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Naima is about 11 months old now. A few days ago she was doing her favorite thing--playing with her ball and running up and down the stairs, getting her ya-ya's out--while I was making dinner. When she came into the kitchen I noticed she was limping on her front paw, and holding it up a bit. At first she seemed to be in some pain or discomfort; I put her in her crate and she lay down and was kind of holding it up. The next day, however, she was just limping a little and seemed a lot more comfortable.

At this point she's still limping just a bit on walks, but she has no problem running around like a lunatic either. (I posted a while back about her sudden reluctance to jump up onto the bed and and some weird stuff right after a day at daycare, but most of that stuff has subsided--she just refuses to jump onto the bed herself SOMETIMES, and other times jumps right up. There are no more pee/licking issues--that stopped within a couple of hours.)

I have felt up and down her leg multiple times, gently squeezing, checking her paws, etc. She has no reaction, and there doesn't seem to be any swelling or anything.

This Saturday I'm taking her to a mobile clinic to get a Lyme/Heartworm test because when she was found as a puppy she was COVERED with ticks and had been on her own in summer in Florida for some time. I've been debating whether I need to take her to the "real" vet about the leg yet, though. I'll pay what I need to pay for her when it's necessary, but I'd rather not rack up a big vet bill without first ruling out a mere sprain, or possibly Lyme. (With my previous dog, I once ended up paying for a mess of tests that told us absolutely nothing when she was sick, and she ended up just getting well on her own). Obviously if she tests positive for Lyme or Heartworm she's going to the vet ASAP.

In the meantime, I've been keeping her leash walks shorter (how short should I keep them?--usually we go about 2-3 miles, but I've been keeping it to a mile or 1 1/2 miles, and taking it slowly with lots of rest), and TRYING to keep her from being too active in the house (not easy with an 11-month-old Pit-Boxer!).

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I do have Tramadol here, and I know it's OK for dogs because my vet prescribed it for my previous dog, but I'm afraid that painkillers will make Naima even more likely to overdo it. And, again, she doesn't seem to be in that much pain (although I know that dogs can mask pain).
 
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