Hi, first time here. Before anyone yells at me -- yes I have an appointment with our vet but it isn't for three days from now. I was just hoping to get some guidance before the visit with the vet.
Our PW Corgi, Teddy Bear, is four years old. He is a large dog at 38 pounds but believe it or not he is not overweight -- every rib is well defined, his abdomen is high and tight and he has a narrow waistline when viewed from above. He's just a big Corgi.
He loves to play fetch with a tennis ball. I'm talking 30 minutes of high speed runs back and forth. He has enormously muscular rear legs.
Recently, I noticed that he is taking an abnormal number of breaks -- and is tired after only a couple of runs. Now, in the morning when he first gets up he is limping very badly. The limping goes away after he starts walking around -- within a minute or so. If he naps during the day when he gets up again the limping has returned.
Also, when he walks (when NOT limping) his right hind leg will sometimes slip out from under him. He "bottoms out" and has to scramble to get up on his rear feet again. And, occasionally (rarely) his front right paw will knuckle under and he will stumble over that front right leg. Sometimes it's the left rear leg that slips out, as well.
No problem at all going up or down our flight of 12 carpeted stairs. Other than limping, no signs of pain or discomfort.
Here are my questions:
1. Limping along with head bobbing up and down is an indication of a problem with a front leg, correct?
2. Once, when he was lying on his side and stretching I heard a loud "crack" from his right shoulder. I also heard a crack once from his right rear hip when I picked him up. Indication of an orthopedic issue, correct?
3. I can't figure out why the rear legs are slipping out. Especially when he seems to have plenty of strength for climbing stairs and also lifting himself up onto his back legs when he wants to check out what I may have in my hand. Given his other symptoms, any ideas why the rear leg would "go out" on him?
I want to be prepared with questions and to understand what might be going on before our doctor's visit next week.
I am not an expert, and not able to address all of your questions, but two things that I have recently experienced came to mind as I read your post. A Luxating Patella issue (rear legs), the knee cap and pop in and out randomly, there are varing degrees of the problem that your vet can diagnose. The other is a Torn ACL (rear leg). My dog's ACL was torn, and I really had no idea, a mild limp, but he didn't seem in pain. A trip to the groomer and a report of him being snippy tipped me off, so off to the vet we went. He had to have surgery for that as well. To test for ACL injuries they generally have to sedate the dog to do a special test. There are several posts on this website that can give you more information about Luxating Patella issues...that's what first brought me here. Good luck!
I will certainly let everyone know the results. Last couple of days Teddy has been doing a lot better...my wife even said maybe we should cancel the appointment with the neurologist. I said no way...we can't be on this roller coaster anymore.
I wanted to let you know what happened today at the neurologist exam. The doctor did a thorough exam of Teddy and felt certain that his condition was a result of an issue with the vertebrae in his neck -- a "pinched nerve" so to speak. Also, Teddy did great when his gait was evaluated and when his paws were flipped over (he righted them immediately) -- all part of the neurological exam. This was in contrast to a month ago when he failed those tests at my local vet's office.
So, the neurologist simply recommended we keep him on anti-inflammatory supplements, keep his activity low-key, keep him off the stairs and wait it out. He thinks Teddy ought to improve given enough time.
If for any reason he gets worse I'll bring him back again -- but based on this doctor's years of experience and having seen hundreds of dogs for this type of issue I'm feeling a lot better now that Teddy is going to most likely be ok.
Thanks again for all the support here, it really helped!
I am glad things are going well for your dog right now. However I would be very concerned based on his breed. Has he been tested for Degenerative Mylopathy (DM)? Corgis are another breed at huge risk for the disease. A lot of that is based on age of course. It normally comes out in dogs 8+, but can strike younger dogs as well.
I am sure your neurologist is aware of the problem in Corgis since they are the #1 breed to have DM. 54% of all Pembroke Welsh Corgis have the both genes and will likely develop it (if the live to old age) and another 40% are carriers.
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Yes, we've certainly been trying to put money second and our dog's health first. Here's the problem with the DNA test for DM, right now:
He's four years old. So if the test comes back clear then I breathe easy, right? But if the test comes back that he's a carrier then for the next 4-5 years (until the typical age that DM begins to present itself) every time he trips, slips, limps, or any other gait issue I'm going to be back to my two hours of sleep routine and coming home from work in the middle of the day to check on him.
You know what I mean? There's nothing about "knowing" if he is a carrier and *might* (not definitely, but might) fall prey to DM sometime in the future that will help me care for him right now. All it will do is put me back in High Anxiety mode.
Not sure if that makes sense...but that's how I see it right now...
Hi there, You had this post about a year ago, how is your Corgi doing now? I have a Cardigan Corgi and he's doing the exact same thing as yours so I'm trying to do my own research before I shell out money at the vet. He's been in twice over the past 6-8 months with some neck issues and is on anti-flammatories now so I'm thinking it may be the same issue as your dog.
Hi, I responded to your PM as well...but will summarize here in case anyone else needs to see this in the future.
Teddy Bear recovered almost 100%. It literally took 6 months. In retrospect and having watched him improve, I'm almost certain the cause of his problems were in his left shoulder. Bone spur...pinched nerve...tendon damage...something. As long as we stay on low-impact activities the limping stays away. By low-impact I don't mean he doesn't run -- he loves to run. We just make sure he doesn't jump, and when he takes off running he has to be on a surface with traction (e.g. not pavement or hard flooring). I try to carry him down stairs as well, I don't want him coming down hard on his front legs.
We have been using Phycox soft-chews as a joint supplement as well.
Hope everything works out for you, I know how tough this can be.