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I have a 10 1/2 month old golden retriever who has a lameness in her left rear leg. This seems to happen several times a day and seems to be spontaneous. When it happens she will either not put weight on the leg, and sometimes she will also whimper. It does not correlate with her activity level or the time of day. She seems to be in alot of pain when it flares up. The vet told us her hips looked good when she was a puppy, maybe at 5 months. I have felt and searched the leg but don't see any sign of a cut or break anywhere. It also does not seem like a muscle problem because at times she seems fine and runs and jumps and plays. Can you help me with a diagnosis?

Thanks,
Jake
 

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Just my opinion but I would go back to the vet. First of all your pup could be having growing pains, they can be VERY painful, I hope that is all it is. However limping is not normal and I would want my dog checked back out and probably re-xrayed.

I am experiencing lameness in front with my dog, 6 months ago her radiographs looked good, her comparison this past week had changes. New xrays could show something now. I hope not, I hope it is just growing pains.

Good luck, sorry for the sore pupper, it really is not fun is it :(
 

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If she's having issues like this out of nowhere, I would definitely say a visit to the vet is in order. Give her big hugs and keep us updated!
 

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Growing dogs, especially at that age, can have something called panosteitis (often referred to as "pano") that can cause intermittent lameness. I'd also suspect a tick-borne disease (TBD) depending on the area you live in.

Here's a very good article on pano.

Have you discussed this specific issue with your vet yet?
 

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I would not run, jump or play hard with her for a couple of days and see if that will help. If it doesnt then get her back to the vet and have xrays done to make sure it isnt somehing more serious. Are you in an area where she could have gotten a tick bite and it is causing the limp now. Ask him for the test. (I cant remember the name of it) Hopefully with bed rest she will be better.

Welcome to the forum and I hope you enjoy your time here. We would love to see pictures of your pretty girl.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have read up on pano, I didn't want to mention it right away because I didn't want to steer anyone that way. I don't think it could be a tick, too cold for them right now. I have not discussed anything with the vet yet. Concerning going to the vet I try and go by a rule of if I would go to the Dr., and as of now I can't say that I would with it being so random. When dealing with dysplasia, weather it be in the hips or elbow does it come and go or is it someting that you notice most of the time? I'll try to get a picture up tonight, she's a cutie! I will try and limit her play time and maybe give it a few more days before a trip to the vet. thanks for the help so far.
 

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I would limit activity like you said & watch for improvement. She also could have a knee injury. As long as it's not a tear it will improve with rest & sometimes rimadyl. My Husky mix had knee injury around Halloween, we don't know what she did. She did get better & now is 100%. It took two rounds of rest and rimadyl, the first time her progress backslid so we did it again. Dogs do weird stuff. Hopefully your dog just has growing pains, I've never been that lucky. My Dalton had OCD at 5-6 months (it's a front leg issue, I'm not trying to scare you). Pano wanders, so if it is that it could move to another leg. They can usually see pano on an x-ray. GL
 

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I have read up on pano, I didn't want to mention it right away because I didn't want to steer anyone that way. I don't think it could be a tick, too cold for them right now. I have not discussed anything with the vet yet. Concerning going to the vet I try and go by a rule of if I would go to the Dr., and as of now I can't say that I would with it being so random. When dealing with dysplasia, weather it be in the hips or elbow does it come and go or is it someting that you notice most of the time? I'll try to get a picture up tonight, she's a cutie! I will try and limit her play time and maybe give it a few more days before a trip to the vet. thanks for the help so far.
If the hips looked good early, I wouldn't worry too much about dysplasia just yet. I am sure it 'could' happen but in that short time I doubt it could go from good to limping. My pup was dx HD at 9 months, and she was limping BUT her hips were UGLY when we took the picture, we suspect they had been that way from birth. Don't think HD yet, think much more routine and not serious. Many dogs have HD and never limp too.

Pups can play and cause a sprain too. They can take a long time to really heal. I like your rule of thumb about the vet, but if you are concerned... Rest is good, so waiting to see if it improves is fine.
 

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I don't think it could be a tick, too cold for them right now.
Unfortunately, ticks can and do crop up in surprisingly cold weather. They're much, much rarer, but it's not impossible at all. Also, if the dog was infected back in the fall, she could have been subclinical for months (even years in some cases!) and then have a flare-up of the disease. The SNAP 4Dx is a relatively inexpensive blood test, so it's often worth ruling out the common TBDs if there's any chance the dog was exposed at any point.

The fact that the lameness is confined to one leg doesn't point strongly toward Lyme, but it's both possible and easy to rule out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks for the info on the lymes/ticks I did not know you could be subclinical for a period of time. I've never seen a dog with lymes disease, but my friend had it once. He was very ill, do dogs react in a similar fasion? If so I don't think that is the issue because she seems to be feeling and eating well. I will surely ask for the snap 4 test if she doesn't improve in the next couple of days and I have to bring her in.
 

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How many times has this happened

How many times has this hapened?
How long has she been limping?
Maybe it's a sprain.
I would see a vet though.
 

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We had a a golden with Pano a long time ago. She outgrew it nicely with no further bone problems( especially once she was moved to a lower protein food from puppy food). Pano usually travels from leg to leg, and also causes a slight fever. Have you taken her temp at the time that her pain flairs up. If it's only in one leg, one of the frustrating-because-hard-to-diagnos things it could be is an old fashioned soft issue injury. These are frustrating and persistent, but do eventually come around with rest. Once at about ten months, Finn started limping while we were traveling, so I took him into nearby Cornell very worried. Turned out, he had a broken toe. It just healed on its own. I am sure you checked her paws, pads , and nails already, but maybe each individual toe? How are her "acls"?
 

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thanks for the info on the lymes/ticks I did not know you could be subclinical for a period of time. I've never seen a dog with lymes disease, but my friend had it once. He was very ill, do dogs react in a similar fasion? If so I don't think that is the issue because she seems to be feeling and eating well. I will surely ask for the snap 4 test if she doesn't improve in the next couple of days and I have to bring her in.
Sometimes the only sign of Lyme in a dog is intermittent lameness, which is why I always suggest it in a situation like this. It's not a shoe-in, since the lameness doesn't move from limb to limb and there are no other symptoms, but it's certainly possible. The other typical symptoms are lymph swelling, fever, and loss of appetite, but just because she doesn't have those doesn't mean she doesn't have Lyme.

Anaplasmosis (also a TBD) can also cause intermittent joint pain.
 

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A younger dog can partially tear or tear the CCL and show signs of intermittent pain too...when they forget to hold it just right. I would visit a vet sooner rather than later Crying with pain is unusual in most Goldens. They're know for being stoic.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
it happens from 3 to maybe 7 times per day since Saturday. She only limps when it acts up, otherwise no sypmtoms. Her paws, toes, nails and everything look and feel perfect. Her legamints seem fine but I don't know much about checking that. How do you take a dogs temperature and what should it be? This is my first dog so I hope this isn't a dumb question. I did switch her to adult dog food on Monday just out of coincidence. I think I will give her until Sunday and if it is still going on to the vet we will go on Monday. I read that you may be able to check for pano by pinching in the center of the bone in question, if the dog has pain response then that may be it. Has anyone done this? How hard do I pinch, light, hard, medium? I've felt along all the bones but I wouldn't say I pinched.
 

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I would definitely see the Vet.

Please don't consider what I type below as a possibility. I'm just reporting what I went through with Comet.

Comet used to do this same thing almost his entire life, from about the time he was 3 years old on. Always his right-front leg. He would be fine, then all of a sudden he would start hobbling along, holding that paw/leg up in the air. And he never left my sight between being 'ok' and 'not ok'.

He did it for almost 10 years. We never found any cause for it.

Interestingly, if I would toss a tenni-ball for him, he would magically be ok and go running after it! He may or may not go back to limping after a couple of tosses of the tenni-ball.

My Vet said it was possible it was a sympathy-limp. She said she had seen it before in smarter dogs. In short, he wanted attention.

We never found a single problem with his leg his entire 12 year life.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I would definitely see the Vet.

My Vet said it was possible it was a sympathy-limp. She said she had seen it before in smarter dogs. In short, he wanted attention.

I have already considered this, and have not ruled it out. She is smart and it could fit. Not to worry though, I don't plan on just saying that's what it is without going to the vet or trying every other diagnosis first.
 

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Cool. That's what I wanted to be sure of :)

I have already considered this, and have not ruled it out. She is smart and it could fit. Not to worry though, I don't plan on just saying that's what it is without going to the vet or trying every other diagnosis first.
 
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