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I'm just interested in getting people's thoughts on this. My 8 year old Border Collie male has had clicky joints since he was 5 1/2 months old. I was very alarmed at first although his joints click only rarely and it's been difficult to determine what exactly is clicking. When I first noticed it I had two different vets go over his legs, flexing and extending different joints and neither could get anything to click. Radiographs (done awake) of hips and bilteral hocks showed nothing. He was neutered at 8 1/2 months.

I have had him on Glyco-Flex I until last year when I switched him to Glyco-Flex II. He is never lame. He is very active, runs, hikes, plays frisbee,does obedience, but I limit agility and he hasn't competed.

At one point I was at a working dog conformation seminar and a Veterinarian who specializes in orthopedics squeezed a distal femur and he screamed bloody murder. That vet promptly announced he had pano (he was five years old at the time.) I work for a vet and when she did the same thing (squeezed distal femur) he didn't even twitch. We did another set of radiographs and nothing. No sign of pano.

At 8 years of age he is maybe a bit stiff. Maybe. Hard to tell as he is so active and high drive. Occasionally I go over his legs and have gotten his hocks to click on occasion and sometimes toes. That is it.

I guess at eight years whatever it is, it is. As he has been a sound dog it is a moot point but any ideas about clicky joints?

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If the dog is not lame and does not have any radiographic signs of bone disease, I'd say there's a chance that what you're hearing could be a ligament snapping as it rubs the joint during motion.

 

Squeezing hard enough can elicit pain in any patient. The ortho vet may have squished a ligament or tendon at the distal femur, and without any muscle covering to absorb the force, that could definitely be painful in a normal dog.

 

Anyway, if the dog isn't lame and you don't see anything on x-rays, I also wouldn't be concerned.

 

My ankle has clicked for over 10 years and my shoulder for nearly 10 years. The ankle had been broken and was in a cast, the shoulder had a rotator cuff injury and was rested. Both of these joints are skeletally sound, but I wonder if they may be a little tighter than normal due to the restrictions of temporary immobilization. Especially the ankle, which was a growth plate fracture. I have a hip that snaps, too, but has not been injured. And as an aside, I've always been super inflexible!

 

Just a theory. Interested in hearing more. I guess dogs could build up gas in their joints and "pop" like people who crack their knuckles. I've experienced dogs click and pop during general physical exams but were asymptomatic. I don't think yours is unique. Glad he's not sore :)

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Pano has more symptoms than sensitive long bones. It made my 6+ month old BC lame for two months - and some days it was painful just to watch her, she was in such distress, not able to touch a leg to the ground, falling off her legs, etc. Others report less severe symptoms but lameness is *always* one of them, AFAIK.

 

Maybe the dog has some patella issues, subluxation, etc. (trick knees is the old term) that are becoming more noticeable as it ages. That makes some sense given what you describe.

 

I dunno - if the dog is not lame ... thank yer lucky stars and count the clicks as reminders of that :)

 

Do let us know if anything firther develops.

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I have a dog (papillon) with luxating patellas and then I used to have a sheltie that clicked when he walked. It was a very different kind of click. The dog with the luxating patellas you can feel it slip in and out when you manipulate her rear legs. A vet can find that very quickly. I never hear a pop when she moves, I just feel it when we're grooming or doing nails, etc.

 

I never figured out what made my sheltie's joints click but it never bothered him in his entire life. He died of old age/Cushing's disease and never had arthritis and was athletic and a fast runner up till close to the end.

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Hey,

Thanks for all the input. The vet I work for did check his knees and the patellas are good.

When I had Logan at the working dog conformation seminar the woman that was holding the seminar said that since my dog is roach backed he had to have bad hips. I've had several sets of hip x-rays done and his hips are fine. Not excellent but good. He is also cow hocked. More so than my other dogs.

Logan screams bloody murder when something frightens him so I did think that perhaps the Orthopedic Vet, since it was a man (Logan likes women) who snuck up behind him and squeezed his legs that maybe his reaction was simply fear/ suprise. The vet did insist that he sees lots of Shelties with pano affecting hind limbs and he recommended putting him on an NSAID for a while. Since Logan has never been lame I didn't see the point.

I myself have had clicky joints all my life. Ankles and knees as a teen and each year another joint joins in!! (Lower back, neck, wrist, elbow and now both hips.) While very active I'm also quite lame at times and extremely inflexible.

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