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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Harry is just shy of 6 months and he showed evidence of lameness about 2 weeks ago. We thought it was the rear leg at first (and it may have been) but it is now clearly in the right front leg. We are 1 week into rest (to the extent we can keep him resting) and leash walks only. The lameness seems to come and go. We saw the orthopedic surgeon yesterday who found nothing remarkable (no obvious pain points, no swelling, no lameness while there) and he suggested 2 more weeks of conservative treatment.

Of course I am concerned about elbow dysplasia. Harry did go through a period of rapid growth (after recovering from weight loss from coccydia at about 11-12 weeks). He is about 40-42 lbs now. The lameness is mild when present and he has not yelped at any time from it. If he breaks into a trot he looks perfectly fine, the lameness is most evident when walking. Sometimes he looks 100% normal, and at other times the lameness is very apparent. I don't really have a good sense of whether or not rest or activity actually have any impact at this time. I am hoping it is a soft tissue injury or pano. What other signs should I be looking for to suggest or rule out elbow dysplasia?
 

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Kate
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There are lots of things it could be unfortunately.... and elbow dysplasia is not a very sure thing to diagnose without doing a CT scan - which can be very expensive. :(

It could be OCD in the elbow or shoulder as well.

Best suggestion is to keep the exercise down and watch him. IF this is pano, it usually clears up by the time your dog is done growing (between 15 months and 2 years).

Keep his weight down (which it appears you are), no forced running, regular conservative exercise (short regular walks).

My very best....
 

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The first thing that came to my mind was pano as well. My boy and his father both had it. The lameness comes and goes and switches legs as well; you could have been describing Kuyani in your initial post. Have you had x-rays done? They might give you peace of mind.

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Carrie
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Yes! Bailey is 5 months and this started about a week and a half ago. I did some research on my own and I *think* he has pano. I actually posted on here last week and didn't get any responses.

A few days ago I took him to the vet (he's 52 pounds!) and Bailey allowed him to put a lot of pressure on his legs, so nobody is extremely worried at this time. He gave me some pain meds, but cautioned me against using them unless his discomfort is very obvious since the meds can mask the pain and lead to greater injury.

At this point we're pretty much just waiting and seeing. He hasn't gotten any worse, maybe even a little better in recent days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update on Harry: Harry's lameness was only improving slightly with restricted activity. I brought him back to my regular vet and she ruled out pano because there was no reaction when she squeezed his long bones. She found no swelling or obvious painful areas so the physical exam was essentially normal.

Both of his parents are show dogs and normal elbows per OFA. I checked with the breeder and she has never had any puppies from either parent nor their siblings or other relatives with either hip or elbow issues. Based on this and the physical exam findings, the vet thinks elbow dysplasia is still possible but unlikely.

I had noticed other symptoms (stiff in the morning, not as playful) so brought him back for a Lyme test (based on the sound advice of others here). He was positive for both Lyme and anaplasmosis. We started him on doxycycline and he showed dramatic improvement on the other symptoms and was excited again to go on walks. Lameness improved more gradually but improvement was definite. I would say he was at 95%. We added a bit more activity and brief periods of off-leash time with continued improvement. Then boom, during one of his off-leash sessions (no other dogs, no full out throttle running or crazies) he just laid down and the lameness was back. No yelp, no awkward movement, nothing obvious. We are right back where we started.

We probably should have been more conservative but we were ramping up gradually and he was continuing to improve. I am not sure what to do now. I am hoping it is just a sprain that we are not giving sufficient time to heal. I want to have x-rays done but both vets (regular and ortho) insist on sedation to get accurate films which also means a 1/2 day or more at the vet. I hate to put him through that (a relative lost a dog to anesthesia) if I don't need to but of course I don't want to miss something.

Any ideas, suggestions?
 
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