Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

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Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby njmowatt » Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:10 pm

I recently got a young whippet that i think might have bone problems in her legs.
She has a few other health related issues but the one I'm concerned with the most is her leg joints.
We've only had her for a month and a half now and almost as soon as we got her, she started limping (seeming to favor her front right leg) when she went into a moderately fast walking gait.
The limp was not apparent when she was running with our other whippet or when she was walking slow.
We took her for her examination to our regular vet who diagnosed it as a possible sprain and recommended that we stop her activity. We confined her to house play and we did notice less limping after about a week. Even though much less, the limping still persists and we've noticed that the bones just above her pastern joints are very different when we compare the two front legs. The right leg bones seem somewhat splayed just above the joint (can include picture if it helps).

We then made an appointment with a vet who also has about 10 whippets herself just to get her breed expertise and to have x-rays taken of her front legs.
The x-rays did indeed show bone issues, but the vet said that it was possible that the bones might correct themselves as they continue to grow or they might get worse.
Yesterday, we decided to take her on her first walk with our other whippet (2 years) to see how she would do. She did not do very well and I ended up carrying her for the last .25 mile. The total walk was about a mile.

Questions:
1- is 6 months too early to walk this distance?
2- does anyone on the board have any similar experiences with puppies?

I'm very torn here because behaviorally she is very good and very smart - we enjoy her and she enjoys us (especially my other whippet).
However, I would rather return her before I get any more attached than I am (a lot) in favor of a whippet that can grow to be my running partner and my hiking companion.
We got her from a recommended breeder, so I'm assuming that this might not be a problem. It would definitely be more emotionally taxing on us.

I think I need some advice - philosophical or otherwise.

Thank you all

Naim
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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby patchnmike » Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:29 pm

Hi Naim where did she come from? It it was a breeder have you asked the breeder about this? I don't have any expertise in this area so can't really help you but I am curious what her other problems are also. Sounds like she has a lot of problems. Please tell us more. I am hoping this can be resolved in both of your favor.
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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby njmowatt » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:52 pm

The other issues are fairly minor - one of her ears always stand up and she still has her bottom baby canines. My main concern is being able to walk her normally and have her run with me when she gets older. That's why I'm curious at what age should a puppy be able to walk about a mile.
I'm also very interested in hearing from those on the forum who have had to deal with any leg bone problems in whippet puppies.

The breeder is already aware of the limping and the bone issues, but I have not approached her with the notion of an exchange as yet, although given her good reputation - this is not likely to be a problem.

So - at what age should a normal whippet puppy be able to walk a mile??
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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby hiiku02 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:17 pm

I'm not an expert, but I was walking Sigi several miles well before he was 6 months old. We would walk to the dog park, play around for an hour and then walk home. The park was almost a mile from our apartment. Other than having a very tired puppy by time we got home, we didn't have any issues.
Tonya
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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby 3dogs+bird » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:25 pm

Mine was comfortably walking a mile by 3 months, 3 miles by 6 months. She always had a choice and never particularly tired herself out. She leans a little on the hyper side. I was walking her in cool weather. Heat would have changed everything.

I hope everything works out well for you. I am sorry for the stress...
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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby indogolfing » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:11 pm

what bones are involved and what are the issues with them? Is it a growth plate thing?
Before you return her, you might get an appt with an orthopedic specialist, to get some answers about what to expect.
Did they give you a name for the "bone issues"?
Before my pup was six months old she got a tibial crest avulsion, a growth plate injury, in her right rear leg. there's no guarantees with surgery, but it had to be repaired. I'd hoped she'd be a racing dog, but was prepared for the worst if the surgery didn't work out. She doesn't seem to have any problems with it although it healed with the foot turned out a bit. But she was laid up for while, a hard thing with any pup. I took her to a specialist though for the surgery.
I've found that although specialists are expensive, you usually save money by getting an answer and a prognosis with fewer trips and less guessing.
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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby greyhdlvr » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:28 am

I took my Whippet pup for walks with me & my GH as soon as he came home at 9 weeks. When he got tired, I would carry him, but I never had any problems. We routinely went 1-2 miles, not fast, as I have bad knees.

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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby Pawpawsmom » Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:37 pm

This sounds a lot like what I just went through with my 6 month old male Whippet Jagger. He started limping on he's right front leg and I thought it might be Panosteitis, and that is what it turned out to me. I had a Afghan puppy with the same thing years ago. The vet put him on Navox and in about a week of meds and cut back on the excersise, he is good as new. Have your vet check and put your puppy on Navox for 14 days, and I think it will all good.

It is pretty common for fast growing puppies with Panosteitis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panosteitis
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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby sagehound » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:57 pm

Sounds like some good ideas, mostly involving the vet. Best wishes for your vet to discover the best treatment for your wee one and for you to have the wisdom to make the right decisions at the right time.

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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby njmowatt » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:43 am

I really appreciate everyone's input and suggestions -- keep it coming! Looks like we'll be returning to the vet for more x-rays to see how the right foreleg is developing since the last visit. To add to the mystery, I noticed tonight that the left foreleg is swollen around the pastern joint and seems painful when bent backward. Even though she limps on the right foreleg, it did not seem to cause pain when I bend that leg at the joint. I'm not sure if panosteitis accounts for either of the leg issues, but I guess the vet can judge that better than me. To be continued...
I would love to have more of your input and hear of more experiences anyone has had with leg bone problems in puppies.
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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby indogolfing » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:54 am

that does sound a lot like panosteitis. It is sometimes called "shifting leg lameness" because it can seem to move from leg to leg.
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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby SquirrelDog6 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:15 pm

It could be panosteitis, although I haven't seen a small dog with it. It's usually a big guy thing. When Gris - Gris was little, she sprained her leg. The vet gave her two weeks rest and holistic anti inflammatories. I hate advising people on this kind of thing, because I know we are animal lovers, and it's hard to talk money, but I would consider what you wish to do with her, as far as running, sports etc. Like you said, you are not really attached now. I gave a couple of dogs back to a rescue, before I got my Whippies, because they were showing joint issues, and I wished to run with them. It's honestly part of the reason that I stayed away from larger dogs. Of coarse, mine could injure themselves now, and I could lose a running buddy. If you do bring her back to the breeder, their is a chance that she may put the dog to sleep, but I'm not saying not to do it, either. You paid for an animal, and now you face not being able to use it for what you want, and you face other bills. Orthopedics can be very expensive, so I can see why you may not want to start out that way. The rescue was mad, when I brought those dogs back. They felt like with me being a vet tech student, at the time, I should be willing to take on any animal, because of love alone. The truth is, if I could have ten dogs, and endless money, I could take on a potential hip dysplasia dog, and not feel strapped down, but my city limits me to three, and I need to make the best possible use of my situation, so I can empathize with what you are going through. It's a rough way to start.
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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby piedane » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:46 am

I don't know ANY breeder that puts down dogs that are returned unless they are untreatable. I would not tell puppy owner's this because it would discourage them from contacting the breeders.

As far as the ears and teeth. Really non issues. First of all the puppy is 6 months old, the teeth are still likely to fall out on their own and if not it isn't that big of a deal to have them pulled when getting spayed or neutered. There are a lot of Whippets with ears that stand. Who cares? I am assuming that you aren't looking to show the puppy.

You don't say what you are feeding the puppy, diet can have a lot to do with growth issues.
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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby SquirrelDog6 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:27 pm

Unfortunately, there are some breeders that will euthanize for bone issues. I obviously did not aim that comment at issues about teeth, or ears. I feel like since the owners are adults, who purchased a dog, it is fair enough to say, "yes, I don't know the breeders, so that could happen". I'm sure someone out there could vouch for them, but I'm not going to tailor my message to sound like that doesn't happen, ever. I was applying the message to the issues about the limping, that comes and goes. I rescued dogs, and purchased dogs, and I accept neither that limped at time of, or shortly after pick up. My dogs need to be able to be athletic, so it means a great deal to me for them not to be lame, when purchased.
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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby lvernon » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:47 pm

Pawpawsmom wrote:This sounds a lot like what I just went through with my 6 month old male Whippet Jagger. He started limping on he's right front leg and I thought it might be Panosteitis, and that is what it turned out to me. I had a Afghan puppy with the same thing years ago. The vet put him on Navox and in about a week of meds and cut back on the excersise, he is good as new. Have your vet check and put your puppy on Navox for 14 days, and I think it will all good.

It is pretty common for fast growing puppies with Panosteitis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panosteitis

I have heard of a fair bit of Pano in young whippets, but never heard of any long term negatives.

Do you mean Novox? I believe that's the generic form of Rimadyl, which is an anti-inflammatory. If it's going to work it will work fairly quickly and you can use it sporadically when needed, not like antibiotics where you have to run the course to be effective. Of course if you did mean Navox, disregard my post as I know nothing about it and will return to hiding under my rock.

It's very worrying when your puppy is not perfect, but it's been my experience most of them turn out just fine (like Jagger).

Louanne
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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby piedane » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:52 pm

Again Squirreldog, I don't know any breeder that would euthanize returned puppies.

As far the OP, you need to be talking to your breeder about this and not a lot of people who don't know these bloodlines and your puppy. Have you talked to them at all about the problems you are having?? If it's a recommended breeder then they know their bloodlines and puppies. They might have seen something like this in the past and know what to do about it.

I agree about the Pano, more common then people know and usually grow out of it.
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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby bowmanmealey » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:36 am

Its so easy to injure a puppy.They run like maniacs. So ruling out he didnt hit it and its sore ,a vet visit is in order. Any puppy limping more than a day needs to see a vet. Lymes will cause joint pain.But this is a young dog. Not to say it cant have had exposier to ticks already. As for distance.We dont know what condition or what this pup had prior to coming to you. Crated or kenneled it would not be in good physical condition. But walking till it got tired and gradually expanding would be a first thought. As Deb said I agree my 10 week old is walking same distance my adults walk.When or if she lays and is tired I just pick her up and keep walking. She usually wants down in a few minutes after a bit of rest being carried. It took three walks and she now walks whole distance. Its best to let dog stop on its own. A younger pup should never run with and older dog.They will keep going trying to keep up and not listen to their own fatigue.A puppy playing on its own or same ages will stop when its tired. I hope by now you have some answers.
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Re: Help! Question on walking my 6 month old ???

Postby CherwingWhippets » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:14 am

Our girls are just six months and have already walked more than a mile, almost 2, on the trailway nearby, not fast, on warm but not hot days. When we are not sniffing or pooping or stopping to drink or staring at things we are at a fast walk/slow trot, because there are other people, bikes, etc.--nothing crazy. Zadie currently has both puppy and adult upper canines and looks a little odd, and we heard all over not to worry about it. We would be very surprised if either got too tired to keep walking at a mile--they are pooped when we get home, but still trotting all the way to the door.

Very occasionally when they are playing hard one or the other will limp slightly for a few minutes after hitting something, but that's been all we've seen for lameness so far (knock wood!).

I should mention perhaps that we have been feeding them Fromm puppy gold kibble (now mixed with adult grain-free game bird, beef, (dry) etc. in rotation), since we got them at 10-11 weeks. After about a week on the puppy kibble their coats started to shine and everybody started getting these beautiful lean muscles all over, and they look and feel great. I know there are VERY strong and VERY mixed views about feeding what to whom when, but this has really worked for us.
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