View Full Version : a small limp

21st May 2007, 01:41 PM
Last night before bedtime, I noticed that Molly limped after sleeping on the couch. (right front leg...she is 9 months old) She quickly worked out of it. (within 5 seconds) Then same thing happened this morning when she was getting up out of her kennel...quickly worked out of it. I told hubby I wanted to take her right in the the vet, but he thinks we should wait because it could just be a strained muscle. I have watched her very carefully this morning and she seems fine once she stretches the leg and walks on it for a few seconds. I read some posts on this exact problem and the advice was to go in to the vet. I am wondering if I will hurt her more if we do as hubby suggested and wait??? He thinks I am overreacting wanting to rush her right to the vet because she is so active and plays rough with Maxwell... I just want to do what is right.

21st May 2007, 01:49 PM
I think you should see the vet if she limps again. Sounds like it could well be a luxating patella and the vet can tell you if that is the case right away.

21st May 2007, 05:27 PM
Thanks Karlin. :flwr: I appreciate you responding to my post. I called my vet and we had a nice long talk. There are quite a few things it could be..... lyme disease, SM, a strain to name a few. Because the limping is so minor right now we're going to wait until Wednesday & keep her quiet. If I see improvement before then, I won't bring her in, BUT if I see her get worse, I will call right away and bring her right in.

:xfngr: hoping that this is nothing major.

21st May 2007, 05:33 PM
A limp at that age is likely to be a pulled muscle or something like patellas; very unlikely to be SM. :thmbsup: It doesn't sound urgent but something to keep an eye on. Let's hope just a pulled muscle!

21st May 2007, 05:43 PM
Lynn, keeping my fingers crossed, too, that it's something minor! :xfngr: good luck keeping her quiet! -Natalie

22nd May 2007, 11:50 AM

Yesterday afternoon after Molly's nap she limped for 20 minutes. (which was MUCH worse than before) So we went to the vet. Her vet gave her a test for lyme disease (to rule it out...it was negative) and then did a physical exam and could find no areas of pain. The vet said that because it was Molly's front leg it could not be patellas. (????? is that right??) Immediately she began thinking it might be SM & talking about me taking Molly for a MRI this week. I said I wanted to wait a week and see if the limp goes away because although she might limp a little, she doesn't seem to be in any pain. No whining, nothing except what looks like a little stiffness. Plus 95% of the time she appears completely normal. She has no other symptoms of SM. I'm not against having her get an MRI, I just want to rule out that maybe she has a pulled muscle before we spend so much money.

I did find it odd that she was not given an xray. The vet said it was because she could not find any area of pain. So, I'm going to try to keep Molly 'quiet' for a while to see if indeed it is a pulled muscle, if the limping will stop with rest. She can have a steroid injection if we feel like she needs it for pain.

I'll read through other posts later today to see if I can find other threads about limping.

I did give my copy of Clair's thesis on SM to my vet because right now, it really is beyond my ability to truly comprehend...the vet was VERY excited about reading it.

22nd May 2007, 10:46 PM
sorry, i don't have any useful info to add but i just wanted to send my wll wishes that its nothign serious. good luck and keep us posted please.

Friday's Mommy
23rd May 2007, 12:47 AM
Lynn, my dog Friday has severe SM. She showed signs before 1 year of age, but I've never seen her limp on her front or back legs. I've talked to people who experienced weakness in their rear legs, but not on the front. I'm by no means an authority on SM and there are others here who are a better authority than I am but I don't know if I would jump into having an MRI done that soon. We did have one on Friday but only after everything else was ruled out. It's an expensive test and because you have to put the dog under general anesthesia I would consider it invasive and not taken lightly. I don't want to discourage you and tell you not to take your vets advice but I would do some research on your own first.

Any symptoms that Friday showed was continuous and didn't go away. Does she scratch? Is she sensitive on her paws or chest or ears to touch? Friday showed these symptoms probably by age 7 months, but no limping. I just hope everything turns out ok!!

23rd May 2007, 06:22 AM
I have no experience with SM so can't help you there. Just wanted to add that it's true that it can't be patellas cause it's the front legs. The front leg is the equivalent of our arms and the joint is like the elbow ie no patellaswhile the back legs are the "legs" and the joints are knees and have patellas.
Anyway I hope she is doing better.

23rd May 2007, 01:47 PM
Thank you ALL who replied!! I appreciate it so very much. :flwr:

This morning after sleeping Molly was careful on her sore leg, limping mildly, and after a short while not limping at all. I think her leg is getting better. :xfngr:

I'm not sure there has been a day since Molly came home with us that I have not been completely grateful for her, but these last few days when the question of could she be dealing with something more than a pulled muscle, makes me truly understand just how much our sweet darling means to me, to us. She just FILLS my heart with joy. I couldn't love her more than I do. She is a gift. (Max too)

23rd May 2007, 04:00 PM
I think I'd insist on an Xray first or ask for a neurology appt but not schedule an MRI until you've met with a neurologist.

Dogs do get both front and hind limb weakness with SM and it can cause limping but no pain. The reason is that the dog just experiences weakness. Leo has this -- he might jump on my lap but has a very poor ability to balance and can just fall over sideways. :yikes:

If the weakness is due to SM it will likely come and go. If it returns (and an xray shows nothing, if done) I would ask for a neurology appt. Not for an MRI immediately but for a consult. A neurologist will test for weakness as well as pain and will know what areas to press for example -- pain isn't always apparent until a neurologist tests the potentially affected areas (eg they will push down hard on flashpoints.They will do other tests as well andthe neurologist will know pretty quickly whether it should be followed by an MRI.

Hopefully it is just a sprain or pulled muscle but it would be odd for there to be no pain with something like that. You could also go see someone with an orthopedic speciality perhaps?

23rd May 2007, 04:04 PM
These are the only two neuros isted for Maine:

Cook, Laurie B. Portland, ME
Potthoff, Alan D. Portland, ME

However none of them are known to have experience with SM. If you go here


you will see states that have someone with SM experience and then can click in to find someone near you (the specific neurologist will be indicated). It is worth going to someone with SM experience if you can. This doesn't mean the Maine neuros don't have experience, just that of a small group of people with affected cavaliers who have seen neurologists and reported that to the site, none have seen either of these people.

23rd May 2007, 04:56 PM
Thank you Karlin! I think I see improvement in her today. (no, actually she has improved...a little more each day) I feel like we should just wait and see if she continues to improve before making an appointment.....would you wait??? If she doesn't improve to 100% then of course I will seek treatment. I am so glad that you brought up the idea of making sure the neurologist has experience with SM. I am not working right now and could drive to Boston (or where the best care in New England is) I hadn't given it one thought that I shouldn't just TRUST who my vet sends us to!!!!! (one of the many reasons why I just LOVE this group.)

thanks so much

24th May 2007, 04:53 PM

No limping this morning, and very little yesterday!!! I am a bit nervous to write this as I don't want to 'jinx' her / us....but I wanted to share the good news!

Happy Day!!!!!!!!