Sunday, 25 July 2010

looking at a dog's gait to analyse the problem

We're still observing Penny as we take her on short walks, but of course we know that in the end it'll all come down to what the vet tells us when we go to see him.

But I love information, so I've been trawling for sites about problems in dogs' limbs. I've come across a chapter, presumably for vets, on observing dogs moving in order to diagnose an illness. There are interesting line drawing of the walk, the trot, the pace and the gallop. The article says:
As a quadruped, the dog has the ability to spare an injured joint or sore leg in such a way that the abnormality may be almost unnoticeable; the ability to shift the center of mass in an attempt to decrease weight bearing to any limb is remarkable...the clinician can be misled regarding forelimb and hindlimb weight-bearing modes. It is possible for a dog to move from a sitting to a standing position and begin walking without touching its hind limbs to the ground.
Okay, so now I don't feel so silly that we can't make out what is going on with Penny's movements!

It also says:
Dogs with subtle gait changes or lameness may exhibit these signs only to their owners or handlers who notice the change in the dog's gait...The owner or handler may be able to describe his impression of the dog's problem quite accurately. It is important to know the duration of the dog's problem, if the onset was acute or chronic, and if the condition is improving or deteriorating.

8 comments:

JD and Max said...

Hi Penny - yup, us dogs are such uncomplaining creatures! FH was most pleased to read that first quote - I hid my grass seed implant from the humans quite well for a while!! We sure hope you get sorted out soon! Schnauzer snuggles - JD and Max.

Maggie and Mitch said...

We just came from Nala's blog, Penny, and we thought your mom might be interested in reading this posting:

http://nwridgeback.blogspot.com/2010/07/major-health-issues.html

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

parlance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
parlance said...

Thanks, Maggie and Mitch. I went over and read about Nala's sad situation. We worry about our doggy friends, because they can't tell us what they're feeling.

parlance said...

JD and Max, I agree with FH that we humans feel a bit better about not noticing your problems, if even the experts can't always work them out.

Serendipity said...

How is Penny doing? Any improvement? I'm relieved that Happy recovered too but on rare occasions, especially on cold nights, her rear leg seems to be more stiff. The vet did say it could be the onset of arthritis considering she's 8 now but it could also be due to the old injury triggering it.

Is Penny on glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate? It really helps. I didn't know that at that time but it's a good thing that the dog food I've been feeding Happy all they years contains a sufficient amount of this supplement.

Having said that, it's funny that once you started reading up on these things, you'll find yourself automatically observing their every movement ;-)

parlance said...

Hi, Serendipity
Penny seems to be up and down. Last night she hopped across the kitchen on three legs and we were horrified! But today she eagerly went out for a walk and walked for twenty minutes - strolling and sniffing, not fast walks like the ones we used to do. We have a vet appointment next Monday. We've been waiting to see how she goes and also waiting for our own vet to come back from an overseas holiday. We also want to be sure she is over the stomach upset she got from the anti-inflammatories. In case she needs to be sedated for a checkup, we want her to be in the best health she can be.

I can certainly relate to what you say about observing every movement. I think I'll always do that in future!

Johann The Dog said...

Dog injuries are so difficult! I hope you get some sense of what's going on. It took five vets and more to finally find out about JoJo's illiopsoas pull. And we still battle occasional tightness. Keep us posted!