22 Week Puppy with Swollen Ankle/Limp - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 10-01-2009, 01:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 22 Week Puppy with Swollen Ankle/Limp

Hey all -

So our 22 week old female GSD "Sammy" was out in the yard yesterday morning with our 1.5 year old male GSD. They play together all the time...but I wasn't watching I was eating breakfast, so I dunno if they were playing or not.

But mid-way through eating my breakfast I hear her yelping and screaming bloody murder. I rushed outside and found her alone, limping away from the shed in the back yard (she is still small enough to fit under it...dunno if she was under it that morning).

She wouldnt put any weight on the leg and was hobbling around. I thought maybe it was typicaly GSD drama and comforted her (usually when one of my dogs bumps into something and it hurts, they whine and i pet them and sit with them and they are then back to their usual antics)... In this case, she was still limping 10 minutes later.

So I crated her (as I always do) when I went to work and I came back at lunch and she was still limping, but had developed a very swollen "ankle." By nightfall, it hand't cleared up - and this morning it was still very swollen. So off to the vet.

The vet did x-rays and said its not broken. Then they drew blood to "test for a bacterial infection???" and charged me $150 on top of the $200 for the xray and Metacam.

My question is this - What could they hope to gain (other than my money) by drawing blood from the swollen ankle if the limping and pain was sudden... she has never favored her leg before. Could they be testing for toxins from a bite/sting as well? I've always had good experiences with this vet, but this has me wondering.

All they sent us away with was Metacam and an order to keep her as inactive as possible. They are supposed to call with the test results.

Ideas or comments? Thanks.
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 22 Week Puppy with Swollen Ankle/Limp

I don't have any ideas for you, but I sure hope your little girl is OK!
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 22 Week Puppy with Swollen Ankle/Limp

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Quote: Then they drew blood to "test for a bacterial infection???" and charged me $150 on top
If they send the blood out, this is a very normal fee for any blood test: transport often starts at ~ $50 (unless they have a lot of tests sent out, so have a regular clinic call for samples), most labs have a minimum fee of $50 etc
Call your vet back & ask why he felt a blood draw for bacterial infection was an appropriate action given the acute state of the injury ... ask which tests will be run & what lab is doing the testing - nothing wrong with asking these questions

Hope your pup feels better soon
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 22 Week Puppy with Swollen Ankle/Limp

Lyme, other tick diseases, Valley Fever.....lots of different possibilities.

Hope she hasn't had the lyme vaccine recently....

Keep us posted, be sure to get actual copies of all the test that they run!
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 22 Week Puppy with Swollen Ankle/Limp

Maybe a scorpion sting or spider bite?? If she goes under the shed, who knows what may be lurking under there?? I would not suspect valley fever at her age and the suddeness of the swelling and pain. Hate to say that vets seem to be routinely drawing blood these days, for anything and everything!! You should have questioned it before they did it to get a better explanation as to the point of it.
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 22 Week Puppy with Swollen Ankle/Limp

Good call about the suddeness.....
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 22 Week Puppy with Swollen Ankle/Limp

***UPDATE***

Well, the bite happened Wednesday morning. Its now Sunday night. Her ankle is still swollen and she is still favoring it, though not as much. Up through last night, when she would put her foot down to walk on it when she "forgot?" she would yelp very very loudly.

Today, she seems to be doing better on it, but is still limping and sometimes picking the whole foot up (still). The swelling has reduced some, but is still quite noticable.

The vet called Friday afternoon to tell us that the "joint fluid tests" (I wasnt the one at the vet...was told it was blood...it was joint) came back normal except for a bit of blood in the fluid. The vet was a bit lost as to the cause and feels it was caused by A) Trauma B) Tick related C) A bite of some kind.

I think we can rule out a bug bite...its been 5 days since it happened. Bark scropion stings (I have bark scorpions in the neighborhood) dont cause swelling. And a spider bite would have caused necrosis, of which there is none.

That leaves tick related illness (but she hasnt shown any sign of fever or general illness) and trauma (which seems most likely).

We continue to monitor her and I'm hoping she will show even greater improvement in the morning. If not - it may be back to the vet for more tests/ideas/drugs/godknowswhat.

Thanks for your input...Hoping she is "back on her feet" soon. We are missing puppy class since the poor thing cant walk right.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 22 Week Puppy with Swollen Ankle/Limp

Do ask specifically what tests were run, and get a copy of the reports. Also get a copy of the report from the joint tap.

If any tick tests were run, find out the exact names of the tests and the exact results.

At this point, particularly if tests were run, I would run a trial of doxycyline, the abx (antibiotic) used for most tick diseases. You do not need to see any other symptoms, including fever, for this to be tick related. I would strongly consider having a tick panel run through Protatek, since they specialize in tick stuff.

No lyme vaccine, right?
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 22 Week Puppy with Swollen Ankle/Limp

Still very swollen, but she is more active today than she has been - I saw her chasing a bird in the yard when i put her out to clean her crate this morning... Thats another thing... She keeps pooping in her crate at night. Ugh.

She just wont go when she is outside and i think its because of her ankle. She just lays around, even when I wait 20 or 30 minutes with her, off leash in the backyard. Then she must get overcome with "need" and goes in the crate. And of course she has to walk/lie in it after she goes. >.<

Anywho - the foot is still swollen. My other half wont consent to a vet visit today so its back to waiting. Maybe I'll try and get some pictures to post to compare one leg to the other.
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 22 Week Puppy with Swollen Ankle/Limp

I personally wouldn't allow a dog wth a swollen ankle to chase birds or anything else since it could possibly cause more damage to the area.

It sounds like it might be time for another visit to the vet.

Mac had a swollen ankle that just wouldn't get better. Turned out he had a very nasty bone infection that took months of clindamicin to clear up.
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