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Bo's Story


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Bo started slightly limping around the beginning of April. It was difficult to tell at first, but we eventually discovered that it was his front, left leg. After reading some information online, we thought that Bo may have just injured himself by playing rowdy in the yard. We put him on an aspirin regimen with lots of rest. After about a week with no improvement, we scheduled an appointment with the vet. The vet physically examined him and did not see or feel anything abnormal. At that point, the limp was there, but barely noticeable. He gave him a 10 day prescription of NSAIDS and we were told to limit activity to “leash-only”. The 10 days that Bo was on the medication were great…no limping. Day 11, with no medication, the limp was immediately back. We contacted the vet and were told to continue limiting activity and lots of rest. He said that it may take up to six weeks to heal and that we needed to be patient.

Right before first x-rays. (Sorry it’s sideways!)

After a couple more weeks, Bo was getting restless…going from being an extremely active dog to barely having any exercise at all was hard to do. One day, we decided to let him get in the pool to cool off from the 100 degree weather we are having. We were careful not to let him get too crazy and walked him into the pool. He started whimpering the minute he got in the water and went directly back to the stairs. He was not comfortable and did not even want to swim. That’s when my husband and I realized that something may be seriously wrong.

We made another appointment with the vet to take x-rays of his leg. He was at the vet office all day and was sedated to get the x-rays. When I picked him up, I was shown the x-rays…nothing too unusual. There was, however, a “fuzzy” area around his shoulder and the vet explained that that told him where the problem was. He said that it may be a strained ligament or muscle and to continue resting and limiting activity. He said that if the limp did not go away after 6 weeks, we may need to look into additional testing for bone cancer or kidney disease. Bo came home from the vet that day with a new limp. This new limp was extremely painful and limiting in his ability to walk, climb stairs, and even lay down.

After first x-rays. (Again, sideways!)

The next week, we noticed that the muscle mass in his shoulder had decreased and the shoulder bone was starting to stick out. We contacted the vet with this concern and were told that it was probably muscle atrophy due to the lack of use in his shoulder. We were also told that we could make another appointment for additional tests/injections. Unfortunately, financially, we just could not do it.

The next two weeks were the worst. His shoulder bone kept sticking out more and the limp got worse daily. We noticed that he was in the most pain at night. He had a constant, heavy pant and would get muscle quivers in the bad leg. I knew in my heart that something was terribly wrong. I would cry myself to sleep on my husband’s shoulder and wake up during the night to check on Bo. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I knew it was something.

Right before the second opinion. (Hope you’re not getting neck cramps from looking sideways!)

Sometime during these weeks, I pointed out to my husband that we did not have a family picture with both Bo and the cat, Belle. So, we had a family photo shoot! No one image had all of us looking at the camera, but what fun would that be?

Take 1

Take 2

Take 17...Good enough!

About 3 weeks after Bo’s first x-ray, my parents offered to pay for Bo to get a second opinion. My husband did a lot of research and we got a couple of great recommendations before choosing a vet to go to. Our current vet was very helpful and transferred his file, as well as gave us the x-rays to take to the new vet.

We were nervous, but anxious to see if we could finally get to the bottom of Bo’s leg issue.

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  1. tatespeeps Said,

    June 14, 2011@ 1:58 am      Reply

    Well, we know where this is going. So many of us suspected injuries at first and then the limp becomes evident again once off the painkillers.

    Here’s hoping for the best for your beautiful boy! I love the pictures!

    • meghanhowell17 Said,

      June 14, 2011@ 3:47 am      Reply

      Thank you!

  2. chilidawg Said,

    June 14, 2011@ 4:08 pm      Reply

    Love the family pictures- brought a smile to my face 🙂

  3. maggie Said,

    June 15, 2011@ 10:12 pm      Reply

    Your story is just soooooooooo familiar… I think so many of us have had similar stories…my dog was misdiagnosed with an ACL injury by two vets before the 3rd vet diagnosed her right.

    Tracy, Maggie’s Mom

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