View Full Version : front leg sliding out to side

19th July 2006, 03:46 PM
maggie is 5 1/2 months old. At about 3 months she started to have a problem where her front leg slipped out to the side especially when she ran on the tile floor. She would suddenly yelp. One night it looked so bad we thought she dislocated her shoulder and took her to the emergency clinic. They found nothing. The next day the vet took xrays and found nothing. She suggested an orthopedic surgeon. We took her. He took xrays and found nothing. I guess by process of elimination he decided it was a torn ligament and put her in a cast for 4 weeks. He said he wasn't positive it would solve the problem. He said it could be the shoulder slipping in and out which would cause her to need an operation but the xrays showed no sign of this.
Yesterday her cast came off and her leg has atrophied. He says this will come back with excercise. One hour after she was home we had her on a short leash on the tile floor and her leg slipped out to the side and she yelped. She seems OK on the carpet or outside.
Has anyone ever heard of this problem? Any advise is welcome.

From a very sad new mother

19th July 2006, 04:47 PM
Boy, that doesn't sound good at all! It's hard to imagine that the Ortho didn't know what was causing Maggie's trouble. Seems like she went through an awfully lot of "treatment" to still have the same issue. Where are you located? Perhaps someone on the board might have a suggestion as to whom else you could consult. I'm so sorry for you and Maggie. Keep us posted on any developments. We'll be thinking of you. :hug:


19th July 2006, 04:59 PM
Ewww. Scary! Especially since the vet treated her for something he wasnt sure of, and the threatment requires recovery time!!

If she's only a few months old, is it possible that she's simply slipping on the fur between her pads and yelping because she's startled?? I know if I dont keep Cedar's fur trimmed, she'll slide on our tile and wood floors. It might explain why the vets didnt really find anything.

The yelping is certainly a vocalization no one likes to hear. I hope the issue is resolved soon!

19th July 2006, 05:03 PM
Thank you for your concern. I live in Port Charlotte Florida and travelled an hour south to take her to a specialist orthopedic surgeon in Estero. If anyone knows someone really good in Venice or Sarasota area, that would help. Do any of you know a board where I can get help from an orthopedic vet online? I feel desparate to help her.

Cathy Moon
19th July 2006, 05:47 PM
I agree with Moviedust that this problem could be helped by trimming the hair between your pup's foot pads. I do this all the time on my cavs, since India had to have knee surgery due to torn cartilage. Plus Geordie plays agility, and I don't want him to slip on the equipment.

At Pet Supplies Plus, near the cash registers, they sell tiny battery operated trimmers, they look like clippers. You can use just the metal blades without the little black plastic attachments to trim around the pads. You must keep the clippers brushed and oiled, or they will not work well, I brush and oil mine after each footpad! I trim all 3 pups footpads every time I trim nails. You'll probably need someone to hold the pup while you trim.

Also, there is a spray I have called 'Show Slip' or something like that (I'm at work so cannot check) but I have sprayed Geordie's feet with this if he has to go on agility equipment that does not have a proper rough surface. I bought the can of spray at a dog show - it's to prevent show dogs from slipping.

One more thing would be to put down throw rugs with those rubbery nonskid things on the slippery floors so your dog is not at peril of injuring herself worse!

19th July 2006, 05:50 PM
Have you noticed anything else...... like sensitive shoulders?

Is she comfortable with you handling her around the neck area? or is she uncomfortable? is she wearing a collar and is she happy with it on her?

If you have had x-rays and this amount of treatment and nothing has been found I think I would be wanting to look a little deeper.

Alison, wilts, U.K.

19th July 2006, 06:30 PM
I will try trimming her paws and using that spray. She is not sensitive at all to touch. I did think at first her shoulder was dislocated because of angle at which she holds it out after she slips but as I said xrays show nothing. She can be walking or running perfectly and then all of a sudden....yelp. Thanks all of you for trying to help.


20th July 2006, 01:08 AM
I'd doubt this is due to a paw being slippy due to hair as it sounds like the whole leg is going out at an awkward angle? And that she is experiencing enough pain to cause the yelp, which wouldn't be normal if it is just a bit of slipping around.

I'd recommend getting a referral asap to a neurologist as this sounds potentially like a weak limb -- which can be from a neurological cause -- and this would not be picked up on X-ray. A neuro can do a gentle basic exam that will explain very quickly if there's likely a neurological cause, and if so, you can get advice on what to do next. If the neuro doesn't think this is a cause, then you'll have eliminated another possibility and can continue your search for the cause.

Both syringomyelia and PSOM (glue ear in dogs) can cause weak limbs and neurological affects. Hydrocephalus can as well. Or it could be other minor things. It would be good to have those checked. Also it might be good to check the episodic falling syndrome website just to make sure that what you are describing isn't closer to this condition? It doesn't sound like it but sometimes it is easier to check your experience against what others are describing:


20th July 2006, 07:06 AM
Thanks Karlin for the SM reference in your post, I'm very nervous about using it but it was a thought of mine as well, hence asking the questions etc.

I saw limb weakness in my much younger ones but I didn't want to raise it incase I get people over worried.
I know many will think I always look at that problem within the breed first.....but with it being so widespread then I think that it is sensible to do so, it can then be put at the back of the owners mind.

Yes my thoughts are also to see a neurologist.

Alison, wilts, U.K.

20th July 2006, 11:59 AM
I understand your caution, Alison.

It's always a difficult point -- people shouldn't worry about something BEFORE they know whether they have anything to worry about -- but at the same time I think it's important for people to understand the possibilities, the reasons why another specialist may not see anything, and to get to a specialist who can either help a dog, or give an all-clear on these potentially serious health issues.

Steroids can cover the symptoms and make it appear a dog has recovered or improved from neurological problems -- which then recur as soon as the dog is off the steroids, and in the meantime, the dog may have continued to decline medically, which is something none of us want.

So my advice is for anyone faced with a baffling health issue, to take the steps that give you and your cavalier the most options -- which is by trying to find the cause of the problem rather than treat the affect. Unfortunately limb weakness or uncoordination is generally the sign of something that needs further investigating and even more so if an orthopedist has eliminated bone or joint problems like dysplasia or patellas.

My goalis never to unnecessarily scare people (tough this is difficult when we are talking about some potentially serious problems), but help folks find the most appropriate place to go to -- hopefully -- remove potential coonditions from the suspects list and find the actual cause. :thmbsup:

20th July 2006, 11:57 PM
I've only just seen this thread but the first thing I thought of was SM - the reason being that Maxx's one leg used to slip out sometimes too and he'd yelp.

Maggiesmom I think I'd try and get a Neurologist referral too - if it is SM it's not a death sentence. Maxx is only on Frusemide and copes just fine :)

Please let us know how you get on :flwr: