Non-Hunting GWP with Painful Wrists - Input Please

Post Reply
User avatar
magpie
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:33 pm
Location: Lavaca County, TX

Non-Hunting GWP with Painful Wrists - Input Please

Post by magpie » Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:07 pm

I have a female GWP, Mags, who came to me as a stray 5 years ago. She is about 6 or 7 now. We do not hunt. Several times a week she and our other 3 dogs run on 10 of our acres that is fenced with field wire. The area is heavily wooded. Mags does her own thing while the other dogs pretty much run together. Mags spends her time hunting and digging up gophers, armadillos and possums. Many times most her body is underground as she is digging. When she hunts her movement is more like a fast fast walk than a run. Her front legs move like our other dogs, but her back legs sort of sway together side to side. Most the time she is out I have no idea where she is, although she does brush by me from time to time to check in.

About 2 weeks ago after spending only a couple of hours hunting she came into the house and her front legs appeared stiff when she walked. She had no problem jumping up and off the sofa. I checked her legs and feet over pretty well, I thought, and all seemed fine. In the morning she was fine. This happened several more times then she seemed to be fine.

Last night after being out hunting 4 hours doing who knows what she came into the house, got on the sofa and went to sleep. After my dinner I kept hearing a dog whimpering. I had a hard time at first figuring out which dog was crying. When I figured out it was Mags I checked her out. She showed pain in her face which I thought was strange. I wanted to get her off the sofa and take her outside to do her business then get her to lay down next to the fire. When she jumped down off the sofa she screamed out in pain.

We took her to the vet this morning. He examined all of her legs well and all were fine with the exception of her carpi (wrists). When he moved them and bent them back towards the back of her legs she let out screams. She screamed and tried to bite the vet tech when he stretched her legs out to xray them. She was in extreme pain.

The xray was negative for arthritis. He did a Lymes test and it too was negative. He said she could have Lymes even though the test was negative. Since she was a stray we have no way of knowing if she had a Lymes vaccine.

The vet is assuming she has Lymes and sent me home with 4 weeks of Doxycycline. He said if she is better in 4 days it is probably Lymes and to go ahead and finish the antibiotics. If she is not better in 4 days he gave me a sample of Rimadyl. Either way she will have to be reassessed.

I told him that she runs fine then comes in in pain. He told me that running does not turn the wrists in to where they would hurt, and that she will instinctively not do any activity that will cause her pain. However from what I have read on this forum, a dog like Mags might overlook her pain while on the hunt.

Does her problem sound familiar to anyone here? If so, I would love some input and opinions as to what you might think her problem is. I have never had a dog with arthritis or Lymes. But I have had Lymes and I have arthritis.

Thanks.
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Mahatma Gandhi

User avatar
EastBeast
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:25 pm
Location: Vacationland

Re: Non-Hunting GWP with Painful Wrists - Input Please

Post by EastBeast » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:01 am

Do you think it's digging related? Symptoms fit.

User avatar
jlp8cornell
Rank: 4X Champion
Posts: 664
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:29 pm
Location: Ithaca,NY

Re: Non-Hunting GWP with Painful Wrists - Input Please

Post by jlp8cornell » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:59 am

He told me that running does not turn the wrists in to where they would hurt, and that she will instinctively not do any activity that will cause her pain. However from what I have read on this forum, a dog like Mags might overlook her pain while on the hunt.
Most dogs will do activities that will cause them pain if the drive is high enough.

Don't let her dig. I had to stop one of my dogs from endless digging because she would develop inflammation in her neck after each episode. When they get older, there are just some things they cannot do. Take her on walks, just keep the digging to a minimum. She probably has something like a repetitive sprain- over time she will develop arthritis in that joint if she continues to injure herself.

User avatar
magpie
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:33 pm
Location: Lavaca County, TX

Re: Non-Hunting GWP with Painful Wrists - Input Please

Post by magpie » Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:29 am

Thank you both so much for your replies!

I had wondered about the digging and did ask the vet about it. That is when he told me she instinctively was not going to do anything that hurt her. I live in a Texas county of less than 20,000 people and there is a lot of hunting out here with and without dogs, as well as a lot of working dogs. The vet tech's GSP has free run of the vets clinic and he described his girl's hunting to be like my girl. For these reasons I believed the vet must be right on.

When I got back home, a 45 minute drive since I live in the middle of nowhere, I started googling and reading on Lymes and Arthritis in dogs. I also posted about Mags of my facebook. I have an old friend who was a vet tech and is now in vet school and she suggested I get a second opinion. I found this forum while googling wrist pain in dogs.

Sprains from digging sounds very logical to me, especially since the pain is in both wrists. And overlooking pain due to a strong drive to hunt underground :D sounds very logical to me too. I just do not see how a rural vet in a hunting community could over look both things.

I have had Boxers in my life for 60 years and I feel I am pretty much tuned into the breed. I have had Mags for only 5 years and even though in the house and in the dog yard she and my Boxer's behaviors are very similar; out in the woods they are totally different.

Someone has thrown up the last two nights and I am suspecting it is Mags.

I will get a second opinion later in the month or in January in Houston with my old vet there who I know does have a client with GWPs he hunts with.

Thanks for the input!
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Mahatma Gandhi

User avatar
Sharon
GDF Junkie
Posts: 8271
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 4:46 pm
Location: Ontario,Canada

Re: Non-Hunting GWP with Painful Wrists - Input Please

Post by Sharon » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:18 pm

Too many symptoms to be caused by digging, Continue to see the vet.

http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/inf ... me_disease
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote

User avatar
magpie
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:33 pm
Location: Lavaca County, TX

Re: Non-Hunting GWP with Painful Wrists - Input Please

Post by magpie » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:54 pm

Thanks Sharon.

I am on dial up and it took hours for the link to open, BUT it DID open! Thanks!

I am feeling really confused about all this, but I do remember the confusion and frustration I had going from doctor to doctor when I had Lymes in the 1980s and 1990s. I hold Lymes responsible for many of my current health problems.

I am practicing bending the wrists back on my other dogs so that in a couple of days I can check Mags with ease. I will continue to follow up with the vet as well as get a second opinion.

Thanks All!
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Mahatma Gandhi

User avatar
magpie
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:33 pm
Location: Lavaca County, TX

Update

Post by magpie » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:10 pm

An update.

Not sure Mags is much better. She is stiff when she first gets up in the morning. The stiffness seems to go away after she is up for about 30 minutes.

In my opinion, she does not look well, and of concern to me, she gets up on the sofa or bed around 4:30pm and does not get up to go outside until around 8am in the morning.

I have been massaging her wrists which she seems to like, but so far I have not tried to bend her wrists back close to the back of her legs. When I start to bend them back she looks up at me with a really sad face as if to say, "please mom, don't hurt me."

I was not home all day today and do plan on calling the vet tomorrow.
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Mahatma Gandhi

User avatar
Sharon
GDF Junkie
Posts: 8271
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 4:46 pm
Location: Ontario,Canada

Re: Non-Hunting GWP with Painful Wrists - Input Please

Post by Sharon » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:09 pm

Once they get up to 7/8 arthritis can be a problem. I have a 13 year old with arthritis. Takes a dropper of Metacam and is good to go.
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote

User avatar
jlp8cornell
Rank: 4X Champion
Posts: 664
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:29 pm
Location: Ithaca,NY

Re: Non-Hunting GWP with Painful Wrists - Input Please

Post by jlp8cornell » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:54 pm

Sharon » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:09 pm
Once they get up to 7/8 arthritis can be a problem. I have a 13 year old with arthritis. Takes a dropper of Metacam and is good to go.
My "go to" anti-inflammatory med as well. But...instead of getting it at the vet, ask them to write a script for meloxicam (generic) and fill it at a regular pharmacy. Target, Walmart, etc charge $4 or $10 based on how long the script is for. Incredible deal since Metacam is very expensive.

User avatar
magpie
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:33 pm
Location: Lavaca County, TX

Re: Non-Hunting GWP with Painful Wrists - Input Please

Post by magpie » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:42 pm

Thank you Sharon and jlp8cornell !

Perfect timing too as I am waiting to hear back from the vet.

Mags has always been a really happy dog, a major tail wager, and even smiles on one side of her face or both sides at the same time. She seems happy today. She even got up with the other 3 dogs to heavy paw me and lick my face and hands until they got me out of bed this morning. She went outside without being prompted to do his business. She did not want to go outside with the other dogs to run but eventually decided to.

I know what Lymes did to me and all the health problems that followed.

I have made a list of questions to ask the vet.

I will post after I have talked to the vet.

Thanks to all !
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Mahatma Gandhi

Post Reply