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Front leg defect?

This is a discussion on Front leg defect? within the Genetics and Hereditary Issues forums, part of the Health & Wellness category; Hello, I am posting on behalf of my daughter. She has an 11 month old Pembroke Corgi. Several months ago ...

  1. #1
    scb
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    Join Date May 2009
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    Front leg defect?

    Hello, I am posting on behalf of my daughter. She has an 11 month old Pembroke Corgi. Several months ago she noticed that one of his front legs was "knuckling over" occasionally. She took him to the vet and he said that it was a genetic problem with Corgi's where one of the bones grows faster than the other, and it may or may not get worse. Well, it has gotten worse, and another vet said he actually has the problem in both front legs. He has said that to try to correct the problem surgery is necessary, and it needs to be done before the growth plate closes. Cost will be $5,000. !!! If anyone has any knowledge about this condition and the surgery I would appreciate your insight. Also, she has a contract with the breeder saying he was free of genetic defects. She contacted the breeder about this, and her only response has been to say that one of the other puppies in the same litter has this condition also, and that she will not be re-breeding the sire and dam.
  2. #2
    Dillydoodle's Avatar
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    My corgi Dillon (at age 8 months) was Misdiagnosed by my ex-vet first with elbow displaysia and then when i got a second opinion from an orthopedic vet I was told he had premature bone plate closure on one front leg and would need expensive surgery to correct it. this was based on two separate sets of xrays. I was told to hurry and make a decision too... however , i waited 3 weeks and then brought him in , but asked them to re do the xrays before they started the surgery.. and i got a call at home saying that the bone " fixed itself" ( the bone plate was not yet closed as they thought it was) and he never had to have the surgery. Later I took the xrays to a vet who owns, shows and treats a lot of corgis and she saw a typically developing corgi puppy... my boy's limping that got me to bring him in to see the vet initially, was stated to be likely due to Panosteitis.

    Your situation could be completely different than mine, but I would get a second opinion from a specialist ( vet who deals with orthopedic surgery on a regular basis and if possible a vet that has treated Corgis and knows what a typically developing corgi xray looks like. )

    Maybe some others will come along and give you some helpful advise. Best of luck to you

    Emilie
  3. #3
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    Sounds like premature growth plate closure. It is something that "can" happen in corgis. It is one of those things that might be genetic in some breedings or congenital (doesn't mean it is always genetic) in others.

    Sometimes environmental factors can be involved - too much jumping down too early, being fed too high a protein food are other things that have contributed to other corgis having this issue.

    Surgery is the only way I know of correcting the problem. Price somewhat depends upon what part of the country one is in. If I remember correctly, there have been some forum members that went through this with their corgi puppies.

    I'm sorry to hear your daughter is going through this with her puppy.

    Debbie
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    Smile Lameness in Front Legs

    My wonderful corgi Steiff had the same problem - I fed him too well as a puppy and he grew too big for his frame and the growth plates shut down on the left arm. He did have surgery but it was not tremendously successful. Eventually the pin was removed because it was not really helping him. We removed the pin when he was 9. Then he traveled to Washington State University to be evaluated by a specialist orthopod. The doctor said we were doing everything right and to just love him and lightly exercise Steiff and watch his weight and diet. Steiff took Vitamin E, Omega Fatty Acids, Ascription (2 pills per day) and ate a low calorie diet with added fiber. And he was loved and loved and loved. I lost Steiff last fall at the age of 12. He was an amazing, brave dog and will always hold a very special place in my heart. I wish you the best in caring for your corgi. I have a feeling that because you are already so concerned you will give your corgi the best. $5,000.00 is way too much for that sugery - think half that. If you live anywhere in the Northwest, check out WSU's Vet School. Prices are much more reasonable and they truly love the dogs they care for.
  5. #5
    scb
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    Thanks to all who have responded so far.
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    Similar

    We just rescued a corgi from a kill shelter near our area. She is about 9 months or so. She was covered with ticks and had kennel cough. She is on antibiotics for both. We have spent alot money to get her the medical attention and shots she needs. When we saw her we noticed she limps, her left front leg is weak. The shelter said she had a small cut on her paw but we have seen no evidence of that and neither did our vet. We took her anyways because that was a bad place for such a cute dog.

    Anyways, she tested neg for lyme, but we did the meds for it anyways. I have read many post about leg problems. I think it maybe an old injury, she was abandoned. I am hoping maybe the ticks caused the problem and the meds will help.

    My question is... When I mess with her leg there is no pain for her. She doesn't whine, flinch or anything. As the day progresses she limps more but yet there is no pain. It simply makes no sense.
    Is it possible for the dog to have developed a habit from an old injury and she hasn't built up muscles in that leg? It's almost as if it is numb and gets weak as the day goes on. Any ideas as to why she wouldn't have pain?

    She is a precious dog and we have really taken to her. Only had her a week.
    Thanks
  7. #7
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    Hello! Please get an xray of the leg that is affected. That will tell your vet if the growth plates have shut down. My Steifman lived for 12 years with the problem, but he did take pain killers towards the end of his life, as well as fish oil, glucosamine/chrondotitan, ascription and had lots of love and good care. It is essential that you keep weight off your beloved little girl so that the joint isn't overworked. We did have surgery for Steiff, but I'm not sure it made a huge difference. He also was a third bigger than most corgis, and his size had something to do with this as well. Steiff is gone now, but we still love and miss him. What a corgi! We currently have 2 other wonderful corgis that are part of our group - and every day is wonderful because of them. Feel free to write me again if you have more questions. This is mangeable, not like hip displasia, and I would encourage you to do the steps necessary and love your dog. Congratulations for rescuing your corgi! My first 2 were rescue as well. You have done a wonderful act of love! Thank you.
  8. #8
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    Thanks

    Thanks for the encouragement. We are going to do everything we can to help her. She runs at full speed and jumps normally. It's just the way she walks I guess. She has no pain. But, long term it will be a problem, so will we get her taken care of asap. She sure is a fun pup.
    Thanks again
  9. #9
    Westwood's Avatar
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    Not all dogs show when they are in pain...I would not assume that since she doesn't wince or yelp that she isn't hurting. If she is limping there must be some reason.

    I would agree with the suggestion of an xray at least.
  10. #10
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    Smile lameness in front legs

    Sounds like you're doing the right thing. I'm glad she's not in pain, and still active. We had a pin put in our dog's leg, and his leg broken and reset. I'm not sure how much good it did, but we tried everything we knew. Happy Labor Day
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    Hope so

    I am going to give her a few weeks. We have her on all kinds of meds to get her healthy. Those shelters are awful. It maybe possible that it is temporary arthritis due the amount of ticks she was covered in. We can only hope for it to get better soon. Otherwise, x-rays are the next step.
    Tks
  12. #12
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    Anyways, she tested neg for lyme, but we did the meds for it anyways. I have read many post about leg problems. I think it maybe an old injury, she was abandoned. I am hoping maybe the ticks caused the problem and the meds will help.
    There are other tick borne diseases out there. Have her tested for them too.

    My question is... When I mess with her leg there is no pain for her.
    First, don't be messing with her leg. Even if it hurts she may not show you that. Corgis are very stoic and often will not show pain until it's really bad.

    As the day progresses she limps more but yet there is no pain. It simply makes no sense.
    Yes, it does. Could be, could be an old injury. Could be a tick borne disease. Could be a torn ligament or muscle too.

    Is it possible for the dog to have developed a habit from an old injury and she hasn't built up muscles in that leg?
    Possible yes, darn near anything is possible. Probable, no.

    It's almost as if it is numb and gets weak as the day goes on. Any ideas as to why she wouldn't have pain?
    She may have pain and just isn't showing it. As I said, that can be quite common for corgis. And if it were something like arthritis (she's a bit young for this though), it could be the more she uses the leg the more it bothers her, which means as the day goes on it gets worse. Or if it's something like a ligament problem, torn muscle or even a tick borne disease other than lyme disease, again, it may become inflamed or sore with the days use.

    Have her tested for other tick borne diseases, and x rayed for any bone problems (growth plates, old fractures, bone spurs or whatever it might be.)

    Peggy
    Last edited by Peggy; 09-04-2010 at 07:03 PM.
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    I am going to give her a few weeks. We have her on all kinds of meds to get her healthy.
    What meds is she on?

    It maybe possible that it is temporary arthritis due the amount of ticks she was covered in.
    Arthritis is degeneration of joints. It's not something that's temporary or caused by ticks.

    I would not wait. I would have her tested for other tick borne diseases ASAP. Have her tested for ehrlichiosis at least. And Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever if you're in the right area. Waiting could be a big mistake.

    Peggy
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    Jim & Peggy Newman
    mailto: taflarpwc@yahoo.com
  14. #14
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    Thanks

    Peggy,
    Thanks for input. You took some time to really help. Thank you.

    She is doing much better. She can run at a full sprint extending both legs equally and jumps normally. The good news is yesterday at church we found out one of friends just took a job as a vet locally. She looked at Maddy and made some suggestions and in a few weeks we are going to take her in for further examination. We have access to VA Tech Vet school if we need it. But, Maddy is doing better and the limp hasn't gotten any worse in fact it has improved. I think she lost some strength and is regaining. We sure are having a great time with her.
    Thanks
  15. #15
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    Hello all, I'm bumping this as i have a similar situation with my Cardigan corgi.

    She's just a few weeks away from her 1st birthday and this is literally something I've just noticed over the last few weeks. My other dog's been bery ill so maybe I haven't been studying her as closely as I normally would.

    As you can see in the picture her left foreleg is a different shape to the other. At rest it knuckles forward, but when she's leaning back it looks normal, although the angles are different.

    I'll take her for x-rays as soon as possible but I'm wondering if anyone has had similar experience with their dogs, and if the x-ray will be able to tell if this is due to growth plate damage or genetic?

    She's never been lame or suffered any injury (that I'm aware of) although we do walk in the woods and she jumps on/off banks, logs etc. I took her off puppy food at about 10 months.



    When leaning forward it knuckles, and looks really bad but the rest of the time its (almost) imperceptible. I can imagine an imbalance like this won't do her skeleton any favours but don't know if i'm over reacting as she's my 1st corgi and have nothing to compare her to.




    At almost 1 year old is her skeleton finished growing, I guess I'm wondering if this could get worse or better?

    I'll take her to the vet as soon as I can but any experienced corgi owner advice would be much appreciated.
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