My dog's name is Sam and he's a 16 month old black lab, weighs 94lbs. He started limping slightly on right front leg about a week ago. He was playing in the backyard and it was dark out and when he went back inside we noticed he was limping. Waited about a week to see if it would go away and it's gotten a litte better but he's still limping. It's most noticible after he's been laying down resting for a while and when he 1st gets up. As he walks it off, it gets better but I can tell it's still bothering him. Sometimes I see him licking the side of his paw and his pad towards the back of the foot. Physical inspection didn't reveal much except some slight redness between his pads so we thought he might have something stuck in there. Took him to the vet yesterday and they checked it out, said they couldn't see anything and the motion of the leg and foot was fine. Got his nails trimmed and also got x-ray and bloodwork done for another issue (he had thrown up after a meal a couple of times) so x-ray showed no obstructions and blood work was "excellent" so he's healthy. We're looking into soaking his foot in warm water and epsom salt but I'm wondering if any of you had any other recommendations... Ultimately even though he's healthy, we'd like to see him at around 85lbs as labs are prone to joint issues. We feed him ProPlan Natural twice a day and he's doing real well on it. It's not our 1st choice as we tried other higher quality foods before Like Fromm and Orijen but none of it agreed with his digestive system. We also supplement with Grizzly Salmon Oil and ArthryDex for bone/joint support. Any help is much appreciated!
Slight limp on right front leg..
Posted 18 July 2015 - 04:12 PM
Welcome to blacklabrador.com. We are glad that you are here!
I will admit that a limp that lasts over a week is highly unusual. Is your dog really wild when he plays? You may want to look at the condition of the pads on that foot. We had a black lab that actually wore off the surface of the pads on one of his feet by excessive running on concrete. The only thing we could do for him was keep him inactive until the pads healed, about 10 days.
The next thing suspect I would guess would be something like a thorn or irritation of some kind up between his pads. Look at his foot and flip it over, bottom up and spread the pads out. Is the skin between the pads red or irritated looking? Are there any cuts in there?
You may want to use a strong flashlight when you do that.
If there is irritation, I would ask the vet for a bottle of Chlorhexidine. It's a dark blue anti septic that you just pour a capful or two in a bucket of water and soak the dogs foot in there for about 5 min twice per day. It's calming to the pads.
I'm also wondering if your dog could have broken a toe. In that case, the Chlorhexidine won't be effective at all. Did your vet X-Ray your dogs leg and foot?
94lbs for a 16 month old lab is very heavy. You got a fat boy on your hands. We just tried out a new food that we really like. It's Nature's Recipe Grain Free Chicken, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin. It's reasonably priced and it's supposed to be easy on the dogs stomach (easy to digest). Our dogs just love it, even our "picky" 17 year old Golden Lab.
Posted 21 July 2015 - 03:23 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, we have another vet appointment tomorrow AM so will try and get his foot x-rayed and focus more on it but since the last post, he as not gotten any better, sadly. For now we're taking it easy and not letting him play in the backyard and jump up, etc... He's also due for his rabies booster so we'll get that out of the way tomorrow too. I agree that some weight reduction might benefit him and be easier on the joints. Will post an update with results/finsings after the vet appointment tomorrow.
Posted 21 July 2015 - 10:20 PM
It sounds like you are on the right track. Please do let us know what the vet is able to determine. We appreciate it.
Posted 23 July 2015 - 12:02 AM
Just a quick update, we got a call from the vet this morning and she had a family emergency so we had to reschedule for Saturday afternoon. In the meantime we're soaking his foot in epsom salt warm water. He doesn't seem to mind this, hope it eases his discomfort somewhat... We could have kept his appointment and had him seen by the doc we saw last time but we weren't too impressed with her so decided to wait for his other one he's had since he was a puppy. I'll update with any info if we notice any changes and after the appt on Saturday.
Posted 23 July 2015 - 12:38 AM
It's always best to use the same vet each and every time you take your dog in. That vet is familiar with your dog. That is if you feel comfortable with the vet. I'm kind of anxious to find out for myself what is going on with your dogs foot.
Posted 25 July 2015 - 07:48 PM
Update: He had been doing better this last Thursday and Friday, so much so that we were sure by Saturday when it was time for the vet appointment they wouldn't be able to tell us something was wrong because he was not limping at all but Friday night we noticed it's back so today we took him in and she felt the foot and between the toes; there was no redness this time but she felt some swelling and thinks it's soft tissue injury and not a fracture. She also said it's not unusual for an injury to soft tissue on the foot to take a long time to heal and there is always a good chance that he'll keep aggravating it since he's always walking on it and jumping and playing or whatever... I think this makes sense, we'll keep an eye on it for another week and see if he gets better. Anyway, we got prescribed a pain med called "rimadyl" to alleviate discomfort. We also got his rabies booster done. If no improvement, we'll have to take him in for xrays although by then it will have been 3 weeks and if it was a fracture, it will have fused... I don't know... We're hoping if we take it easy he'll get better like he did before, but have no idea what he did to aggravate it again...
Posted 28 July 2015 - 11:48 AM
Sam looks just like our Black Lab named Buddy! And Buddy is a complete wild man at 7 years of age! Thanks for the photo!
It sounds like maybe Sam got too carried away while playing and hurt himself. I've seen that before. Labs can be wild ass dogs and sometimes they forget the limits of their own bodies.
Rimadyl is a good pain reliever for dogs. It's used a lot where there are joint problems in dogs. It actually can help rebuild cartilage in the joints over time. Just make sure you don't give your dog any aspirin while your dog is on Rimadyl. Long term (+6 months or more)
use of Rimadyl can contribute to liver problems in some dogs. But I don't think you'll have Sam on the Rimadyl for that long.
Posted 03 August 2015 - 02:58 PM
Thanks for the info. Yes, he totally goes nuts sometimes and just runs and runs, jumps and gets the zoomies where he plows thru everything in his way, including us every now and then... We try to discourage this behaviour by repremanding him with a "NO!" and wagging finger in his face but then he tries to bite the finger... Not hard of course, just engough to let us know he's not having any of it... Love this dog!
Here is the latest update: We made another appointment with the vet after things looking up for a couple of days then he'd start limping again, overnight, with no explanation. Like he'd have a good day and we put him in his kennel, then the next day when we let him out he's limping... So then just a couple of days ago I noticed a small discoloration between his toes on the foot that's bothering him. Upon further inspection it seems like there is some kind of red lump there, big enough to seperate the digits so that the two middle ones are close together and the outer one is slightly bent to the opposite side.
I'm almost positive this is the cause or at least a symptom of the issue he's been having with that foot and it seems to be getting more pronounced so the earliest the vet could see us was this Wednesday AM. Over the weekend we did some research online and found out the lump could be a number of things... Allergy to his food or something he eats when he's outside to an infection caused by thistle or foxtail that might have gotten stuck in there to a more serious one like tumor...
At first I thought it might be allergy but then I remembered how it suddenlt happened in the backyard so it's probably something he stepped on and it got stuck in there and lingered, causing infection. My main concern is it might still be in there so if they treat it with steroid cream or antibiotics, it might look like it's getting better but it probably will come back unless they are able to find it and pull it out of there. Of course, to do that, they'll have to put him under most likely and last time they even recommended doing that for X-Ray and said while he's under anesthesia, they could also get his boys removed which we were thinking about doing in Sept-Oct so since it's August, might be close enough to get that done... We had decided to wait until he was 18 months to make sure it wouldn't interfere with his growth which would have been Sept the 6th.
I'll have another update after the vet visit and hopefully we'll get more answers then... Hope they can find what's stuck in there and get it out and just RX an anti inflammatory agent to take care of the issue... If it's allergies (which I don't think it is) we can most certainly change his food to something more appropriate...
Posted 08 August 2015 - 10:50 PM
Ouch, that looks rough. Rimadyl has an anti-inflammatory in it. You sound like you are doing the right thing. The next time you are at the vet ask about the Chlorhexadine. It really works wonders for stuff like this. Does one side of this injury look worse than the other?
Hoping Sam gets better fast! We're keeping our fingers crossed for him!
Posted 09 August 2015 - 06:17 PM
Update: On Wednesday last week we saw the vet, again. She confirmed that it was an infection and they shaved around it for a better look and also took a sample and looked under the microscope and said there was lots of white blood cells, but the cause of it is still unknown to us at this time. There was no fluid in there to drain so she RX'ed an antibiotic (amoxicillin) and refilled the Rimadyl since we were running low. She said 9 out of 10 times it's not possible to find out if something is/was stuck in his foot if nothing drains since they can then use the drain channel to follow it up to the foreign object...
After our visit and a few days of antibiotics and Rimadyl, he's pretty much back to normal and the swelling seems to have gone away. No more limping for a couple of days now so we stopped the Rimadyl but we're continuing the antibiotics, maybe until we run out. It was a 10 day supply and we're almost already half way done. I'm not too fond of antibiotics since they destroy good and bad bacteria but this time we might have had no choice and it worked OK.
We're glad he hasn't been limping for a few days now and is back to his "normal" self. Thanks for the support and suggestions throughout this ordeal.
Posted 10 August 2015 - 12:33 AM
Thanks for the photos. They say a thousand words you know.
It could also have been a bug bite of some kind. You never know what gets between a dogs paws. But I am very glad that it looks like this is all under control and will soon be a thing of the past. Just keep an eye on the spot until it's completely gone. I am glad to have been of assistance to you.
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