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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Poppy suddenly started limping around lunchtime today. Right hind leg, no previous history of lameness, no sign of injury, paw fine, no noticeable heat or swelling anywhere, just not weight bearing. She lets me bend and extend the leg with no signs of pain, and I cannot match the symptoms to anything major like an ACL rupture. It could just possibly be a luxating patella, although she has never shown any signs. Her foot placement is fine and she is not showing any signs of back pain. She let me massage the leg, thigh and her lower back and asked for more when I stopped.

Normally it would be a case of a dose of metacam and wait 24 hours before phoning the vet if there were no improvement, but she can't have metacam because of her liver disease, so for now I am just resting her. She gets quite bouncy at the prospect of food or a treat, but is stumbling and unstable. I have seen her like this once before many years ago: she suddenly couldn't/wouldn't stand, I rushed her to the vet who found very little but prescribed rest and metacam, and by next day Poppy was back to normal.

I suspect a fairly minor strain or sprain and am following the generic advice for all these types of injuries (rest, minimal walking, no jumping, no stairs or steps), but any further advice anyone has would be gratefully received, especially on recognising a slipped knee cap. Poor Poppy - she really doesn't need another set back.
 

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Aw Poppy. :( Wish I could offer some advice, but I’ve never had any luck getting orthopedic injuries diagnosed in my limping dogs.

One thing I’d rule out is anything related to her paw. Do you have a headlamp or bright flashlight? I found a splintered nail on Peggy the other day, and the piece splitting off was as fine as a strand of hair....but very sharp. I would never have seen it without my headlamp, and it easily could have ended up causing pain between her toes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have felt her paw very thoroughly, and she didn't turn a hair, so I don't think it is that, but I will check again after her supper. She is very stoical about pain - when the vet examines her he spots tiny tells that I would miss, well as I know her. Sophy on the other hand throws a full operatic screaming fit if she thinks something might hurt, while also demanding that I hold her and make it better.

She is snoozing comfortably at the moment, I think an early night with a lead on her so I can prevent her jumping down, and if necessary I'll call the 24 hour vet in the morning for advice. They mentioned paracetamol when I asked about possible pain relief in the Spring, but I would be concerned about getting the dosage, even using Calpol. And much as I hate seeing her in pain if the discomfort keeps her from overdoing things it may not be a bad thing.
 

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Poor girl! Do you have any sort of weather front moving in that might make normal aches feel worse?
 

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I'm sorry to hear Poppy had a lame day. The only thing I can think of trying is rotating warm then cold compresses to that leg and lower back. Do you have any physical therapists on speed dial? You might get some information there, and of course the vet when you are able. Best wishes to you and Poppy.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I considered ice, but there doesn't seem to be any noticeable swelling or inflammation and I don't want to risk giving her a chill as well!

If necessary I will make her an appointment with the osteopath who is so helpful with Sophy's back. I feel for her - if it is anything like as painful as my knee was 18 months ago I absolutely understand her not wanting to walk on it.

She has been out for a pee, lifted over the step both ways, and enjoyed her supper, so next thing is bed - best place for all of us, I think, even if it is not yet 9pm!
 

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I hope Poppy is feeling better, if not I would ring the vet. They might be able to give her Gabapentin for the pain, until then as suggested alternating cold and heat
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That is a thought, Twyla - I think I have some gabapentin left from when I tried it for Pippin and it is probably the right sort of dose. If she is still sore in the morning I will call the vets and ask them, although I suspect they will want to see her before clearing any drugs, more particularly because of the liver issues. So many things are contraindicated because of that.
 

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I’ve posted before about a sprain. The vet was very serious about restricted activity, he prescribed an anti inflammatory as well. A PF member with performance poodles had a ten day policy of restricted activity if a dog was limping. My vet said a week for Buck. Hope Poppy has a quiet week and is back to sure footed very soon.
 

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(((Hugs))) I hope this is temporary and she’s feeling normal soon.
 
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Hope she'll be showing improvement in the morning.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
She's still not putting any weight on it, but is happy and bouncy and hungry so does not seem to be in severe pain. I am being scrupulous about rest - nothing more than a few yards on a level surface to toilet or eat. I'll phone the vets a little later for advice, to give them a chance to clear the morning's dire emergencies, and make an appointment for tomorrow.
 
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Hoping to hear later today that this will be a quick and easy recovery. These mystery ailments are simply no fun.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Vet agrees not to give her any medication at this stage - if she is in considerable pain there is a safe injectable pain killer they can offer. Meanwhile the Prednidale she is already on is both anti inflammatory and pain relieving, just as I thought. All the online bookable slot for tomorrow are already taken, but they will fit me in as an emergency if I phone first thing. Very reassuring to talk to someone I know, and who knows the background, and to know I am doing all the right things! I really cannot praise my vets enough.

Poppy has just been out for a poo (a really good one - small celebration!), and doesn't seem particularly worried by the leg - even when she attempted standing on her hind legs and fell over while I prepared her breakfast she simply tried again, this time using the cooker for support!

There is a band of wild and wintery weather due to hit us this week, so we have chosen a good time to have to stay close to home!
 

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Your veterinary team sounds wonderful.

How strange that Poppy’s leg doesn’t seem to be causing her pain, but she’s still favouring it. I wonder if it’s numb or tingly? Putting pressure on it might increase the pins & needles sensation. Or maybe it’s feeling weak?

Whatever it is, time to hunker down and get cozy in preparation for your winter weather! I hear poodles make excellent lap warmers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Poppy is very stoic when it comes to pain, and the Prednidale is probably controlling the worst of it. But I also wondered if it is a more feeling of weakness than outright pain, although that would not explain her reluctance to put any weight on the paw. Sciatica can cause pain, numbness and weakness, so it could be a trapped nerve. Fortunately the treatment is much the same for everything - strict rest!
 
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