why is cici limping/hopping?
my major concern is due to her “bad” leg, the one she had three surgeries on her femur bone which was broken due to being run over when she was a little over a year old…there seems to be a bump standing out on the joint of that leg… does not appear to hurt her when I touch or move it… she was limping about a month and a half ago after some heavy exercise but it stopped so why now all of a sudden the last few days has she started hopping again????
roommate got home last night, am hoping he will take cici for a long walk
Joints: Any one of the many joints in a dog’s limbs can be the source of enough discomfort to result in a limp. Discounting the multiple joints of the paws, there are three major joints in each limb of a dog. A dog’s front limb consists of the carpus (or wrist), the elbow, and the shoulder. The hind limb includes the tarsus (or ankle), the stifle (or knee), and the hip. Check each of these joints by applying light pressure and then increasing the pressure to moderate. If no discomfort is noted, try gently lifting the limb and slowly duplicate a normal range of motion. By supporting the entire limb, you can examine each joint in isolation and hopefully identify the source of the limp.
Bones: There are approximately 321 bones in a dog’s body. Bruising or fracturing of many of them could cause enough discomfort to result in a limp. Check the leg bones by visual observation first. Look for swelling, bleeding, or other signs of injury or asymmetry. Similar to examining the joints, examine the long bones of the limbs by applying mild to moderate pressure along their entire length. You can verify any suspected irregularity or abnormality by comparing it to the other healthy limb.
Steps for Performing an At-Home Pet Exam
, by Dr. Karen Becker of Mercola.com
Regular at-home physical exams can help you learn what is normal for your pet’s body, and therefore allow you to detect when something is not normal. While it’s still important to take your pet for a professional annual exam at your vet, you can keep watch on your pet’s health in between visits by getting to know what’s normal, and what’s not, for your individual pet.
Perform the exam in a relaxed environment when your pet is not stressed or excited, or after an exercise session or nap (when they are likely to be sleepy and ready to relax). Put them on your lap, start with the tip of their nose and work your way to the tip of the tail.
1. First check the nose for debris and take note of whether it is wet or dry. Your pet’s nose will not always be wet and typically vary from moist to dry throughout the day depending on your pet’s body temperature, activity level and hydration.
2. Then, take a look to see whether there is abnormal eye discharge. For instance, if your cat or dog never gets eye discharge and suddenly has it, it’s a sign that there could be a problem.
3. Next check whether your pet’s pupils are symmetrical and look at the whites of their eyes. Red sclera (the part that is normally white) could mean inflammation of the eyes.
4. If your pet is not accustomed to having its mouth examined, slowly acclimate your pet to facial massages so that you can eventually check their mouth, gums and teeth. When you can, check inside the mouth for lesions, swelling, and bad breath. Their gums should be pink, teeth free of tartar and plaque, their tongue clear and the roof of the mouth clean and free from debris.
5. Next check the jaw line to see if it feels normal. Check the ears for debris, odor and cleanliness. Brush back the hair and look at the skin and coat. Check for excessive flakiness, lumps and bumps on the sides of the spinal cord and evaluate muscle tone and weight.
6. Look at the claws and pads of their feet. There should be no debris between the toes. Check for heat and swelling over your pet’s body and test the range of motion of the joints. Do the joints move freely without resistance or difficulty?
7. Gently palpate their belly to look for lumps and notice if your pet seems to experience discomfort. This is a good time to also gently check both mammary chains (do this for males too). Even if you don’t know the names of all the parts you are touching, if you examine your pet regularly you will begin to know what is normal for your companion. When there are changes, you will notice them quite quickly because you are familiar with the terrain of his or her body. Also examine your pet’s bottom for cleanliness.
Remember, in order for you to know what’s abnormal about your pet, you first need to know what’s normal. Performing regular at-home exams is a simple and very effective way for you to keep a close eye on your pet’s health. You can see a video of this exam at http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2009/11/07/how-to-perform-a-home-physical-exam-on-your-pet.aspx