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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About 2 weeks ago I noticed our 7 year old female shepherds front legs split out when she was chasing a ball. I figured it was just a temporary issue and was just a muscle injury. 2 weeks later she still falls just walking with her front legs splitting out and her skinning her chin on the ground either biting it or what not. She gets up and is somewhat shaky but walks normal a few minutes later. She can't play anymore because this is constanly happening. I know she has showed signs of joint problems after standing up after a long time of laying down by limping around until her joints are loose (usually the back legs).

Anyways, does anyone have any idea what this could be? I feel so bad and this time she actually had blood on her chin from falling. We have our yearly vaccine/check up this week and am going to talk to the vet about it. Just thought some knowledgable GS people may have an idea...THANK YOU!
 

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so sorry this is happening to your girl, it surely sounds like something she should have evaluated by a vet, and probably the sooner the better. i don't want to venture a guess about what this could be, but anytime a shepherd has problems with any of their legs giving out, causing any kind of instability, especially one ending in a fall, is a potentially very serious issue.

in the meantime, i'd immediately stop any kind of ball playing or chasing, and be very, very careful with any unsupervised exercise, because any compromise in coordinated mobility could injure her in some other way.

good luck in finding out what this is. i have a 8 year old and a 7 year old. unfortunately this is the beginning of the time that we have to start to worry. take care. welcome to the board, lots of knowledge here.

oh, and probably hold off on the yearly vaccine. can cause difficulties in a dog whose health is already compromised in any way. you might also want to read (on this board and other places on the internet), new thoughts/feelings about yearly vaccinations/boosters.
 

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I have no idea what would be causing that, but I wouldn't have waited the two weeks and I would not wait until her appt this week. Call them and let them know what's going on and get in ASAP.
 

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Get to the vet, this isn't normal.....

Hopefully it's something they can easily fix.
 

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i agree get her in to the vet NOW! This is not normal by any means and as someone else stated, You've entered the time where you SHOULD seriously be concerned. Just found out my precious Zena girl has been diagnosed with degenerative myalpothy on top of the hip dysplacia she already had. My inlaws noticed she was started to get weaker in her rear end and stumble more than usual so they had her checked. She's 6 or 7 years old. I've no ideas on what the weakness could be in your dog, i just know i would be severely concerned. I wouldnt have waited the 2 weeks. Would have gotten it checked after the 2nd or 3rd time. Good luck. Welcome to the forum. Sorry it had to be for a health issue to start but welcome. keep us updated.
 

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Vet, ASAP. The longer you wait, the worse it's most likely going to get. It's obviously not getting better. Her using it might be making it worse, or maybe if it's something like a fracture maybe in her wrist, her body could make it worse by trying to repair itself.
 

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please let us know how your girl is doing...and what her problem has turned out to be. thanks!
 

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I think you heard unanimously that you need to go to a vet immediately. I don't want to alarm you..but earlier this year we got a 12 week old purebred GSD from a breeder. at about 15 weeks, we started noticing the same thing that he would walk and then all of a sudden while taking a sharp turn his front legs would sometimes split. He also started bunny hopping up the stairs. Vet xrayed and told us to head to a specialist as well. It was not good news. Severe hip subluxation (at 15 weeks) and in one hind leg the join was not properly formed. We were devastated. Since the prognosis was not good at all, we ended up returning the puppy to the breeder with a broken heart. Once again..I don;t want to alarm you ..but did want you to understand the gravity and seriousness of the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
we are headed in tomorrow AM-will post an update. the husband doesn't think it is anything serious as she is fine when she is around him all day. i know it is not normal so hopefully the vet can give us some insight tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
so we went to the vet. Nothing overly alarming. The vet said we could do x-rays but she said she was pretty sure it is elbow arthritis in the front legs and arthritis in her back legs or elbow dyspasia. she gave us some omega 3/glucosomine chews-Phycox- and we have to keep her on those for at least 3 months to see if it helps. after that the option would be surgery. we could have done prescribed medication but as she said they have a lot of negative side effects especially on the organs so we didn't do that. On a side note, I asked about the required shots and over vaccinating. apparently they are changing their shots over to every 3 years now instead of every 2 for the distemper plus shot. a lot of studies have been done about over vaccinating and vets are changing their recommendations to make it every 3 years. Many of you probably already know, but it was news to me.

so we shall see how she gets from here, less strenuous activity for her. it is going to be tough for my dutch shepard since she is a lot younger and always wants to play.
 

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So glad you got her in. Swimming in another great way to give her tons of exercise with no impact to the joints. Are you near water? I might post another thread about the diagnosis because I am certain others will have excellent suggestions on supplements to get her feeling better.
 
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