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DR.J, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 229
Experience:  Hello , i'm James DVM MRCVS and I would love to help.
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My dog is a male, un-neutered Springer Spaniel, he is 20 months

Customer Question

My dog is a male, un-neutered Springer Spaniel, he is 20 months old. He has deformed "Queen Anne" legs at the front. He was probably born this way. His rear legs are normal. This morning I let him off the lead at the park and he went in the river after some ducks. He was swimming against the current which was so strong that he was not getting anywhere, but just treading water. This went on for about five minutes until he eventually came back to my whistle. He has seemed fine all day but this evening he would not go on his walk, but after a short distance hanged back and had to be brought in again. I wondered if he had strained his deformed joints so I tried to feel them and stroke them and this made him growl and bare his teeth at me. He is a dog who never normally growls at me like this. Can you give me some advice, please, about how I should look after his front joints? Is there any supplement that would help? Should I limit his runs? He normally has about an hour off the lead every day, and another short on-lead walk in the evening. Is this too much? He does not normally seem tired out after the hour off-lead but has plenty of energy left. Should I keep him out of water? He does really love to swim, and to chase ducks although (fortunately) he never catches one.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  DR.J replied 4 years ago.
Hi , I'm James DVM MRCVS and would love to help you with your problem
Moss Seems like a happy little guy and unfortunately his deformity is congenital as you well mentioned.
You mentioned as well that moss has his routine walk which he does every day including off and on lead walks .
As I understood he never shows sings of lameness or discomfort and today of all days he did.

I just wish to ask you something first .
1. is he otherwise doing well . acting normally as well?
2. so his joints feel warmer then normal , are they swollen ?
3. is he lame when he walks at all

Awaiting you reply

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes he is acting normally, ate his food OK. His joints do not feel warm. They are not swollen. He is not lame at all when he walks. He has never been lame in the past, but this was an extra long swim he had today.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm sorry, I typed my email address in wrongly and had to change it and reactivate my account. my email is [email protected] but it said that email was already registered, so I used another one : [email protected] Now I seem to have lost contact with you

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Did you get my reply OK?

Expert:  DR.J replied 4 years ago.
I have and I'm in the process of writing you back :)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK, thank you!

Expert:  DR.J replied 4 years ago.
So You mentioned a number of things which make me think that it’s not surely Moss’s joints which are the problem but then again I cannot rule it out as well.
When a dog acts aggressively towards his owner , there are three main options
1. The dog is in such pain that all his loyalty comes second to his need of self-preservation . But that requires very severe pain and a weak bond with the owner. You have mentioned Moss’s deformed limbs with which he was born . could it be that his limbs are that painful or could it be that something else in his body is very painful up to that point if impossibility to cope with ? that is something that would require you vet to give him a full physical exam and find out what is causing poor Moss to act the way that he does and administer pain relief which can help take the pain away.
2. Being frightened and distrusting with the owner , learning from former events . I don’t believe this to be the cause as you are a caring owner to your dog.
3. Behavioural altering conditions . this is another possibly , which means that it’s Moss’s behaviour which has changed primarily as a result of direct effect on the brain. There are many disease and conditions which can lead to such an even and I shall name a few:
a. Neurological toxin. Some poisons have neurological effect
b. Porto – systemic shunt . a disease related to the liver , can be at times found in young dogs which has toxic effect on the brain – causing behavioural changes
c. Kidney disease (some can be congenital)
d. Congenital –degenerative brain disease
These as well would require a very basic blood test for starter in which you vet can help.
In answer to your walk schedule and should it be changed , Moss is a young dog and seems to enjoy his walk greatly . before limiting his walked I would diagnose the joints as the problematic factor and then would consider reducing his walks if need be , but not by much.
Swimming is by far the best sport a dog with any type of joint or skeletal disease can have. It takes the load of the joints and allows healthy muscle development and maintenance which is very important , so on that end I would not deny him of his swim time , if anything I would encourage it.
In regards to supplement – you can always add glucosamine tablets which would assist in slowing down any future joint disease. They should be given as a life long additive to the diet.
And lastly a good diet – that is an essential thing in joint and body health. A healthy nourishes diet which would give Moss all the stuff he needs while maintain good weight (heavy weight is very bad for dogs suffering from such conditions)
Expert:  DR.J replied 4 years ago.
Sorry for the time it took me , my computer just suddenly collapsed and I need to turn to a different one and write my answer again.

Please let me know if you have nay more questions and I hope this helped you in your question.
Expert:  DR.J replied 4 years ago.
Hi there .

Just wanted to check on Moss and how is he doing ?