have already happened. :shock:

So, I have pain relief for her if she needs it, the 4cyte supplement is supporting joints and ligaments as much as possible and we just take things day by day and manage this. Could be worse I suppose although she did so love a full on session of chuckit! I was shocked to see she weighed 42KG now! She still looks good but needs to drop back to below 40 for those legs.
 

Kaiser2016

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No more fetch is such a bummer. I like the idea of giving her supplements too, you never know if that can help solve/strengthen the area.

Did the vet check her paws for possible injury there? In this thread, there was a piece of glass inside one of the paw pads: Shadow’s injured paw Seems unlikely since you didn't see blood, but what if glass got in, and when it moves, it creates pain? I guess the glass would also have gotten infected by now, but still, I'd hate to think they were looking for spinal issues and overlooked something like this.
 

PhilT

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Hope you can manage her pain without any surgery, the symptoms sound similar to King with his left rear leg he gets a swelling on the inside off his knee, its more noticeable when his limping is more pronounced, we have found the anti-inflamatory tablets he has been prescribed really help they are previcox 227 mg, they suspect his problem is ligament related but can't do a proper imaging checks due to his DCM so we just try and monitor how he walking and when it's particularly trouble some we give him pain relief tablets tralee 80mg the vet's prescribed.
 

jazzies mum

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Did the vet check her paws for possible injury there? In this thread, there was a piece of glass inside one of the paw pads: Shadow’s injured paw Seems unlikely since you didn't see blood, but what if glass got in, and when it moves, it creates pain? I guess the glass would also have gotten infected by now, but still, I'd hate to think they were looking for spinal issues and overlooked something like this.
Jazz did have something like this as a pup. It was an imbedded thorn and she would be fine most of the time but several times on a walk she would flinch and hold that paw up. Same as when we have a splinter and put pressure directly on it I guess. This problem is definitely an upper leg or spine issue. She points with her nose to a place above her knee joint when she has just re injured it. Silly thing is she can walk on that leg no matter how badly she hurt it and the slight difference in gait is gone by the next day, and I can gently extend that leg backward straight away, but if she extends with force as in jumping it grabs her again. A mystery!
@PhilT Jazz has Meloxicam liquid when needed. That seems to work well but I use it only when I have to. The strange thing is that there has never been any swelling or heat anywhere. I really would like to know what is happening but have to accept that I might never know without going through reams of tests that aren't available where I live. As long as she is happy and mostly pain free I can live with that. :)
 

AnnV

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My thoughts are if it could be something similar to sciatica in humans? I have it and it comes and goes, sometimes it can be quite bad and debilitating, and other times it's not noticeable for extended periods. I see a chiropractor regularly and it absolutely helps.
 

Rits

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Look into iliopsoas strain or IVDD. Something similar with the jumping you described was Java. She tried to jump up into the back of our vehicle and made the most awful sound, then wasn't able to walk for like a week. The vet did an x-ray and could see calcification on her discs in her spine. Said we could get an MRI but the results would probably be the same, just more definitive and $$$ with no insurance. I don't remember what they gave her but we had to massage her muscle in the loin and stretch her legs plus assist her to the bathroom. A few days later she was able to walk on her own and acted like nothing happened...! She never had really any issues again not like that but I retired her from dock diving and any major sports. We also were very careful and lifted her into the car from then on. Hope you can figure out Jazzies cause!
 

jazzies mum

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Look into iliopsoas strain or IVDD. Something similar with the jumping you described was Java. She tried to jump up into the back of our vehicle and made the most awful sound, then wasn't able to walk for like a week. The vet did an x-ray and could see calcification on her discs in her spine. Said we could get an MRI but the results would probably be the same, just more definitive and $$$ with no insurance. I don't remember what they gave her but we had to massage her muscle in the loin and stretch her legs plus assist her to the bathroom. A few days later she was able to walk on her own and acted like nothing happened...! She never had really any issues again not like that but I retired her from dock diving and any major sports. We also were very careful and lifted her into the car from then on. Hope you can figure out Jazzies cause!
Just read about illiopsoas strain and it described Jazzies symptoms very well! Including where she is trying to indicate the pain is coming from and that strange outward swing of the leg. Also validated my thinking that she is uncomfortable in poop position as that is one of the signs. I do wonder why my vet did not say anything about this possibility but I will go forward with this as the main suspect and give her some gentle stretching and strengthening exercises for her hind legs along with keeping her from explosive games and jumping too much. Thankyou!
 

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