My dog has been to the vet and will be going back, but I’d love to know if anyone’s seen something similar to this and might have an idea what it is or what could be done to help. Apologies this is kind of long.
Blue’s a greyhound, he’ll be 13 in November. Aside from this mystery problem, he’s been in fantastic health. About a year ago he was stiff and slow overall, so we did a course of Adequan and he went from struggling to go up a curb to enthusiastically jumping up a2.5’ wall for fun (his idea, not mine!). Every so often over the last several years, he’d take a few slightly wobbly steps on one back leg, almost as if it had fallen asleep. He’d also occasionally do something while running and limp for a bit on that leg. That always resolved quickly with some anti-inflammatories and rest, so we and the vet assumed he was just re-tweaking an old injury. His x-rays were totally clear.
What it’s turned into, though, is a couple worse episodes of that leg not working well. The first two started with a zoom followed by getting slow and wobbly on the walk home, then shortly turned into a lot of panting and obvious discomfort. He got more x-rays for this, again totally clear, no visible arthritis even. His stifle was swollen so the theory at the time was that he had some mild nerve degeneration going which was making it easier to reinjure that leg. Same as before, resolved completely with carprofen and rest. And we removed running from his activities.
But then the next time there was no discernible cause – we were on a walk on flat paved ground, he took no noticeable bad step, but went from chipper and happy on his walk to draggy and gradually limping then clearly very uncomfortable when we got home. His other back leg seemed slightly weaker than usual. He got another clear x-ray. Same treatment, recovered completely. At that point I talked to the vet again to see if there was any kind of maintenance medication he should be on and we decided to do another course of Adequan (about a year after the last one) in case it helped. He’s had one shot of that, and the weather changed to fall from summer overnight, and he was feeling great. Totally sound, full of energy, happy dog.
Then last night he was excited to go on a walk, took a wobbly step or two on the way to the door, and then was on three legs by the time we got outside. He peed and wanted to go back in, so we did that, and by the time he laid down he was panting heavily and clearly couldn’t get comfortable. I gave him some carprofen. After he didn’t settle any after an hour or hour and a half, we decided to take him to the emergency vet. Second back leg was wobbly when we went in, and the vet reported that the top of that hip was very sore. But she didn’t really have any other ideas, other than suggesting pain meds (carprofen and gabapentin) and x-rays, or a very expensive MRI. She said there was no other immediate treatment she recommended. I thought I’d do the x-rays at my own vet who knows his history, so opted to take him home. He was barely using his back end when they gave him back to me, and this morning he’s almost a ragdoll. If I’d realized he’d gotten worse I would have had them keep him over night.
So now the most immediate question is how to get him supported enough to have a bathroom break. And then what’s after that? Since he’s fully recovered from previous episodes I don’t want to jump to anything irreversible. If he does recover, Is there anything I can do to prevent reoccurrences? Is there testing anyone suggests, or questions I should ask the vet? I’ll be calling his regular vet later today.