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Thread: Leg stiffness

  1. #1
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    Default Leg stiffness

    Can dogs pull muscles? I feel like everytime Gus comes back from my parents house he walks a bit stiff. They have all hardwood floors and he slides on them constantly chasing the other dog. Gus had his knees and hips checked in November and they were great and he is only a year old. Do you guys think I should take him to the vet again? He isn't limping... he just walks with a stiffness especially after he has been sleeping and slightly bobs his head. He hasn't stopped trying to play with Boomer and he still jumps on the bed every chance he gets???!!!
    Kath

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    That's a hard call withouot really seeing what is going on. It sounds fairly subtle. If you are concerned, I would video this behaviour right after he wakes up -- try to capture it a couple of times, from different angles -- and take that to the vet. Your vet should be able to tell you whether he should be referred on elsewhere. I doubt this has anything to do with hardwood floors or sliding around. Usually a dog wouldn't really be stiff -- not of that age anyway; even my mom's seven year old isn't stiff when she gets up. Is it only when he comes back from your parents or do you think you notice it more then as he's been away and you are seeing him with somewhat fresh eyes?

    A younger dog could I suppose have arthritis just as people do. I'd be wondering about the head bobbing though. That would be a good behaviour to film. It could be nothing, or could be a lot of different things.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  3. #3
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    I have all hardwood floors. Tucker doesn't seem to have any problem with them. In fact, he seems to love them, he gets a good run going and then slides on them, much like a kid would do in stocking feet.

    Just wondering, do you trim his slippers? I do on Tucker, and I think it makes it easier with the wood floors.
    Mum to Tucker, born May 14, 2005

  4. #4
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    I'm thinking you might want to trim the hair between the pads of his feet to help prevent slipping.

    Also, I never allow my cavs to jump off anything that is higher than the sofa. If he sleeps in your bed and it is higher than your sofa, you could always get stairs or a ramp for him.

    I would definitely take him in to have the vet observe his gait and examine him, just in case.
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

  5. #5
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    Yes they can pull muscles. One of my goldies pulled her leg muscle and I took her to the chiropractor and her said to use deep heat or something like that and massage the area twice a day. She is fine now.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cathy Moon
    I'm thinking you might want to trim the hair between the pads of his feet to help prevent slipping.

    Also, I never allow my cavs to jump off anything that is higher than the sofa. If he sleeps in your bed and it is higher than your sofa, you could always get stairs or a ramp for him.

    I would definitely take him in to have the vet observe his gait and examine him, just in case.
    I second everything that Cathy has just said. Yesterday when we saw Mr Targett, a leading Neurologist here, Alison asked him if they saw more problems in the clinic to do with hardwood or laminate flooring & he said no. No more or no less than with carpet.

    This did put my mind at rest as I have wooden, laminate and tiled flooring all through my house (carpet on the stairs) and one rescue I know of, will not rehome to homes with this type of flooring.

    So yes, all I would say is, keep the underpaw hair trimmed and don't let them jump on and off high things (Alison's Ellis, please take note!!!! ), then get the Vet to have a check over him as well.

  7. #7
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    Keeping the hair trimmed is really important for people with wood or tile or linoleum floors. A cavalier that is running and sliding is a cavalier that could break its neck on a wall or otherwise seriously harm itself because it cannot control its balance or stop normally. You want them to be able to grip the ground. If people don't want to do this themselves, groomers will do it. You need a special trimming tool or a round-ended scissors and to do this very cautiously as it is easy to nick the pads. Starting this when they are puppies makes it easier to do as they get older.

    Any dog can pull a muscle and most of the time, as with people, this will heal fairly quickly on its own without ever needing any medical intervention. But it would not be normal for a dog to have a stiff gait at a young age, for any reason, and the head bobbing, to me, would be a concern as that is particularly odd.

    Just in case this is a health issue, it would be wise to capture it on video as obviously, it is going to be very hard to reproduce for a vet if the dog only does this tight when it wakes up. Alternatively, I would just keep an eye on the situation and see if it worsens and g talk to a vet then, if all else seems fine.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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