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Dogs/Edema/Lymph blockage in hind leg

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QUESTION: My almost 15 yr old lab/pitt mix has been battling a swollen hind leg for almost 2 months. Doesnt like to put weight on it, esp first thing in AM. After she gets moving, stops limping, will still go for pretty brisk walk (1/4-1/2 mile) with head up and tail wagging, although panting quite a bit. Blood work including Lyme disease/tick panel came back negative. slightly elevated liver enzyme (ALP). Xray shows nothing "big and scary" as my vet says. needle aspiration of lymph fluid just shows inflamation, but not cancer,  etc. We did take a lot (5cc? I'm not sure) of joint fluid out of her joint capsule 2 wks ago, and that helped for a few days. joint fluid culture showed only degenerative joint disease, not cancer etc. We've done accupuncture twice, and it helped hugely first time, moderately last week.
Any suggestions for clearing the lymph/edema? I'm massaging her leg towards her heart, giving xtra fuids, and making sure she walks at least 2x daily, knowing that movement is critical. I'm sure the end of the road is fast approaching, I only hope I'm doing all I can to help my best friend.

ANSWER: Toni,

WOW 15 years is a LONG TIME. The bigger breeds usually do not get into the teens. That is all on you being a great dog parent. This is a little out of my reach. One thing i can tell you is you if you are not using a organic food you could change to one and keep an eye on her salt intake. There are some really good organic foods and some of them have to be refrigerated.

You take her to the vet,you massage her leg,you make sure she gets exercise,acupuncture. you are a really great parent. It's such a tough decision to make...When is it time. We live in a condo on the second floor,when skipper could not climb steps we knew it was time. The vet said we did the right thing at the right time,He was not in much pain and did not suffer but any longer would of been selfish

He was a rhodesian ridgeback that lived 15 years and when we put him down it broke my heart,i still miss him. If you go on critters.com and look for Skipper ( the one with pictures) You will see how much we loved him.

I am going to do some searching around the internet and see if i can find some more info for you. Just keep doing what your doing. There is a poem called the Rainbow Bridge. It tells us that our pets will be waiting for us when we pass on. In the bible it reads that we will be reunited with our loved ones. I know that means our dogs. I will get back to you with more info tomorrow. Take care of your pup ;-)

Gary
thepuppyguy@yahoo.com

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I do NOT see the Thank/Rate the expert tab.... I appreciated the very prompt response, and did not rate the answer at the time I received it, because it did not have much helpful advice...I was kinda hoping that "I am going to do some more searching and see if I can find more info for you" would indeed bring more info. I have not heard back, and I am sorry that I did not go back to the website and post the rating, which I would have to say was very prompt and caring, even if it did not contain much helpful info. watching her salt intake is probably a good idea, and I thank you for that.

Answer
Toni,
Please forgive me for not following up on your question. I recently found out i have acute renal failure and have been in and out of the hospital because of this. I always do follow up on questions but this one did slip past me. This is a volunteer web site but i do take it serious when someone asks me a question.

  I have a golden retriever,we think he is around 7 years old. He is having trouble with his lower back area and sometimes i give him a back rub first thing in the morning and it does seem to help him. Perhaps you could give this a try with your dog. I rub his back and legs around his hips as this is where he has the most trouble.

I hope you will continue to use us in the future

Gary
thepuppyguy@yahoo.com  

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Gary

Expertise

Any questions about caring for your puppy up to your older dogs. How to crate train your dog. the best food for your dog,Questions about the breed.If i can not answer your question i will point you in the right direction.

Experience

Over ten years in the dog business. Taking care of pups including meds and exercise

Organizations
I volunteer at our local shelter

Publications
Check out critters.com Look up Skipper...There are 3. My Rhodesion Ridgeback lived to be 15 years old. He went to the rainbow bridge 4 years ago. We just got Buddy...He is a golden mix. His first parents both worked and he was alone most of the day. We drove 3 hours to get him.

Education/Credentials
Worked 3 years as a vet tech

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