7 month old girl limping - HELP!

Discussion in 'Bernese Mountain Dog Health Questions' started by Kellyd, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. Kellyd

    Kellyd New Member

    Hi Everyone!

    I have just found this website and would like some reassurance / advice please.

    I have wanted a bernese for approx 10 yrs. I finally felt that the time was right and found a little girl berner in March (Asha). She is now 7 months old and the love of my life. My life literally revolves around her.

    Over the last 2 weeks we have had trouble with her limping on her front legs. Previous to this she has sprained herself when another playful puppy gets too much for her and she tries to jolt away (shes a real scaredy cat!). But in the past her sprain has gone away within a day.

    Anyway, on the 26th July she sprained herself. The following morning, she seemed to be in pain and so we took her to the vets. He gave her metacam for 1 week. She improved within 2 days. After 1 week, we stopped giving her the metacam and i only took her on short walks (100yds!).

    Unfortunately on Saturday, i felt she could take a walk a little further as she had no limping. I took her out for approx 15 minutes. We did also come across another playful puppy, Which Asha was not too pleased about - she is fine as long as they dont jump on her!

    A couple of hours later she started to limp again. I gave her metacam on Saturday, sunday and yesterday. The limp is no better. I have taken her to the vets this morning for x rays.

    I am so worried!!!

    The vet has just called to say the x rays will cost approx £150 (which i really dont care about in the circumstances!) and that he hopes to have her back to us today. I have sent her off with a filled kong and a nylabone.
    I am worried about the anaesthetic and the fact she will probably be cooped up in a small cage.
    The biggest problem being that this not being a sprain and it being elbow dysplsia or fracture.

    Sorry to join you on a sad note. I guess i was looking for shoulder to lean on. xx
  2. bernermom

    bernermom Administrator Staff Member

    Hi and Welcome to Bernertalk. I am sorry too that it has to be under a stressful situation :(.

    I don't know if you have read any of my older posts about our Riley, but he has had his share of vet trips.

    First of all, don't panic and don't think the worst. Easier said than done, I know. I am guilty of that myself. But you you are doing exactly what you need to do for her. I know if is hard to leave her at the vet, but she will be fine there and they can figure out what is going on with her leg. And just think how you can spoil her when she gets home tonight!:)

    One of the many things that Riley has had, was something called panno ( I don't think that is how you spell it, sorry) but it is basically growing pains. I am sure you have noticed how Asha can literally "grow" over night. So just wait ( as hard as it is ) to hear from your vet.

    PLEASE let us know what they say, and how little Asha is doing. I know it is hard when your "baby " doesn't feel good. I am really sorry that you both are having to go through this, but just focus on spoiling her like crazy tonight!

    PS give her a Berner Hug from all of us!

  3. Kellyd

    Kellyd New Member

    Thankyou for the reassurance. It does help to know we're not alone!

    As for the panosteitis..... I came into work this morning and anxiously starting looking at what the limping could be (boss isnt in :)).
    I did come across a post on here (sorry I cant remember the member's name) which resulted in pano. I have gone away an read up on it. I pray this is all it is. At least that way I can manage her pain and I know that she will be fine in the end.

    I will mention this to the vet when he calls. At least then I can rest easy that he has had a prod in that direction and shouldn't misdiagnose something more serious.

    My boyfriend was laughing at me this morning as i was 'packing her off with her lunch box'. As daft as it seems, I wanted to make sure she felt as little stress as possible and had her favourite things around her.

    Thankyou again, Kelly
  4. Kellyd

    Kellyd New Member


    Just as an update....

    I picked Asha up on Tuesday night. She was very groggy and still limping very badly.
    The vet says the good news is that she does not appeared to have fractured anything and she does not have dysplasia of her elbows.

    He says that the cartilage / growth plate on her left shoulder seems to be a little rough compared to her right. He is reluctant to operate and says it may well sort itself out as she continues to grow.

    I am happy with the news at least that it isnt dysplasia.
    She is taking 5 pardale V tablets every day. plus metacam once per day. Her limp does seem to have improved but not disappeared.

    I think i will make today her last day on the pardale and see how this goes. I have read that pardale should only be 5 days medication at the most.

    Fingers crossed! xx
  5. Lucky-Liz

    Lucky-Liz New Member

    Don't worry too much...

    It sounds like your girl may have OCD (Osteochondriotis dessicans), a mostly genetic disorder that can cause thickening and soreness in Berner's elbows and resulting limping. Our girl Shady has this, although for the most part, it has not affected her very happy life. (She is the only pup in her litter to have this disorder). She has had other surgeries (for torn ACL, which may or may not be related to a weakness in her joints) but for the most part, she is a very happy and healthy girl that we just don't "over" walk. She definitely enjoys a hike in the woods once in a while but is satisfied with a slow stroll around the property daily as opposed to needing a 30 or 45 min walk every day. We watch her weight and give her glucosomine and salmon oil supplements daily. If you want more info, ask me. My advice to you is to not exercise your girl too much, watch her weight very carefully , give her some glucosomine and salmon oil supps, and then just enjoy having a laid back dog, something that many dog owners hope for and never get! Berners are the most loving and giving dogs (& incredibly tuned into their master's feelings too!) Also, we have spoken with many other dog owners whose dogs suffered with OCD and the dogs mostly lived relatively long and happy lives so go ahead and enjoy your wonderful girl!
  6. aey1604

    aey1604 New Member

    Hi there

    Really sorry to hear about the problems you have had with your new Bernese.

    Our last Bernese (Brodie) had OCD and it sounds similar to Asha's cartilage problem. We were devastated at the time when we were told he had this condition but it wasn't as bad as we had feared. Our vet didn't want to operate on him either as he felt he would hopefully grow out of it and he did. He was on Metacalm and other medication for a few months but then we took him off it and put him on glucosamine and fish oil supplements. He had many happy active years and lived till he was almost 10 years old!

    I would definitely agree with Lucky Liz about limiting the exercise and watching her weight.

    Our new Berner Ollie has had bouts of lameness too (he's now 10 months old) and he was diagnosed with panosteitis - I think it was my post you probably read on this. He was very lame with this and in a lot of pain for a few days. He's absolutely fine now and is very active (too much so sometimes!)

    I hope that Asha makes a good recovery. If it is OCD then try not to worry too much, she may well grow out of it, and it is good news that she doesn't have elbow dysplasia.

    Will keep my fingers crossed for you!
  7. Kellyd

    Kellyd New Member

    Good Morning!

    Thankyou for your advice. I have tried doing some reading up this morning on this OCD you mention. It does sound very similar.

    Little worrying that all the info i read on the internet tends to be quite negative about this disease and she basically has no hope to escape arthritis???

    I know that i wouldnt love her any less even if she does end up with arthritis but i guess its a little hard to get your head around. Is my puppy broken already? :(

    Anyway, as for the supplements. She is currently 32kg. Do i just buy something from the health shop? I have just looked on Holland & Barrett website. They have capsules which have the following ingredients: 400mg chondroitin, 500mg glucosamine, 1.67 manganese & 167mg vit C.

    I am going to the vet tomorrow for check up. She does seem to have improved a great deal over the weekend. The limping has stopped. I am still giving her Metacam. I gave her Pardale V on friday but havent since.

    As for weight control. I feed her on Hills Science dry food. She has 3 meals per day - 200gms each meal. On advice from the breeder i have always fed her 1 tin of sardines per day as well mixed in with her dry food. I havent given her this whilst i havent been exercising her. Do you think continuing to feed sardines every day is good / bad?

    Thankyou very much for all the help.
  8. aey1604

    aey1604 New Member

    Hi again.

    I think OCD can lead to arthritis in later years but I guess it would depend on how severe the OCD is. Our last Berner did develop arthritis when he was older and got a bit stiff but this may have happened anyway. He did have many active years and didn't need anti-inflammatories again until the last year of his life so it certainly turned out a lot better than we had thought. It must be very hard for you to be optimistic about things just now, but try not to worry too much (easier said than done I know!)

    We bought a Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplement on-line called Joint Aid which is specifically for dogs and cats. I found it easier to use this one as it gives you the correct dosage for the weight of your pet. You can get this from a website called HealthyDirect.com. The one you mentioned is probably fine too but I'm sure your vet will be able to advise. I know that most vets sell Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements but you will probably find they are a lot more expensive than elsewhere!

    For fish oil ,we just gave our dog cod liver oil capsules that we bought in the supermarket and they seemed to help quite a bit. Someone else has mentioned salmon oil supplements so it might be worth finding out about those too.

    I'm not sure if you're using all these supplements if you would still need to give her tinned sardines. There are also some dried dogs foods which have glucosamine and chondroitin added (I think Hills do one which is a prescription food for dogs with joint problems).

    Hope some of this is helpful. Let us know how you get on and hope the visit to the vets tomorrow goes okay.

    Take care.
  9. Kellyd

    Kellyd New Member

    Thanks for the info everyone,

    I went to the vets last night, Asha will stay on Metacam for 3 weeks. I did also ask the vet about Joint Aid supplements and took a print out from the internet. She agreed that we should try it as it cant do any harm.

    I will order some asap and take a look in the supermarket for fish oil supps.
    If there are any other problems, im sure you'll be the first to know!

    Thanks for the advice and support
    Asha gives her kisses xxx
  10. Lynn

    Lynn New Member

    Hi sorry haven't been around much lately. Ollie our male Bernese had bouts of lameness he is now 3. He is very naughty with the vet and would not let him examine him, he did suggest x-rays and sedation but before that gave us an anti-inflammatory for a week and said if the limp came back it wasn't soft tissue injury and then was for us to decide what to do re: x-rays.

    The limp returned as soon as anti-inflammatories stopped. we did not want to stress him out uneccessarily so I contacted his breeder who suggested forever freedom you can google it to find suppliers. She uses it for her oldies. It has all natural ingredients such as Glucosamine,and natural anti inflammatories and pain relief it is also suitable for humans.

    We started off with the 60mls a day to get it into his system about 6 weeks he is now on the maintenance level of 30ml a day he is now bouncing about and loves his walks although we do not over walk him. He loves 30-50- minutes a day in the warm weather in the colder weather he will probably manage 2 walks a day of roughly the same amount.

    Hope he is well now and you have found something that helps.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009

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