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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 24443
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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There, My 5 month old German Shepard is limping on his

Customer Question

Hi there,
My 5 month old German Shepard is limping on his front right leg, I've felt up both front legs and can't feel any swelling or any differences between the leg he is good on and the other, there are no tender spots as far as he's told me from yelping when I was comparing left and right leg. But when he limps his toes on his bad leg are much more splayed than on his good leg. I have also thoroughly checked his paws and pads and there appears to be nothing there. Is it something to worry about or has he likely twisted or pulled something?
Thanks
Toby
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.
Toby, we always need to consider simple soft tissue injury such as bruising, sprains, and strains but we mustn't ignore the fact that 5 months of age in our large breed dogs is often when we first notice the common developmental orthopedic diseases in these dogs. They include panosteitis (a spontaneous, self-limiting, painful condition of long bones common in the German shepherd), elbow dysplasia (ununited anconeal process, e.g.), hypertrophic osteodystrophy, and osteochondrosis. There's certainly reason for concern and so while dosing Murphy with aspirin at 20 mg/kg with food twice daily or paracetimol at 15 mg/kg thrice daily is reasonable, I would have Murphy's vet carefully palpate (feel) Murphy's leg and X-ray it from shoulder to toes if you didn't see a positive and lasting response to one of those analgesics within a week. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
That's great thank you. What's odd is he doesn't seem to be in any paint whatsoever. It doesn't limit his ability to run or jump, it's just when he is walking he limps. No yelping or visible signs of being in pain. We will give him some paracetamol for the next week and if no change will book an appointment with his vet.Thank you for your help and quick responseRegardsToby
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.
You're welcome, Toby. Please note that if a dog is lame, pain is assumed to the cause. Numbness is possible instead but that symptom is usually due to a neurologic disorder unlikely to be present in a 5 month old. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience.

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