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Limping dog in the morning
An_244051 posted:
I was wondering if there are any thoughts on what could be causing my dog to limp in the morning? He is a two year old blue heeler/pitbull mix. Last year, he sprained his paw and had a cortisone injection and was given anti inflammatory medication, but that was nearly a year ago and has been fine until this week. He only limps when he first wakes up, his first 5 steps or so, and then is fine the rest of the day, running around, jumping and fetching like normal. It doesn't bother him when I touch the leg or move it, but he has had this slight limp the past four mornings. He doesn't limp after laying down here and there, it is only after we go to bed for the night i.e. an extended period of time. My vet things he may may have reaggravated his sprain from last summer or possibly be developing arthritis, but can arthritis really affect a dog this young?
Bernadine Cruz, DVM responded:
Sorry to learn that your pup is having lameness issues. Your description is very good and may well be early signs of arthritis. You are correct that we typically see arthritis in older pets since it is usually a disease of wear and tear on the joints. Even children can have can be immune related, due to trauma or genetic. I would strongly recommend that your veterinarian take radiographs of both front legs from toes to spine. I normally take both legs because the may be very subtle and sometimes you need the normal leg as a point of reference. You may ask your veterinarian for a prescription of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medication to use before your pup goes to sleep.

Best of luck....
Dr. Bernadine Cruz


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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