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caraline

Bunny hopping but x-ray shows no HD

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Hello,

My 7 month old BC pulled/sprained/strained a muscle in his left hip a month of so at the dog park while playing fetch. Initially, he could not walk at all and did not want to be touched. When we took him to the vet, the physical examination showed pain on hip extension. They did an x-ray at that time and the vet said his hips and bone structure looked perfectly normal (no signs of HD), so she ruled it a soft tissue injury. With pain pills and NSAIDS, he was good to go after a couple weeks so we resumed fetch. Now, however, he seems to show a little bit of lameness in his right (opposite of injury) leg. Also, after a few sprints he starts bunny hopping, slightly dragging his right leg and not bringing it forward all the way. Does anyone have any experience with anything like this? Should I seek a second opinion from a vet? Resort to extended rest and see what happens?

 

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Consider an iliopsoas strain/tear. Its very common in young active dogs and difficult for a regular vet to diagnose. X rays will not show it, and my dog did the bunny hop thing when running and trotting (although not walking).

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Welcome!

 

There are a number of different injuries that can result in limping or lack of proper function in the legs - a canine sports medicine veterinarian or orthopedist, or certified canine rehab therapist, should be able to diagnose just what the problem might be with examination, manipulation, and maybe x-rays or other procedures.

 

The iliopsoas muscle (which in humans is a groin muscle) is one that can be very painful when injured and can take some time to recover. If you have access to a certified canine rehab therapist, you might try a consultation with him/her (although you may be required to consult first with a canine sports medicine doctor or orthopedist for diagnosis, depending on practice policies). If so, the therapist can locate the source of the pain and show you how to work with your dog with rest, medication (if needed), and simple physical therapy activities to help him recover.

 

One thing that can happen is that when one leg is hurt and the dog is avoiding using that one leg, it puts a lot of stress and strain on the other leg. Sometimes you can find that the leg you might think is the problem is really the leg that has the secondary problem as it has been stressed by compensating for the original problem on the other leg. This can either be one (for instance) hind leg that is hurting because the other hind leg can't bear its full weight and "responsibility", or it can be the diagonal (for instance) front leg from the injured or hurting hind leg as the dog is compensating by using that front leg abnormally.

 

Good luck with this, and welcome to the forum!

 

PS - You might want to give a location and perhaps someone else can suggest a therapist or veterinarian that can help diagnose and treat the injury if needed.

 

PSS - And at seven months of age, your youngster is really a bit too young for a lot of strenuous and/or high-impact activity like fetch. The growth plates in the pup's legs do not finish their job and fuse until around 15-18 months of age, and lots of repetitive, high-impact, or strenuous activity should be avoided until then. Dog play is another story as the dogs tend to limit their own activity more naturally but even then, you may have to set limits yourself. Remember that mental activity is as important, or more so, for these intelligent dogs as any physical activity. You can overdo the physical activity which is not good for the growing skeleton, and which can produce a dog that requires *a lot* of activity because that's what he has become accustomed to.

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You don't say where you're located, but I'd probably also check for tick diseases, just because of the shifting lameness. It's also possible that your dog injured the right side while overcompensating for the soft tissue injury on the left. So I'd be checking for tick diseases AND go for extended crate rest. Soft tissue injuries can recur very easily, and I have learned from experience that cutting corners on crate rest only results in the injury taking that much longer to heal.

 

J.

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Sounds crazy but I had a dog who was bunny hopping because he had coccidia! We did all kinds of xrays of feet and hips. It wasn't until a week later that he got bad gas and the runs and had to be hospitalized that we realized it was deep abdominal pain that caused the hopping.

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My JRT bunny hopped due to a knee injury that allowed the knee cap to move a little too much. It would catch and she would not be able to bend her leg for a step or two, then it would pop back in place.

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On 10/16/2013 at 2:32 PM, Gideon's girl said:

My JRT bunny hopped due to a knee injury that allowed the knee cap to move a little too much. It would catch and she would not be able to bend her leg for a step or two, then it would pop back in place.

Hello! I know this is years later but how long did it take for your dog to recover? 

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