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I have a 4 year old 70 lb. female Border Collie/English Pointer mix. She has been limping on her left rear leg for about thirteen months now. Started out where she would just favor it or hold it up off the floor when she got up from lying down, but after 10-15 min would walk on it normally. It got progressively worse to the point where she was always limping on it. Brought her to the vet a year ago. He manipulated the leg, knee, hip, foot, checked between the pads, trimmed the nails. Couldn't find anything. Took x-rays of the hip, leg, knee, ankle, foot. Nothing. Absolutely no indication on the x-rays of any pathology causing a problem. Put her on Rimadyl. No help. Brought her back to vet several times. Took more x-rays. Still nothing. No clue. Put her on Gabapentin. No help. Brought her to a Veterinary Chiropractor. He manipulated her, made some adjustments, and increased her dosage of Gabapentin. It continues to get worse. Now, she is kind of rolling that leg inward when she walks and almost swings her hips. We used to walk a mile every day. We stopped the daily walks in favor of every-other-day (if she seems to be doing ok) or, mostly, once a week. Without the walks, though, she's gaining a lot of weight (10 lbs in the last year). Vet now wants to refer us to a Neurologist and get an MRI. EXPENSIVE!! We're willing to do it if it will help, but . . . I'm having a hard time justifying the expenditure when he can't even give me a clue about the problem. Any ideas? Please?
 

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Get your xrays and get a second opinion.
usually you can see a soft tissue damage in an xray just by the gaps in the bones.
also you could try a dog chiropractor maybe an alignment would help.
 

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Thanks for the suggestion. We've done that. She's had 4 adjustments but it hasn't helped. Actually, it seemed she was walking a little bit better immediately after, but after a day, it's right back the way it was before.
 

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Sorry to hear you're in this position. My dog had a lameness issue, though not as bad as actually limping, for 1.5-2 years. We tried everything from laser therapy, to lyme disease treatment, to multiple Xrays and PennHip scores, to Adequan injections... We saw maybe five different vets including an orthopedic surgeon we waited weeks to get a consultation with. No results and no improvement. Just about a year ago I finally took him to a chiropractor and he was fixed. The problem: misaligned pelvis. Or so we think! It got better after that so we can all assume.

Is your dog negative for Lyme? The true nature of that is still not consistent but arthritic symptoms are said to be common.
Otherwise, as far as I can tell (and I am NOT a vet, just a regular owner like yourself), the only thing you haven't tried is an MRI, or any number of scans to check the neurological system. They even have one where they inject a dye and take scans... We were about to go that route before we came across the chiropractor. It is EXPENSIVE as heck. I would have exhausted all other options first. But it seems like you're just about there. Best of luck and I hope the problem is found and fixed soon!
 

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I'd just get the opinion of at least one more vet, maybe two or more. Sometimes it just takes a new pair of eyes to see something that's small.
 

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Have you thought of taking all her medical files and x rays and finding an orthopedic specialist for a second opinion.. I have a general vet, and then I have an orthopedic specialist vet.. It was the orthopedic specialist that just by looking at months of vet checks and x rays for some friends of mine pup to realize their pup had growth plate shut down and the one leg had stopped growing to be causing the issues the leg was also turning inward (understand your dog is older and not the same issue). The consultation for review of the current medical records was $60.00. I agree if there is no structure problems going and there is nothing indicating in the blood work then a neurologist would be my next step. I've only needed to get a second opinion once and I am glad I did as the surgery that was suggested for my sammy cross would of done more harm then help him. Sending you good thoughts. Thinking stopping the daily walks is a good idea for now.
 

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oops sorry somehow I totally missed the chiropractic part in your first post >.< It was worth a try though they do really help sometimes.

It seems like you covered a lot of bases. You might not have a choice. What about a university? The university of madison wisconsin. offers lower cost specialized care. they are loaded with all the special equipment and machines. and do a wonderful job. Their prices are not that bad.*(compared to specialists ) I am sure if they do it some other universities would offer the same
 

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oops sorry somehow I totally missed the chiropractic part in your first post >.< It was worth a try though they do really help sometimes.

It seems like you covered a lot of bases. You might not have a choice. What about a university? The university of madison wisconsin. offers lower cost specialized care. they are loaded with all the special equipment and machines. and do a wonderful job. Their prices are not that bad.*(compared to specialists ) I am sure if they do it some other universities would offer the same
This is a really good suggestion because they would be knowlegable in many different areas and they do care about giving you the best care. It's not just students there , they are learning from specialist in their feilds
 

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and they specialize in weird cases. When we get a case at our clinic and we can't figure it out we send them to the university because they have access to so much information and knowledge
 

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Get a Lyme diesease test. Lyme can cause random pain/lameness.
 

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Definitely check for tickborne diseases if you haven't yet. I'd see if there's a veterinary orthopedist within a reasonable distance and have them check her out, look at her x-rays, etc... A consult will be cheaper than an MRI, and would at least rule out some stuff before you go for super expensive testing.
 

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Hi Victor. Try swimming. Find a canine hydrotherapy centre and swim your dog twice a week. In the water, instinct takes over, and the dog will start using the back legs. Slowly (within two or three swims) you'll find your dog will starting using the back leg on land. Also walk your dog on a dog harness which has handles at the front. By lifting the front end lightly, the dog is forced to slowly us both back legs.

My suggestion would be to take your dog swimming twice a week and go for small 5 minute walks three to four times a day and slowly increase this over the next few weeks. The thing is your dogs been limping some time now, you have nothing to loose doing what im suggesting. I think you will start seeing some great improvements within three weeks.

A great front end harness is the Dogaids 'GenX' dog harness which is sold in the UK but shipped worldwide. Their website is dogaids.com. Ive been doing canine hydrotherapy for some 10 to 11 years now and this sort of thing happens. If i have to mark a problem from 1 to 10 with 9 being a spinal injury and 10 being CDRM or DM, i would have classed this as a 2. It's really easy to sort out with swimming. Good Luck
 

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Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions. We live in Michigan and our Veterinary Chiropractor has suggested getting a referral from our regular vet to bring her to the Michigan State University School of Veterinary Medicine. He says they are excellent at this sort of thing and the treatment is world-class. He said it would be best if our regular vet made the referral because they have all her records/x-rays and such. So, at this point, we're thinking we're going to try to get in there. Thank you, again.
 
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