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John Woke Up Lame Last Night


dlgwarner
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John (one of the Beatle Brothers, if you remember his adoption story from last year) was fine when we went to bed last night. He chased the squirrels as he does every turn out, played, everything fine. At about 2:30 am he was at the side of my be wimpering and cried out when he tried to lay back down. He was circling, limping heavily and panting. I got him a Tramadol, but it didn't help much. He was up every 45 minutes. He was limping so heavily on his right fore leg that we carried him downstairs. He is otherwise a healthy, fit 7 year old, exhuberant greyhound.

 

I'm usually good about seeing every scrape they get on their legs and applying first aid. I thought I missed a cut to his upper pad and he developed an infection (he was very warm.) That, or... It was a year ago tomorrow that we had to say goodbye to his littermate Ringo who had osteosarcoma in his neck. He had the exact same limp and pain response that John was (is) showing.

 

The vet saw him at 9 am. He was running a fever of 104.5. She palpated and articulated his whole leg. Only his shoulder muscles seemed to elicit any pain response, but not as severe as when he just tries to lay down. Moving his head from side to side, fortunately didn't elicit a pain response (as it did with Ringo. That's where his tumor was.) She x-rayed the limb and scapula area, including surrounding spine and they were negative. She said his presentation was pretty classic of acute Lyme arthritis but the snap Lyme test was negative too. She sent blood work out to the lab and sent us home with Rimadyl and doxycycline (in case its Rocky Mtn Sspotted tick fever.) She said if he's not markedly better within 24-36 hours we'll re-evaluate.

 

He was really uncomfortable all day. I worked from home to be with him. He ate and finished dinner, though without his usual gusto. He just had his turn out and was able to get up and down the five steps to the deck, though still limping. He's resting pretty comfortably right now, though he is, and has been licking at his right wrist. Only one time when I touched it this morning did it seem to hurt him (which is why I thought infection) but it doesn't seem to be sensitive to touch, pressure or flexing when I touch it now.

 

Does this description sound familiar to anyone? Any thoughts on where to explore next if he doesn't get better (possible meningitis, though his neck isn't stiff, MRI (k-ching) of his shoulder? Abdominal ultrasound for the possibility of this being visceral referred pain.) Penn Vet School is not far from me and we have some really good specialty centers close by, but I'm not sure what type of specialist I should even seek out.

 

Any ideas are welcome. Thanks!

Mom to:

Littermates Ringo (Pak Sgt Pepper)at the bridge, Paul (Pak Penny Lane) and John (Pak Let it Be). The three reunited Beatle Brothers.

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My first thought was a tweaked neck (disc, muscle not osteo). Wondered if he hurt it playing that night? They can have a pronounced limb with a neck injury. Both of my hounds have had cervical issues in the past--my girl was screaming in pain, elevated her body temp and limped pretty badly. NSAIDs, Tramadol and lots of rest was the protocol that helped.

 

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Did they send off bloodwork specifically for Lyme, or a full tick-borne disease panel? Sounds like your vet is being thorough, and I hope it's something simple that resolves quickly.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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Guest OPointyDog

Do you have a vet in your area that specializes in physical therapy? We've got a couple in our area, and took our grey in when she was being rehabilitated after 2 surgeries to repair a broken leg. I was really impressed at how thorough the physical therapist was in the evaluation - she checked every part of the dog's musculo-skeletal system, and found a couple of sore/weak spots that even the orthopedic specialist had missed. The visit took 90 minutes (!) and most of that time she was on the floor with our dog, gently manipulating and testing her responses. In our case, the vet was able to isolate and determine where the pain was, and then come up with a treatment plan. I just wonder if someone who works with injured dogs regularly could help you isolate whether the pain is muscular, skeletal, internal organs, etc.?

 

Good luck - I hope you get some anwers and relief for John soon.

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One of our hounds had a limp and was running a temp a few years ago. We treated with antibiotics but did not see any improvement. He ended up having blastomycosis. Just adding this as something to think about if other tests do not result in a diagnosis. Blasto can be checked through a urine sample and or chests Xray. Sending positive thoughts that your vet can figure out what is going on soon.

Cosmo (Fuzz Face Cosmos), Holmes (He's a Dream), Boomer (USS Baby Boomer), Ella and missing our angels Clay (Red Clay), Train (Nite Train), Trip (Bock's Teddy Bear),Larry (Bohemian Frigid) and Jimmy (Bohemian Raw)
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Sending prayers.

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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My first thought was a tweaked neck (disc, muscle not osteo). Wondered if he hurt it playing that night? They can have a pronounced limb with a neck injury. Both of my hounds have had cervical issues in the past--my girl was screaming in pain, elevated her body temp and limped pretty badly. NSAIDs, Tramadol and lots of rest was the protocol that helped.

That is sooo true. It was Cash who taught me that PAIN will elevate the temperature significantly. I've had several hounds manifest cervical injury by limping.

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Thanks everyone for your advice and good wishes. I took John to the neurologist yesterday. He woke up with pain and limping, but when we got out of the van at the specialty center, he cantered, as if nothing was wrong, to the door. He said it sounded like classic ruptured disc and did an MRI. It was completely normal. Which is great news (no osteo). He did a spinal tap to check for meningitis. I'll find out those results Monday. His CBC was also normal

 

So, while I still don't have a diagnosis, John is in a lot less pain with virtually no sign of a limp. He's going to finish his course of doxi and the neuro has him on 30mg of prednisone.

 

While it cost a lot, it seems we ruled out the worst possible diagnosis. I'll provide an update if I find out what it was that caused so much pain and lameness, or if anything changes.

Mom to:

Littermates Ringo (Pak Sgt Pepper)at the bridge, Paul (Pak Penny Lane) and John (Pak Let it Be). The three reunited Beatle Brothers.

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Darn I wish I'd seen this earlier. As you know, John is one of my special boys.

 

Jake has had symptoms somewhat similar and has always tested neg for TBD's of all kinds. However, he does respond to treatment with doxy and our vet is pretty sure that he has one of the rarer forms of ehrlichia. He's been treated 4 times in total now. Once about 3 years ago but not a high dose, so he relapsed about 5 months later. That got us just over 2 years symptom free. He had a relapse in April, and another very short lived one 2 weeks ago. I know of 2 other hounds that show similar signs but also test neg. I hope in the end you do get a clear diagnosis, that is always a good thing. But, if you don't and this happens again, keep in mind what we have gone through. My boy is now 13 1/2 and just keeps trucking along.

Casual Bling & Hope for Hounds
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Janet & the hounds Maggie and Allen Missing my baby girl Peanut, old soul Jake, quirky Jet, Mama Grandy and my old Diva Miz Foxy; my angel, my inspiration. You all brought so much into my light, and taught me so much about the power of love, you are with me always.
If you get the chance to sit it out or dance.......... I hope you dance! Missing our littlest girl.

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