I rescued a female pitbull approximately 8 months ago from a local shelter here in…

I rescued a female pitbull approximately 8 months ago from a local shelter here in Baltimore. Her name is Fiona and she is our third pitbull rescue. The shelter told us she was roughly 4 to 5 years old but that was just a guess. Our other 2 dogs are substantially younger and larger. Fiona has definitely started to slow down and recently she developed a little hitch/limp in her left rear leg. It seems when she would lay down for an extended period of time it would take her a little walking around before she would start to use it fully. This coincided with the temperature starting to drop outside. I started her on Cosequin DS plus MSM at the listed dosage. She has been on this for 4 to 5 weeks now and her rear leg seems to be improving as she does not limp anymore. I think she is still in pain though because whenever she decides to play with our younger larger dogs or run around she shows clear signs of discomfort and soreness over her entire body. When I first rescued her my girlfriend and I noticed that she walked with a little bit of a hunch in her lower back and we just though that was due to her build, but the more we watch her it does not seem like a natural stance. I wanted to know what this could be signs of and when I take her to the vet what tests I should have them perform or direct questions I should ask. I have definitely fallen victim to vets running superficial and unnecessary procedures just to increase the bill. I don’t have any good picture or video of her showing what I described, however if you would like I can get that for you. Thank you for your time and expertise, Fiona and I appreciate all your help.

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Jana Rade
6 years ago

Hi Bryan, a thorough physical examination, and x-rays would be a way to start figuring this out. What you’re describing about the leg does sound like signs of arthritis. What you want to find out is whether there is a further reason for this, such as hip dysplasia or injury to a knee ligament etc. What you’re describing as hunched posture and possibly pain all over, though, that could be another story though. Hunched posture could be also from spinal pain or internal pain (such as abdominal pain). Unless she had a full blood work some time recently, I’d personally… Read more »

Eleanor Wood
6 years ago

Hi Bryan, The stiffness on first rising and the fact that it seems to have got worse with the cold weather strongly suggests that she has arthritis in her hind leg. This can also account for the stiffness and hunching in her lower back if it is the hip that is affected. Improvement of her symptoms since starting Cosequin supports this. If she needs further support however the next stage is usually anti-inflammatory medicine. A good physical exam and response to treatment is usually sufficient for a diagnosis of arthritis, I would only tend to advise X-rays if she doesn’t… Read more »