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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I've been to three vets already, and none of them have any real answers, so I thought I'd see if anyone here has thoughts.

My 9 year old Chesapeake bay retriever Maximo has had significant stiffness in his front right leg since 6/18/17 after an 8 mile hike. His xrays were perfect, and the first vet thought it was probably regular old arthritis. The onset was so sudden though, I don't know that I agree. He has a history of having a slight limp in his right front paw after long hikes, so I assumed it was his wrist that was bothering him and I got him a carpal brace to see if that would help, but it didn't. My other dog is seeing an orthopedic specialist for her ACL tear, and I ran Maximo's symptoms by her. She seems to think it could be a pinched nerve, but I'm looking that up online now and it seems like his symptoms would be more severe. Maybe not though? For various reasons I can't take him to this specialist (she's two hours away, I'm about to have a baby, Maximo isn't great in the car) So I'm here, seeing if I can get a better idea about what this might be before I take him to yet another vet.

We've tried cold laser therapy (VOM), rest, anti-inflammatory supplements, various carpal braces, upping his raw food to 50% of his diet and nothing seems to be working, except maybe the few minutes of acupressure he's gotten from one vet. If Maximo walks very very slowly, the stiffness is not noticeable, but once he picks up his pace at all, the stiffness is very present. He isn't showing any signs of pain except this limp/stiffness, but I would say this stiffness is getting worse instead of better. We did move to a house with stairs, which isn't helping I'm sure, and he did gain a few pounds during his trial rest period (He's maybe 5-7 lbs overweight, weighing in at around 82.) Maximo also has idiopathic epilepsy, and is on pheno and KBR + some TCM herbs. He's been seizure free for 2 years though!

Does anyone have any experience with this kind of mysterious stiffness? Anyone out there with a dog who had a pinched nerve in his shoulder?

Thank you so much!
Annie and Maximo
 

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It could be so many things, really. For a nine year old dog, I wouldn't be surprised if it is just arthritis, or just normal wear and tear of joints. It could be the long hike irritated it, and with the move and stairs and just life it never got a chance to calm back down. We had a big lab/golden that would become very stiff and sore after a long walk in his senior years, and he would typically then spend about 2-3 days just lounging in the sun and napping before he moved very far again. I know you said she's far away, but it may be best for the orthopedic surgeon to actually take a look at it if nothing else is working.

Is there any joint supplements your vet can recommend? Have you tried something like Cosequin or fish oil? Chiropractor? Can you pursue the acupuncture if that offered the dog relief that one time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for your response. That's what's weird--Neither cosequin or tumeric has had any effect. Maybe I'm in denial, but it just seemed to happen so suddenly that I'm still challenging the arthritis diagnosis. I've been scouring the internet, and have found this shoulder condition that seems to match up with his symptoms and his lack of response to anti-inflammatories (Supraspinatus tendinopathy) I think you're right though--I need to just deal with the 2 hour drive and take him to this specialist. If I've got a baby in tow, then I have a baby in tow! Thanks so much for your thoughts!
 

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I've posted my story a bit here but... try a chiropractor?

My dog had unexplained and very slight lameness for almost two years. I went to many different vets and specialists. I did X-rays, antibiotics, cold laser, limited exercise... Nothing worked and no one had an answer. A chiropractor fixed him in two visits. He had a misaligned pelvis, something a radiologist was unable to pick up on. It was insane, like immediate improvement after the adjustment. The next adjustment a week or two later his atlas vertebrae was misaligned and the chiro. said it wasn't uncommon for a major adjustments to cause another major shift somewhere. But after that, he was 100% better. We still went back monthly, then every three months. But she never found anything else out of line beyond the first two. This was maybe 5 years ago, not sure. My dog is 11 now and is slower but has very fluid motion given his age and his size (65-70 lbs). We've been very active and he still has no lameness. You wouldn't be able to tell his age if you saw him today.

Whatever it is and whatever you try, I hope you find a resolution soon! I know how frustrating and debilitating it can be to try so many different things with no results.
 
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