Bulldog puppy, hind legs weak and battles to get up

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 07:41 PM GMT

Question

Hi There, I have a 5 and a half month old English Bulldog puppy, he is having problems with his hind legs, he seems very weak and battles to get up on them, once up he is fine and can walk but then sits down quite soon after getting up. He's had x-rays and the vet said there was nothing wrong. He gets quite irritated with the legs and often bites them, i thought because there might be a bit of lameness?? I know you said you don't know much about diseases, but could this be signs of Panosteitis, or Osteochondrosis?

Answer

Any time you see lameness in the hind end you suspect three things-1. the hips, and 2. the spine and 3. the long bones or the joints. This dog is awfully young to be developing spine problems, but no one is exempt. For a vet to tell you nothing is wrong with a 5 month old dog that won't stand for long is foolish. When a dog bites at a limb it is normally because that limb hurts. When an older dog with arthritis in its fore legs hurts, it lays there and licks them for hours. You need to have another set of x-rays done to this dog and a different vet evaluate them. The part that concerns me is the 'sitting down quite soon after getting up'. If a dog struggles to stand up, they usually don't like to sit back down unless they are in a lot of pain. I am concerned and you should be also. Get him to another vet and talk to your breeder also. Where the parents of this dog OFA or GDC x-rayed? These are the questions I would be asking. I am not ruling out Panosteitis because that is possible, but the vet should have seen something on an x-ray.

Here is the description for it: Panosteitis is a spontaneous, self-limiting disease of young, rapidly growing, large and giant dogs that primarily affects the diaphyses and metaphyses of long bone. Clinical signs are acute, cyclical, and involve single or multiple bone(s) in dogs 6-16 mo old. Animals are lame, febrile, inappetent, and have palpable long bone pain. Radiography reveals increased multifocal, intramedullary densities and irregular endosteal surfaces along long bones. Therapy is aimed at relieving pain and discomfort; oral NSAID or corticosteroids can be used during periods of illness. Excessive dietary supplementation in young, growing dogs should be avoided.

Osteochondrosis,or Osteochondrosis dissicans, is rarely seen in the hips of dogs. It is seen in horses that way more often. We almost always saw it presented at the shoulder, or scapluar joint. Again, x-rays confirm this diagnosis. The only way you CAN diagnose OCD is by x-ray! So back to the start. You have a problem here that is requiring attention pretty quickly. I am really sorry to see a young pup be in such pain. Please let me know what you find out and how he does.

(p.s.) I didn't say I didn't know much about diseases, I said I can't and won't diagnose them!):-)

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