William B. Henry, Jr. DVM, DACVS
INTERMITTENT LAMENESS: My initial recommendations are based on the physical examination, neurologic exam, radiographic exam, presence or absence of muscle atrophy and obesity. Pre-treatment laboratory screening is important especially if the patient is obese. If the laboratory values are normal, including a T4 and FT4 then dietary weight management is instituted. Exercise restriction is recommended for 6 weeks. Only very short leash walks to relieve themselves and no running or jumping indoors or outdoors. If they have a history of intermittent lameness and only mild thigh muscle atrophy and no neurologic deficits I will prescribe an NSAID (Deramaxx 0.5 mgs. per pound) to be used for 24-48 hours if lameness occurs. I then recheck them in 6-8 weeks to see if the initial muscle atrophy is resolved. If the patient is completely normal, no muscle atrophy, normal weight, then the leash walks can extended beginning at 1/4 to 1/2 mile and further lengthened it to what ever the owner and dog can tolerate comfortably, generally this is in the 1-3 mile range. That is their life time exercise restriction, leash confinement and no running or jumping both indoors and outdoors. If there is intermittent exacerbation of pain it is usually responsive to 1-3 days of Deramaxx at 1.0 mgs. per pound sid. The patient is referred back to the RDVM for annual examinations for determination of muscle atrophy and for the presence of CP deficits.