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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32787
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My springer spaniel is limping on front leg. has been for 2

Customer Question

My springer spaniel is limping on front leg. has been for 2 weeks now vet has given her Rimadyl this doent seem to help? What next?


She doesnt want to stand on the leg but when out for a walk will eventually walk on it. After walking for a short period she walks on it with a limp her head going up and down. Dog eating normally.


What could be the problem how do we cure this?

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with your Springer. If the tincture of time and a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as Rimadyl hasn't helped in over 2 weeks, we need to re-examine and proceed to X-ray both her neck and affected front limb.

Cervical myelopathy (neck spinal cord disorder) is a common cause of front limb lameness and so when she's rechecked by her vet, her neck needs to be hyperflexed and extended as part of palpating (feeling) her neck to see if she's hyperpathic (overly sensitive) which usually suggests intervertebral disk disease (a "slipped disk") in a 6 year old. An X-ray, then, might identify the changes in her cervical spinal column indicative of disk disease and therapy directed toward that disorder could begin - nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs such as Rimadyl or an antiinflammatory dose of a glucocorticosteroid such as prednisone + a muscle relaxant such as diazepam or methocarbamol + a narcotic pain reliever such as tramadol.

If a cervical myelopathy is ruled out, careful palpation of the affected limb might localize the pain causing her lameness and X-rays are then directed toward that affected area. Treatment is then tailored to the findings during palpation and X-rays. Both medical and surgical treatment might be available. I'm sorry that I can't be more specific for you. I, too, would need to carefully palpate your dog and review X-rays.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Michael,

Thank you for your reply, just a little more please, initially about a couple of months ago I noticed a lump probably 15mm tall apear. on the shoulder part of her front leg. The vet took a syringe full of blood from the lump which was sent away for analysis & came back as possibly cancerous.This lump has since dissapeared. Could this have now gone inside her body & be pressing against something.She can hop on 3 legs eventually after walking for a while she will start to walk on the offending paw with her head motioning up and down. When she is out walking she is panting.I have discussed X rays with the vet but this will not reveal if it is a tumour causing the problem. The dogs response to 100mg of Rimadyl /day pain is reduced but not removed completely. She doen't want to lie on the offending side. Her appetite is OK as long as its easy food to eat ham etc not as keen now on her dog meal. The vet has now ruced her daily dose of Rimadyl after 7 days to 50mg / day. I have considered Tramadol but unsure.

Thank you for your previous response & I look forward to your reply.


Kind Regards


Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Thnak you for the additional information. It's far more likely that a cancerous lump as you've described would only increase in size at the original site. It could then metastasize to distant sites but wouldn't disappear on its own at the original site. An X-ray can see tumor - particularly if it involves the bone where both lytic ("eaten away") and proliferative ("growing") bone can appear in cases of bone cancer (osteosarcoma, mainly).

Tramadol is a useful narcotic pain reliever in dogs. Please continue our conversation if you wish.