We own two (2) almost 1 year old bassets, Phoebe and Reginald, we've had in our care since 4 weeks with one of them (Phoebe, per post title) having a occasional and when noticeable limp in her right front shoulder/leg that, given her young age and no traumatic events, we're trying to better understand the case of and treat. What do you all think?
Here are points to consider (hopefully you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing!):
- Although exact start date of the limp is unknown, it was early enough that we brought it up with the vet during one of their initial vaccines. I don't think x-rays were taken, but we do recall the vet not being overly concerned. They didn't pinpoint a most probable cause, but the take away was that it wasn't out of the question Phoebe's legs . joints, growth may have created a situation where one leg was longer than the other. The fact she was and continues to be active (i.e., your initial impression would not be of a dog in any pain or be concerned at all) put us at ease.
- She's been going to doggie daycare ~2 days per week for last month and the folks there have not mentioned anything about a limp
- She can be quite rambunctious and play "hard" with her brother, Reginald. My wife was so surprised at the level of horseplay she reached out to the breeder to ask if it was normal (it was) and couldn't help herself intervening if things got snarly.
- She walks.... well enough. : S Sometimes it's like walking a self-propelled vacuum cleaner. Other times it's like pulling a boulder. It's not unusual for my wife to hand me both, me tight-leash them and let the choke-chains communicate I mean business wrt them walking beside me. Two dog training is quite the task!
- I lovingly call her "the fat one" and Reggie "the long one" n/w they are both 45 lbs-ish and per our Vet providing a puppy weight chart/tracker, are both right in the 50th percentile for weight at their weeks' of age.
- She sleeps on a padded bed on a hardwood floor in a pen with her brother and has since she came to us.
- She's on no medication and is up to date with all her shots.
- I haven't asked the breeder if any genetic issues with the mother or father, but plan on asking.
- I've had one other basset, Sally, who lived to 13-14 (she was a rescue I adopted at 2 years approx.), was just as active and was put down due to a distended abdomen caused by fluid build up from cancer. But she also mid-life (9 years old or so) suffered a traumatic injury (accidentally closed a heavy door on her) that she wasn't able to use her hind legs for a month. She eventually did recover from rest, a change in routine and vet-proscribed Traumadol (?) and another grog-inducing med to keep her suddued (i.e., prevent jumping on/off couch). She was a trooper - even the vet was impressed by the recovery.
- We do not have pet insurance, h/e I'm wondering now if getting it would be a good idea (i.e., forced savings plan for future issues if it turns out this is more a drawn out degenerative thing where lifelong pain meds + modified environment are required so she's not in pain).
Those are the major insights and observations I can offer, h/e I'm happy to provide more information if requested.
So what do you folks think and recommend as progressive response-actions?
Here are what I think are common options (typical of every dog owner I imagine and how I often approached issues for my previous Basset, Sally). I wrote them from a "motivation behind each / what each conveys in terms of overall intent and approach:
A. Do nothing.
So, the idea that this is just sore joints from too much play or sleeping funny, with some rest she should be fine. Don't make mountains over something that is fairly normal sounding; bassethounds were bred for "hounding" and purusing ground game through all sorts of obstacle-course like terrain. Trust genetics are sound and unless something above doesn't sound right.
B. Let rest, but monitor, observe & attempt to address/remove causes:
Assume and hope for the best, but look to identify and remove possible problem areas that through repetition she is overly stressing her joints. Attempt to limit rough housing with Reggie through intervention and taking turns being inside and outside during high energy times / take more but shorter and slower walks.
C. Go See a Vet
. Active, good weight, otherwise healthy 1 year old Bassets without evidence of any specific trauma or obvious source of soreness should simply not be displaying this kind of limp
. Hurting themselves is one thing, but a consistent (i.e., more occasional than frequent, not very intense most of the time but still quite noticeable) limp in her front right leg/shoulder is something for a professional to diagnose and suggest how to manage. It's during this time (6 mths to 2 years) that a relatively small intervention and/or even surgery could head off a more acute issue later on. Get an X-ray, get the vet monitoring it, seek professional diagnose. Combine with B above.
Sorry for long post, but TIA for reading and replying!