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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody,
I feel like I might be over analyzing this, or maybe going crazy, but I wanted to get some opinions. My 9 month old puppy has a consistent limp in his right front leg. In addition to this, he is one of the lowest energy GSD's I've ever met, he doesn't eat very much, and he has balance issues.

The balance issue has been present since almost the first day I got him. At first I thought he was just sort of clumsy and would "grow into" his feet. While he has improved somewhat, he still has a habit of swaying, stumbling and is incredibly easy to tip over (courtesy of his adopted sister). The limping presented itself after a few months. It comes and goes, but has recently come back with a vengence.

I've taken him to the vet a few times (and I'm taking him back again tomorrow for full x-rays). The vet agreed that something doesn't look right. She initially gave me medication in case he had some sort of tick-bourne illness (the medicine didn't seem to help) and some pain pills for the limping. She also suggested that Pano was a possibility, and was particularly concerned about his hips. I was advised to wait it out for a little while in case the issues cleared up on their own.

Unfortunately, the issues are not going away and I'm concerned there may be something more serious going on here.

Does anybody have any advice, suggestions, anything? I'm a first time GSD owner and I just don't know what's going on.

Thanks!
 

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What has your breeder said about the issue?

How are the other puppies in the litter getting on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The breeder thinks it's Pano. I was able to show him to her about 2 months ago, and she didn't seem overly concerned--although she did note that his gate was very "swishy" and a little unusual. I haven't contacted her since the last time we went to the vet, because I wanted to have something to report--I know she loves this puppy too and I don't want to worry her without cause

Unfortunately, all of his littermates died when they were under a week or two old, so I have nothing to compare to. The breeder worked like a trojan to keep this little guy alive.
 

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Could be Pano.?..but it also could be a Neurological issue....(why did the litter die?)
My concern would be the "reason" the others died in his litter....and how much "work" it took to keep your youngster alive.
Oxygen, core temperature & blood flow can be deprived from newborns, which is detrimental and can possibly cause issues later in life.
*Opinion....start small...check possibility of Pano. Then do blood panel.....if no real answer presents itself..?!....check with Neurologist.*
Don't freak out....there are several things that all share similar symptoms.
Vets can rule out many things with blood panels, and thorough exams.
jmo
Robin
 

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Hello and Welcome, sorry your boy is having problems, I will be sending positive thoughts that it is not anything serious. :greet:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everybody for the advice and good wishes! My understanding is that the smallest sibling died within the first 24 hours. His other 2 siblings died when the mother got an infection and passed pus in her milk. Apparently, he did not drink enough to become ill--the breeder then bottle fed him, and let him nurse from another female who had given birth to puppies a month or two earlier. This was the dam's first litter.

The breeder took him to the vet multiple times to check for issues--and he was cleared. So I'm just not sure what to think.

Other info that might be useful: I think he must have a fairly high pain tolerance. I accidently snipped his quick a month or so back when I trimmed his nails and he had absolutely NO reaction--he didn't even try to pull his foot away. I didn't even realize that I had hit the quick until I saw a little blood coming from the nail. He does wimper from time to time--but I can't tell if it's pain related, or if he is just vocalizing for some other reason.

He does have periods where he wants to run and sort of frolick, but they never last very long, and he almost always trips over himself, stumbles, or falls. I've just never seen a puppy that is this unsure on his feet. He acts more like an arthritic 9 yr old dog than a 9 month old!
 

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I would get a second opinion for sure. You know what's best for your pup. If you think some thing is wrong and you still feel like your not get answers that make you feel
Comfortable you must keep looking into the matter. My GSD hd pano off and on for a couple months killed me to see him go threw the pain. I would definitely check a neurologist bc if the blance issues. Good luck you are in my prayers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks again everybody. I'll post an update when we get back from the vet tomorrow. Luckily, if I have to consult a specialist, I'm not very far from the UGA vet school.
 

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Thanks again everybody. I'll post an update when we get back from the vet tomorrow. Luckily, if I have to consult a specialist, I'm not very far from the UGA vet school.
;) Yes, I pray all goes well tomorrow at the vet. Please keep us posted. We all wish the best for you both. Please give us details of what the vet says. :D
 

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Truthfully, I'd take him back to the breeders too and have him run with the other GSD's so both you and she can take a look at what's going on .... (and may have more info for the vet too..)
 

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Hoping for good news.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Okay, the vet decided to reschedule the x-rays for Friday so that while he's sedated they can go ahead and neuter him. She did say that he still looks a little too wobbly and that his back leg muscles seem underdeveloped and flat. She's first going to check for signs of pano in the x-ray, then look at his hips, then his elbows, then if everything there looks okay, she'll get an x-ray of his spine.
He's actually lost a few pounds since I last weighed him, so that makes me a little nervous. The vet is thinking the suppressed appetite and low energy is due to pain--but pain from what is the question.
She also did a few tests on his foot--bending it in unusual ways--(which she said were neurological in nature). I couldn't exactly see what she was doing since I was holding him still. She seemed to think that he passed those, or was encouraged at his reactions. My poor guy was shaking like a leaf, so she said it was difficult to tell for sure on the neurological tests.
 

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Hope that you get good news of Friday.
 

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I would wait as well. And be sure to have labs run beforehand, if that is what you decide.
 

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find out what's wrong with your dog before any kind
of operations. your Vet should have told you this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
That is a very good point. To be honest, the vet is the one who suggested it--so I didn't really think anything about it--but it is a strange idea to put him through an operation when he's not at 100%.

I'm starting to wonder if I should consider another vet entirely....
 

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especially when it is an elective surgery.
 
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