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Popping/cracking joints?
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    So Conker is six and a half months old. A few weeks ago Fred and I noticed that sometimes, usually when I pick up Conker's feet to wipe them off after coming inside that some of his joints crack. You know, the sound that people's knees, ankles and fingers/knuckles make. It's not as loud as Fred's neck can be but I'm kinda concerned since Conker is young.

    Is joint popping a bad sign in dogs? I cannot afford to take him to the vet right now and probably wont be able to for a couple months (unplanned job loss). Does any of your Shiba's or dog's joints pop when they move or have their feet picked up? I think Conker's rear knees do it the most. He doesn't show any signs of limping or favoring, no trouble getting up or onto things and I'm just hoping it's not LP or HD.
    Post edited by sunyata at 2012-08-09 10:03:22
  • PupChowPupChow
    Posts: 100
    I did some casual reading in this because of Mac's age, let me see if I can find those pages:

    http://www.tiggerpoz.com/id10.html
    http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=22008

    I mix in some Liquid Health K-9 Glucosamine for Mac as a preventative / health supplement, I may be over reacting but I had ACL surgery so I am pretty sensitive to joint health. Mac's Action Adventure Stories
  • It isn't necessarily bad in all cases....Cracking and popping has to be weighed in the context of the specific animal and their individual movement. When in doubt check with the vet.

    With that being said, I am assuming you mean his front paws and not his hips? Is your dog in pain when you handle the paw(s) or limping when out for a walk? Sometimes one can not visually see a limp but a simple computer line/tracking test can determine that at the vets office. If you are referring to the paws or forearm (wrist/pastern area), know that At 6 months in smaller dogs the growth plates begin the process of closing. Very often a dog will get a restricted carpus (ligaments too tight at wrists) along with restriction in the toes. This can also happen if there is too much walking on concrete as well. There are exercises that can reduce the problem. However with that said, before embarking on a physical therapy regime you want to be absolutely sure it is what it is by having a vet check to rule out if your dog is compensating for another structural issue in another area of the body. Basically you need get to the heart of why the range of motion is limited and exactly where.

    I wouldn't begin Glucosamine yet without speaking with the vet given your dogs age, the condition is not pinpointed and the fact the plates are not closed yet.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    Snf
  • mmobedmmobed
    Posts: 76
    Whenever I pick Rocky up, I get a joint pop out of him here and there. I've just recently switched him to Wellness Core Ocean formula which has Glucosamine as a preventative measure for hip and joints and I am planning on adding Glucosamine as a supplement as well once I can figure out how much to supplement. At this point if the Vet is not an option IMO, I say supplement him with some Glucosamine for the time being and see if you hear any improvement in his joints.
  • @ Losech: Given that you have a puppy I really would consult with your vet to see how much and what type of Glucosamine to give. There are some instances where a particular type or combo ingredient or % within a brand is not appropriate for a particular situation if there is in fact an injury or problem. As for the popping and cracking, if it is determined it is not an issue, I would recommend owners for any healthy dog to look into the dvd "Building the Canine Athlete" by Chris Zink. You may not not wish to have a full fledged performance dog but the info in this will often increase longevity and reduce injury for many dogs in the simple every day.

    @ mmobed: As far as glucosamine in dog food or adolphus bacilus etc, I often question the extra 50 to 100 item supplementation in many foods. The processing of kibble tends to degrade some minerals such as Gluc. and AB and generally the quantity really isn't enough to do as much good as a regular supplement if that is needed to begin with. It is important to keep in mind in a competitive consumer market most pet food manufactures (even the best ones) are looking to expand their client base and the added non essential ingredients tend to make the consumer more comfortable, i.e. increase sales. Really some ingredients are just one more thing in a long list that has to be ruled out if other health issues crop up. A basic quality kibble that has fewer ingredients can be be just as good. Supplementing for "what ifs" is never a good idea as it can broadly lead to over supplementation that can spur on other oddities later down the road. Something to be aware of, some dogs in fact have some issues with the shell fish base that the majority of Glucosimine is derived from.

    Don't get me wrong Orjins is an excellent food, but there needs to be some wiggle room for the addition of simpler foods along with it in rotation, particularly for Shibas as they mature and age. This forum has a lot of great info, as does Whole Dog Journal. Do what you think is best, but always keep in mind sometimes a less complex line up is easier on the body's processing and digestion in regard to the renal system.

    Snf
    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2011-01-24 15:58:28
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    I've noticed the past few days that Hammond's elbows seem to be popping occasionally. So far I've only noticed it when he's on my bed (a memory foam mattress) when he twists or shifts his weight.

    He doesn't seem to be in any pain, I can handle and flex his feet, elbows, shoulders, massage them, etc. and he just kind of melts into it and enjoys it. No sign of discomfort. He's still jumping up and down off furniture, he's not had any problems at his agility class, he runs around and pounces on things without issue. No limping that I can see while on walks.

    Today we took a 2 mile walk around the area (all sidewalk/pavement), so I don't know if that might've played a part, but the other times I've heard it pop we hadn't gone on a long walk.

    He just turned a year old on the 15th.

    He's due for his rabies and other booster shots in the next few weeks, so I'll ask about it then, but was hoping to get some ideas/advice before then.

  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    Now that you bring this up, Conker did end up having Luxating Patella in both knees. I don't know if popping joints is a sign of problems in pups, and I don't know if it was just him growing or what, I have not done any research into that or asked any other pet owners about it. Nowadays his knees to pop every now and then, and they slip out occasionally, but not too often.
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    Well, from what I can tell it's not his knees (back legs). It's his elbows (front legs).

    Unless I'm using the wrong terms for dogs and it's all knees, haha.
  • I think it means something is going on that shouldn't be, but it doesn't mean it is going to develop into a grade that will have to be operated on. My vet always manipulates their knees and listens, and if she hears the pop or can feel it when she's manipulating them she makes a note of that and keeps an eye on it. It doesn't always get worse--Toby has had mild LP in his knee since he was a pup, and it hasn't gotten worse, thankfully.

    So I'd talk to your vet about it, and pay attention to it, but it's probably not anything to worry about right now. And I suppose it must be possible that dogs get the same things people do, which is the occasional cracking and popping in an otherwise healthy joint (there's a name for this sound, too, but I can't remember what it is right now).
  • RAM25RAM25
    Posts: 317
    Kind of relived to hear other popping joint stories that aren't entirely doom and gloom...Shinobi's joints seem to click first thing in the morning when she stretches out from her bed, I haven't yet been able to decipher whether it's her hips or her knees (or elbows!) but I'm hoping it's just a growth spurt making her clicky (she's only around 4 months). I feel awfully guilty about it because we've had 4 occasions where Shinobi has done more walking than intended (in one case about an hour!) mainly because a bus hasn't shown up etc. and we've been forced to walk home (happens a lot in Cornwall!) and Shinobi flatly refuses to be carried on walks.

    Have any of you sort of 'over walked' your Shiba's as puppies and seen a correlation between this and joint problems? I never really understand the 5 minute per month rule (I've read a lot of conflicting ideas), we're not entirely sure how old Shinobi is and if we limit her walking to less than 20 minutes a day twice a day she does the Shiba 500 which must be more damaging? We're also living in an apartment at the moment so to compensate for not having a garden have taken her to the park a lot on walks. It sounds so simple on paper but we'd have to physically put Shinobi in her crate all day to stop her zooming about (which we would never do).

    I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts. (

    I hope I haven't hyjacked this thread, thought my comment was related and didn't want to start an unnecessary new post.)

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