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Miles Is Extremely Lame


Guest GriffinsMom
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Guest GriffinsMom

When I adopted Miles in August 2009 his gait was very loosy goosey in the back end but he could do a one and one half hour walk with no apparent problem. Over the months he has slowed down and became quite lame. The early diagnosis was arthritis. He was being treated with Metacam and Cartrafin shots but only became worse with time.

 

Miles hips, spine, and back legs have been X-rayed but they appear healthy and give no reason for his lameness. He spent another day at the vets having neurological tests done. None of the tests pointed to a definite problem. His balance, knees, ligaments, and flexibility were all at acceptable levels. His bloodwork came back and indicated that his thyroid was very low. He is now on Synthroid and will be tested again in a month to determine if his dosage needs to be revised.

 

One of his neurological tests entailed flexing his neck up, down and side to side. He did not like having his head flexed up. This led to a possible diagnosis of Wobblers. http://www.google.com/search?q=canine+wobblers+disease&rlz=1I7IRFA_en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7 As slight as this possibility is I still want to investigate it. The principle cause of Wobblers is genetic with a diet as a puppy that was high is protein and calcium as a contributing factor. I feed raw and am considering taking Miles off raw and feeding kibble that is no more than 25% protein. Miles only has 12 teeth left so raw is much easier for him to eat as I grind all the meat. Opinions?

 

When Miles walks he is extremely sensitive to the surface he is walking upon. He tries to stay on the grass and when he walks on a hard or uneven surface he really slows down and his foot steps are very uneven. His pads and the spaces between his toes have been checked but there is no apparent reason for his sensitivity.

 

Miles had 26 teeth pulled shortly after I adopted him. It has been suggested that he could have sustained nerve damage when his teeth were extracted. This is not something I have much information about but I will be looking into this shortly. Any information would be appreciated.

 

Miles has not yet had acupuncture or seen a chiropractor. Acupuncture I am comfortable with but the chiropractor worries me. If Miles already has spinal issues I don't want them to become worse.

 

My vet had done all she can with the knowledge and technology available to her but does not have a definite diagnosis as to why Miles is so lame. She advised that an MRI may be helpful but I cannot afford it as an MRI is over $1000.00 and the only facility anwhere near me insists on doing their own tests before they will do an MRI so the price goes up to $2000 to $3000. My vet assures me that Miles is not in pain and that I should keep his weight down and only take him for short walks. Once his thyroid is retested in a month she may start him on steroids to see if that helps.

 

Watching Miles struggle to get up and down the stairs and go for even a short walk almost brings me to tears every day. He is such a sweet boy and has won my heart. Miles deserves better than this after what he went through before I adopted him. Any suggestions on how to help Miles would be appreciated.

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Guest mcsheltie

We had a horse with wobblers and acupuncture REALLY helped. He wasn't able to work. He wasn't strong enough to turn out to pasture. All we could do was hand walk him slowly. After about six months he was able to be jogged (harness, pulling a cart) and within the year we could ride him once a week. He was able to be shown in harness the following summer.

We used a chiropractor first and she did help him somewhat.

 

The way I understand it is that the high protein & calcium diet can be a trigger for wobblers because it causes too rapid growth. But once the dog is mature, diet isn't a factor (other than you need to keep them thin)

 

I would get on a Dane or Dobie list. They have a lot of experience with this. I'd keep him on raw until you have concrete evidence to change his diet.

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It sounds almost as if Miles has more than one thing going on here. The fact that he is picky about surfaces and his gait is uneven on hard pavement suggests corns - and a lot of vets miss corns as a cause for lameness since they affect greyhounds so much more than most other breeds. A vet can see a labrador (for instance) with several corns who is not at all lame, and then a greyhound turns up dead lame with one and he's going to be looking for something else to explain it - unless he knows sighthounds very well.

 

It's hard to see how corns would explain the dislike of neck flexion/extension, although it is possible that during the test Miles' weight got pushed onto his bad foot. But I'd certainly check his pads for corns and get them dealt with if he has any. Trying to stay on grass is so typical of a dog with corns - in fact it was the only way our old Susan indicated that she had one, because she was a very stoical old girl.

 

I wouldn't change Miles' diet either. The theory about Wobblers and high protein and calcium in a pup's diet is about triggering the disease process. It's not going to hurt an adult dog to have his good raw food. :)

 

Does Miles walk with his hind legs further apart than usual? That can indicate Wobblers because affected dogs seem to need a wider base to help with balance.

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Couple thoughts:

 

1. Check the feet, as others have noted.

 

2. Keep him off the stairs if at all you can.

 

3. Take a looky here. Test is easy. If this is his problem, the shots she describes are likely to be more effective than oral steroids.

 

Oops. Here's the link: http://greythealth.com/lumbosacral.htm

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I haven't read the responses so this may be redundant but what about Neurontin for pain management as well? It can do wonders for certain things.

Edited by Devotion

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