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Arthritis In A 4 Year Old Grey?!

Guest Mossy

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Hi all,

I have a beautiful brindle grey named Philly, adopted this past April. He just turned 4 in June.

He started limping 2 weeks ago. I feel like it started after he got his nails trimmed (he was sliding on my laminate floors and started refusing to walk on them). That was a wednesday. I noticed he was limping either later than night or next morning... not too sure.

I initially thought he had a sharp edge digging into whatever next nail so I used a nail file to round his nails.

Still limping. Limping bad enough to cause a head bobbing motion with walking.

Went to the vet on Saturday, he really didn't see/notice anything but thought one of his paw pads looked different and chalked it up to maybe a sunburn... I had started to think of corns and I thought I saw a little spot on said paw pad that when lightly squeezed, a very bit of blood came out. He said to keep walks short and come back if still limping.

Fast forward to today.

Still limping and this morning, noticed he was limping right out the door for our 6am morning walk... and he looked like he was lifting his left paw.


Went to the vet this evening, he feels around all Philly's front legs and says his left wrist feels different when he flexes it back and forth. He's thinking ARTHRITIS.

I'm floored. Arthritis at 4 years old?!!!


We tried to get an xray right then but my sweet baby who's skittish to begin with freaked out and crapped all over the vet's floor (Oops!!! Lol). He literally emptied his bowels!!

Vet suggests light sedation this Friday for the xrays to see how bad it is. (My wallet will be traumatized - $400!!!)


Could it really be arthritis?


My brindle baby raced until last December and ran about 76 races (won a few too... proud mama).


Oh and P.S. the limping is worse on concrete. He does NOT limp in the house (laminate and tile). Although he limped on grass today, for the 2 weeks he's been limping, its all been on concrete/asphalt.

He never cries out in pain when paw is touched and he withdrawn randomly so can't tell where/if he has pain (obviously he does cos he's limping)...


Thanks for the input.

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Guest Sportingfields

Anything is possible at any age. Keep that vet appt and get the Xrays and go from there. Without definitive testing and diagnosis, everything is a guess. Yes it's worrying, try as best you can not to do worst case scenario. Hugs

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I have a 6 year old who developed a limp at age 5. Many hundreds of dollars and almost one year later, we finally got a diagnosis of tenosynovitis of a toe (from a suspected old racing injury) with some arthritis developing at the site as well. Luckily it's very manageable; in our case an NSAID every couple of days keeps her limp totally at bay. So based on my experience, I'd say yes, it's possible! Definitely get the x-rays done, but bear in mind arthritis will not always show up. My girl's x-rays have always been clear, but the physical therapist could feel the bone changes in her toe.


All that said, it could very well be a developing corn. Limping worse on hard surfaces is a classic sign.


Keep us posted!


Rachel with littermates Doolin and Willa, feline rivals Tootie and Richard, and squatter cats Crumpet and Fezziwig.
Always missing gentlemen kitties Mud and Henry, and our beautiful, feisty, silly

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Get the x-rays to be safe. You might want to x-ray up to the shoulder. But I wonder about a foreign body in a paw pad. You might want to start doing twice daily Epsom salt soaks. Supposedly can draw out foreign bodies.


Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Ryder has had a limp issue ever since I got him at 2.5 years old! Still can't figure it out, but I've narrowed it down to a muscle issue and not bone/joint. Get xrays to rule things out and consider chiropractor visit. Makes a world of difference for Ryder. These pups go through so much when learning to run, never know how they end up hurting. Gentle skritches.

Proudly owned by:
10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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yes, to X-rays but first you might consider;

if there is a foreign object in the pad it's itchammol slave that will draw it out (there's a post out there in Health, search using itchammol)

check or corn images and look carefully. if you leash walk it's more than possible that the edges of the corn are worn away and it might be difficult to identify.

all sorts of accidents happen, one of mine has calcification of her shoulder bone- a point from a past injury. there was intermittent limps then suddenly it caused intense pain. dr. couto said it takes years for that type of injury to manifest itself.

and you live in CT, right? LYME, the test is not conclusive, false positives, false negatives. it takes around 2 weeks for the antibiotics to start working but it could just be LYME . and yes, lyme can move from joint to joint. it's weird.

i'm not mentioning the dreaded one...let's think positive.

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Guest KarenD

Yep us too. Through trial and error Azium once or twice a week worked for our Lucy. We try to keep her active being aware of her limits. When it acts up we just slow things down for a couple of days. She has shown symptoms when she was 5 and she will be 9 in a couple of months.

Good Luck

Keep us posted.

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