View Full Version : Intermittent Limp for 2 weeks

15th October 2011, 03:18 AM
A little over two weeks ago, my 10 month cav, Draper was running toward the couch and he gave out a mild yelp, followed by some smaller yelps. He would limp a little and not about to stand on his hind legs for very long. He seemed to get better after an hour or so. Then when walking him, he would limp intermittently on his hind left leg.

After two weeks, these are the signs I've seen
-It's only his back left leg that limps.
-It's really unpredictable. Most of the day, he runs, jumps, stands on his hind legs find, has lots of energy, and only randomly he will limp.
-When he does limp, he only limps for maybe 10 seconds, before he walks it off.
-He never seems to be in pain.
-He doesn't seem to care when his leg is manipulated (the vet was pretty forceful with it, and he really didn't care).
-The vet said his patellas weren't lose and she couldn't pop them out.
-We had him on Rimadyl for about two weeks, during which the limp improved some.
-He has not gained weight, is eating normally, doesn't seem lethargic, and his mood and demeanor has not changed at all.
-He does get some salmon oil with his food.

Initially I thought it was a sprain. After week with no improvement, he had an x-ray which was normal, no signs of HD, arthritis, patellas where in the right place and there was still cartilage indicating that he is still growing (he's 16 lbs now).

I don't know what to do at this point cause his improved seems to have plateaued.

What's the next step?

15th October 2011, 04:38 AM
Hum, my only ideas would be an injured disk, a pulled muscle, something stuck in his paw, or SM.

Where we live there are lots of mesquite thorns and really sharp grass burs. Pull them out of doggie feet from time to time. They can break off in there and be nearly impossible to see if they are under the skin & hidden by fuzzy feet. Check between the toes really well.

You said he never seems to be in pain but limping and yelping from time to time would indicate pain or sensitivity.

Possibly SM? All 3 of my SM dogs all have leg issues from time to time. Most of the time it's just a limp but on really bad days they can lose there balance. If no other cause can be discovered and it doesn't get better it might be worth checking into. No one wants to think SM but limping could be a sign.

Hopefully someone else will jump in with some more ideas! Hopefully your little guy feels better soon!

26th October 2011, 11:31 AM
It is really difficult when your vet has already had a very close look and can't find any answers for you. If the problem is still there, and is still intermittent, personally I would be looking at 2 things–I would consider having him checked by an orthopedist rather than a vet, because a specialist may well pick up things a vet will not. And 2nd, as noted above, you may need to consider the possibility of syringomyelia (SM). This often would cause limping and may not necessarily be causing pain in the area where he limps or even, initially, anywhere else that event would notice–and a vet may not pick up any other neurological signs that a neurologist will. If they have done in x-ray and have not been able to see anything, then whatever the cause, you probably will not be able to get any clear idea of what is going on without an MRI, if the problem continues.

Most vets are not very familiar with SM and will either not know enough to even consider it as an issue, will misdiagnose, or think it can't be SM based on what they are seeing because they just are not specialists in the area. But it is a very serious and widespread problem in the breed, eventually affecting up to 70% or more of Cavaliers. Most, fortunately, do not seem to end up with symptoms, but there are early-onset cases and those are particularly urgent because you have the most options when caught early and early-onset cases are generally eventually the most severe, so early diagnosis really helps.Hopefully you will find that something else is going on. In your case, I think I would start with requesting a referral to an orthopedist, and if they can't find anything, then I would get her referral to a neurologist if the problem continues.