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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Last night Duster was favoring his left leg and limping a little on the other. I figured the wrestling matches with my Dachshund were at fault and that a night of rest would ease whatever tension it may have had. Well, this morning, we went for our usual bike path walk and the poor guy was almost completely useless! I had to carry him.

His legs (both of them but his right is worse) became SOOOO bowed that he collapses and cant walk.

I will call the vet when they open, but until then...any thoughts as to why this would suddenly occur? I have pressed, pushed and prodded trying to see if there is a pain point, but he's calm as ever....just cannot walk.

I'm sad. If anyone has seen this before please gve me some insight.

Thank You.

1,154 Posts
Oh no! The poor thing! I'd bet some of the more experienced dog people on this board would have some ideas for you - the only thing I can think of would be Polyradiculoneuritis (coonhound paralysis). Since the conditions he came from are questionable, it is a possibility. ... ritis.html

94 Posts
So sorry to hear of Dusters troubles. You both are in our prayers. Keep us posted on your vet visit. Please know you have lots of support from all of us fellow doodle lovers ! Kathy, Lizzie , Louie

I'm so sorry to hear about Duster. Hang in there and let us know what the vet says!!! Sounds like the breeder needs to be reported......

9,243 Posts
I am very sorry to hear this...and very concerned.
Dogs don't outwardly show pain unless it is makes them easy prey in the wild so any sign of a limp is a serious matter.
Many things can cause this, rough playing with other puppies, too much strenuous excercise, running up and down stairs, jumping (off beds or for frisbees)...these dogs are growing quickly and one thing that we, as breeders, always try to stress is that you must be extremely careful with activities, for this very reason.
I dont' know if I am recalling this correctly or not, but was Duster the pup that was going for long walks at a brisk pace? If so, this could have caused the is not recommended to give stressful exercise until these dogs stop growing, at around 18 months of age.
I hope that it isn't serious, but it does sound as though it may be.
I think I might even consider seeing a specialist, especially if your regular vet treats the whole thing lightly.
Please let us know...
As I recall, we were concerned with his general health anyway, so I would not be too surprised to find that he has hip or joint problems...
I think that you do need to let your breeder know what is happening.
Best wishes to you and to duster.

16 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
At this point the vet thinks it is a pet version of rickets. Basically, the dog was too undernourished to be able to handle the good quality dog food we were feeding him. He recommends cheap adult dog food with a low protein content (between 17-20%) along with Viatmin C supplement. We discussed our walks, and the vet believes that any healthy puppy would very much develope with the walks, but I need to reduce the amount until he is better. He recommends none for now (obviously) and then IF he recovers start with the morning walks.

He says that most healthy pups can handle most dog food be it puppy or adult, but when an animal is undernourished, we did the equavalent of giving a starving Ethiopian a steak dinner. The body cannot handle it, despite the growth.

Lastly, he said that if the diet is not effective, the dog will likely not recover and must be put down. I am in emotional turmoil as you could probably guess. On Monday, the vet said we were doing everything right by seeing to it that he had food and some excercise...and now he said the food is probably causing the problems! As for the excercise, he did say that while walking may have triggered the reaction quicker, it still would have made an appearance as the dog grew.

This "breeder" is getting called by hubby today. I'm too tired and angry to talk to anyone...especially her. :twisted:

I am so SORRY that you are going through this! I cannot imagine the anguish you are going through. Please let us know what happens when your husband calls the breeder. I feel your pain, hurt and anger!!

Hang in there!

1,551 Posts
How awful!! Poor sweet thing.....

9,243 Posts
OMG! I have never heard of this! I am sooooooo angry at this ...I can't call the person a "breeder' because no breeder with any soul would treat one of their sweet pups this way.
Since I have no idea where you got the pup, I am assuming a few things (none of which reflect badly on you!)
One is that there are businesses run, called brokers, where they buy from puppy mills and back yard breeders and sell the pups through pet stores or chains. (We always advise never to buy from a pet store...ever.)
Another is that the pup came directly from a puppy mill or back yard breeder. And I think that everyone knows how I feel about them!
I would report these people to your local animal services department. With the info from your vet, they should have no reason to ignore your complaint.
What sucks worst of all, for you and for the puppy, it that you have both been victimized by greed. I am so ashamed of this type of person calling themselves "breeders" ... I am disgusted, and sickened by what they have done to this puppy...and to you, the innocent and loving family who trusted them.
My heart hurts for you, your family and especially this dear puppy.

I found some info on the web. I would definitely ask the vet about a Vitamin D shot. And please do not blame yourself in ANY WAY. This was the 'breeders' fault. Obviously this puppy did not see sunshine, may have been weaned early, and was malnourished. ... canine.htm
The illness of Rickets in Dog is present in young dogs due to the lack or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D. is characterized by a tendency toward the formation of long bones in the legs and a convexity of the diaphysis. You will notice bone swellings developing in the extremities of the long bones of the inferior members.
There is a tendency in puppies for the long bones to arch outwards due to the pressure of the body weight. In more advanced cases, the complete bone structure is deteriorated, and the dog has a lot of difficulties getting around, developing an abdominal hydropic state. The lack of sunlight is also a contributing cause of rickets, as well as a bad diet. In order for the animal to recuperate, he must be under veterinarian treatment. The case can worsen notably, leading to an irreversible state of invalidity.


Rickets. Now that's something I haven't thought about in a while. Calves, chicks, children, and even pups can get it. Giving calcium supplements does not sound like the correct treatment though. Let me go look that one up. Calcium and vitamin D shots are usually given together. If the dog is digesting fats correctly, an is eating a well rounded puppy chow, just a vitamin D shot should take care of it. And let the dog out in the sun some. Maybe this pup was weaned too early?

It leads to weak bones that give out under the animals. When the vitamin D absorbed then the Calcium uptake is resumed. Giving excessive amounts of calcium would not be called for usually.
They add vitamin D to our milk to make sure children don't get rickets, now that we skim most of the fat off of our milk. Sources of vitamin D, besides from your local vitamin shelf in a store near you, would be in high fat milk, cream, and milk broducts, fish oils, and various fish and animal fats.
Actually the pup itself could/should produce it own vitamin D after the intial shot is given to correct the deficiency, unless it is having trouble absorbng fats or the food you are feeding is being proccessed at too high a temp. Switching foods to a large breed puppy chow may be a wise course of action also.

Our bodies actually produce the vitamin once sunlight hits our skin and turns varius vitamin B's and protiens into vitamin D which is then used by our system to help build bones.
I hope the Rotweiller is feeling better?
enlight me...what are rickets?....growing pains? like the ones I got as a child for growing to fast and my bones didn`t catch up until a bit later and my knees and elbows hurt?
Rickets is a disease in which the bones fail to calcify properly due to a vitamin D deficiency or due to poor digestion of fats. Since the bones are weak, the animal usually cannot stand on them (it looks like they are standing on their knees) and is in extreme pain when it tries. In very bad cases, the bones break and splinter.
If you do a web search you will find several sites that cover this disease.

Growing pains can be caused by many things, including vitamin and mineral deficiencies. They can also be caused by over exertion of a newly formed bone or muscle, which is common in all growing young.
Being deficient in vitamin D or the B complexes usually only occurs to animals which grow very fast and have been malnourished. It is seen in calves ALL of the time.
Vitamin D can only exist as vitamin D in a fat. So it is not in your usual vitamin pills (which contain too little fat). A capsule or fat soluble vitamin can contain vitamin D -- read the label.
When your skin is in sunlight it actually produces vitamin D for your body with vitamins and nutrients found in a normal diet.

Agingright I really appreciate your response. I was able to pass that to my Mom and also tell her to search the web for more information. I think it never hurts to get more educated about what is going on, when it comes to our kids or pets health. They said he is up and walking so that sounds like good news. Thank you, Stormi
My gradfather use to run 200 head of cattle, among other things. Whenever a calve started having knocked knees or stated walking on the knees, out came this big syringe and the vitamin D.
When they started walking again, they are cured according to gramps (who has long since left this world). I think most would do a folow-up on their cattle and give them another injection in 3 months to be on the safe side. Farmers of the 1960's were an independent lot and folowed various shot "schedules" as they saw fit. Not sure how that is all handled in these modern times.
I hope the dog continues his recuperation. Rotweillers, like all large breeds, do better with less weight in their puppy years. I think they find giving them some type of citrate and MSM and glucosamine helps also them later in life. Strange, but I have even read studies that advocate moderate exercise only, as they can injure themselves as they are growing.
It is amazing what is out there on the web now. Some of it has to be taken with a grain of salt.

8,336 Posts
I too am angry about everything you are going through
and wish there was a civilized way to deal with this kind of
"Breeder" other than the way I would like to deal with this kind of
person. I am so sad for you and your puppy and am sending lots of
prayers your way. :wink:

And here is another possibility to consider. Toxocariosis aka Roundworms. ASK YOUR VET if it's possible Duster could have this parasitic infection as a symptom is pseudo rickets: ... on=1973995


Clinical signs

In adults:
- Often asymptomatic in males (no revival of encysted larvae).
- Signs of malabsorption and maldigestion in females during the post-oestrus period, at the end of pregnancy or during lactation.
- Transient diarrhoeas following ascaricidal treatment.

In puppies:
- Abdominal bloating after nursing or meals.
- Weight loss, geophagia, pica.
- Pseudo-rickets.
- Dull, "moth-eaten" fur (delayed "moulting").
- Delayed growth.
- "Helminthic cough" (ascarid pneumonia) between 15 days and 3 months of age.
- Vomiting (of worms).
- Intestinal obstruction or occlusion in case of massive infestation.

Toxocara canis and Toxocara leonina eggs. (© Parasitology école Nationale Vétérinaire Lyon)

Intestinal perforation caused by toxocariasis in a puppy. (© Royal Canin)


Digestive (and systemic in larval stage) parasitic disease due to the helminths of the Toxocara genus in the upper third of the small intestine. This parasite is so well suited to the canine species that its reproductive cycle is modelled on that of the dog. For this reason, all breeding kennels are currently affected by this disease.


Toxocara canis is the most common roundworm reported in puppies and bitches in dog breeding facilities. Toxascaris leonina is more rarely encountered in breeding facilities since it only affects adult dogs and weaned puppies.


- Ascariasis.

- Ascaridosis.


- Prenatal infestation by larvae (encysted in muscles) crossing the bitch's placenta. Larvae, whose revival occurs during oestrus or from the 42nd day of pregnancy, are the main source of contamination of puppies. Puppies begin to harbour adult worms in the digestive lumen by the age of 15 days, prepatence (interval between infestation and faecal excretion of eggs) is approximately 4 weeks.

- Puppies that are not infested before birth may become via other routes (maternal milk or environment) and excreted eggs (evidence of reproduction of adult worms) from the 5th week of age.

Zoonotic toxocariasis

Human contamination occurs by oral route through absorption of embryonic eggs or larvae of Toxocara sp. (Toxascaris does not present any risk of zoonotic disease). However, accidental ingestion of eggs from fur is not dangerous for a child caressing his puppy. Zoonosis is incomplete (due to parasite death) but may nevertheless be dangerous in case of migration to the nervous system. Seropreva-lence (Ag-ES) in humans living in urban areas is estimated at 2-5% in adults and 7-15% in children. Human toxocariasis takes different forms (visceral larva migrans (VML) in children, systemic toxocariasis in adults, ocular toxocariasis, neurological toxocariasis). Roundworms containing powerful allergens are even suspected of contributing to allergic sensitisation of atopic individuals, especially amongst asthmatic children.

Prevention through sanitation measures is of major importance for man in whom antiparasitic treatments have shown to have little effect.


- Collective faecal examination.

- Baermann's method (examination for larvae).

- Hypereosinophilia (inconstant).

- A negative faecal examination in a puppy does not mean that the latter is free from ascariasis. Parasites may not yet be in their reproductive stage. In addition, it should be pointed out that, because of prepatence, faecal examination for parasites is generally negative in puppies under 3 weeks of age, irrespective of the degree of infestation.

Differential diagnosis

- Other digestive parasitic diseases (in particular, coccidiosis during weaning).

- Infectious enteritis.

- Generic dog food disease (weaning diets of very low digestibility).

- Mistakes in nutritional transition during weaning.


Anthelmintic treatment (worming) in dogs

- Piperazine and pyrantel are the only real anthelmintics (expulsion of whole living parasites). For other compounds, the term vermicides (which kill worms) would be more appropriate.

Beware: piperazine is not always well tolerated by small dog breeds(frequent vomiting).

- Despite this fact, this molecule should always be used initially in cases of suspicion of massive infestation during the post-weaning period (anthelmintic to be used for three days consecutively). In fact, it enables the destruction of parasites and, therefore, endotoxinic shock-type reactions caused by the massive release of toxins accompanying parasitic lysis. In case of doubt, a low dose of vermicide can also be used on the first day of treatment and increased on the following days.

- Since pyrantel does not cross the intestinal wall, it has no action on migrating larvae. Therefore, it is not recommended in bitches during the period of larval reactivation nor in young puppies (period of hepatic and pulmonary larval migration).

- To destroy larvae during migration and limit risks of foetal contamination by the transplacental route, it is advisable to use anthelmintics with good tissue diffusion such as the following benzimidazoles:

- Fenbendazole (adult worms and larvae),

- Oxfendazole (adult worms and larvae),

- Febantel (adult worms, larvae?).

- Flubendazole (adult worms).

- Febantel transforms into fenbendazole and then oxfendazole in the body, which explains why it has similar effect to these molecules.

- Levamisole is dangerous for puppies under 3 months of age and should not be administered to pregnant bitches, which limits its use.

- Selamectin is active on adult worms present in the intestinal lumen.

Consequently, a rational prevention plan against roundworm infestations would, for instance, be based on the following:

Treatment of bitches

- Fourth, third and second days prior to mating,

- Forty-first, -second and -third days of pregnancy,

- Ten days after whelping to control post partum infestation risks related to the ingestion of meconium.

- At the time of weaning of puppies.

Treatment of puppies

- From the 12-15th day of age to limit the risks of larval migration causing "helminthic cough" (fenbendazole or oxfendazole from the 15th day only).

- Then every two weeks until the age of three months, alternating the above-mentioned anthelmintics and preventing stress conditions (weaning, sale). After this period, and assuming that puppies live isolated from dog groups, the risk of parasitic infestation diminishes (spontaneous elimination by acquiring local intestinal immunity) and worming will be indicated only in cases of positive faecal examination results or during the breeding period of young females.

- "Blind" use of anthelmintics (whether vermifugal or vermicidal) in breeding facilities is not effective against single-celled digestive parasites such as Coccidia or Giardia, which explains the current recrudescence of protozoan disease outbreaks in breeding facilities.

- Oxfendazole and fenbendazole are effective on l2 and l3 larvae of Toxocara canis at the doses recommended by the manufacturer (78-92% efficacy).

- Only albendazole, oxfendazole and fenbendazole are effective against Toxocara canis larvae whereas mebendazole, flubendazole and oxibendazole are ineffective. The presumed larvicidical effect of febantel has not been investigated yet.

With a view to preventing resistance phenomena, it is advisable to have several families of anthelmintics, with different modes of actions, available. In fact, even if resistance has never been proven in carnivores, studies on herbivores have shown crossbred resistance of other helminths (strongyle-typed) to all benzimidazoles. Resistance of Ancylostoma hookworms to benzimidazoles has been reported in some breeding facilities in Great Britain.

Treatments lasting several days consecutively, reducing dosage where necessary, are recommended to ensure better destruction of migrating larvae (in bitches at the end of pregnancy and puppies up to 3 months of age).

Irrespective of the anthelmintic used, it is not recommended to worm bitches during the first twenty days of pregnancy because encysted larvae are insensitive to anthelmintics and because some anthelmintics may cause side effects in the dam or foetus during this period (cleft palate in particular).


Any medication is doomed to failure if appropriate prevention measures are not taken to destroy Toxocara canis eggs that can resist for more than two years in the environment. Breeders should pay particular attention to the most seriously infested areas (whelping premises, nursery).

Hygiene in kennels

- Considering that there are no chemical products (usable in the presence of the animals) capable of destroying resistant forms of the parasite in the environment, and that the eggs need more than one day to become infective, faeces should be collected daily and dogs at risk (breeding females and puppies before sale) prevented from defecating in common runs. Natural phenols (2% cresol, synthetic phenols) provide beneficial efficacy and persistence, besides being inexpensive and very safe for dogs.

- Yards must be washed with a detergent (in order to dislodge parasitic elements), paying particular attention to wood-made materials or tile joints. Proper rinsing should then allow drainage of wastewaters into individual siphons (in each dog-run). Lastly, treatment of clean surfaces with superheated steam or using a horticultural flamethrower (provided

16 Posts
Discussion Starter #14

Can that be found during a normal check for worms etc? He ran a few tests on Monday and they were all ok...also, the dog was wormed 5 times. At least according to the dates she gave me. I imagine though, that worming does not account for that particular kind.

Right now, we are spending multiple hours in the sun/shade. I certainly have a tan! :D
He ate the cheaper dog food and naturally now has diahhrea, but I expected that due to the changes. Luckily...we are outside!

Little creep! and all the Dachshund wants to do is play...and he can't. So I am playing interference between the two! It's been a ride I can say that much!!!

As for the breeder and turning her in, my husband is heading in that direction. I haven't talked to him while he was at work today--so I don';t know if he called her or not.

They are roundworms are the most common worm infection...but if the vet was going by the dates she gave for deworming , he may have not even considered it as a cause...and the 'breeder' may not have dewormed at all. The puppy will usually have a potbelly with this infection.

I would ask him about it and also about getting a vitamin D shot. The pup needs calcium but won't absorb it without vitamin D. The sunshine will definitely help, but she needs a jumpstart.

I feel terrible that you are going thru this, but Duster is lucky to have you. Don't worry about bothering the vet, you are Duster's advocate and he needs you desperately now.

I'm so upset about Duster. I wonder if you are anywhere near a teaching veterinary hospital like University of Pennsylvania. I think Duster needs more than 'cheap' dog food to get better. And if he has diarrhea now from the dog food change, then he is at major risk of dehydration because of his undernourished state. He has no reserves to draw upon. I am having a hard time 'getting' the reasoning behind the switch to a 'cheap' dog food. Duster needs all the vitamins and minerals and good protein he can get and I don't understand how a food that is mostly grain based (probably corn) that he won't absorb or use as a nutrient is going to help him. And a home cooked chicken/ rice diet probably won't be beneficial at this point either because he needs all those supplemental vitamins and minerals that are in good dog food.
So, I'm wondering if the vet has already given up on Duster...and if this is a possibility then you need to be clear with him where you stand...if you are already attached to Duster I would stress that to him and state that you want to do whatever you can to help him. And I definitely would question the food switch.

Me again...can you tell I am so upset about Duster? :(
Here is a great story about a puppy with rickets nursed back to health by a vet tech AND Royal Canin puppy food. I would dump the cheapo food and switch back to a nutritious brand. ... uppy1.html

"Due to the superior nutrition... "
To the entire staff of Royal Canin,

I wanted to take the time to send you a note regarding a success story, in which Royal Canin played a big part.

Let me start by introducing myself. I am Vet tech at Banfield Pet Hospital which is located inside of Petsmart. I am also a volunteer foster home for the Heart of Georgia Humane Society, and regularly foster orphaned or mistreated puppies and kittens. It is one of these orphans whose story I want to share with you.

On Christmas Eve, December 24th, 2005, a Petsmart associate went outside to throw out some trash. Alongside the dumpster was a cardboard box which was bound tight with duct tape. The employee heard whimpers coming from the box and quickly opened the box to find a 5 week old scabby, bald puppy that was also suffering from rickets. The employee hurried this poor puppy into the store, and brought him straight to the vet clinic. The poor pup was a mass of oozing sores and scabs. His front legs were bowed and he walked on the sides of his paws rather than on his pads. He only had a few wisps of dull darkish hair, which gave no true clue as to what color hair he had, nor as to what breed he might be. He weighed less than 5 pounds and his ribs were showing.

A skin scrape showed the poor little guy was suffering from both Sarcoptic and Demodectic mange, and due to the severity of the infestation, he had a severe skin infection as well. The staff on duty discussed euthanizing the little guy to end his suffering, but decided instead to wait until after Christmas and then send him to the local animal shelter. In the mean time, treatment was begun to treat his mange.

Petsmart was nice enough to donate a bag of Royal Canin Large Breed Puppy formula to help this little guys cause. I was told he was ravenous and ate until his little belly was full and tight. It was probably the first good meal this little guy had ever had.

On December 26th, I returned to work and met the little guy for the first time. He was pitiful. Scratching like mad, and looking miserable. Despite his misery, he licked my hand and wagged his little bald tail. My Hospital director was about to call the pound when I told her that I would assume responsibility for the little guy, who had by now acquired the nick name of 'Crusty' due to his scaly, scabby skin.

'Crusty' went home with me that evening along with an itinerary of daily medicated baths, and medication to help his infestation. He also went home with the bag of Royal Canin Large Breed Puppy formula, which he ate with vigor.

As each day went by, he grew bigger and stronger and shortly after treatment began, he began to grow a beautiful, slick, shiny, black coat. It was clear by now that what I had in my possession was a Black Lab pup. The Royal Canin diet not only helped his skin heal, and his coat to grow in nice and shiny, but it also helped him get over his rickets. Although he did need to wear a splint on his front legs for a few days to support his faulty joints, his legs grew straight and strong faster due to the excellent quality of the Royal Canin diet.

'Crusty' has been in my care now for about 6 weeks , and you would not believe him to be that same pitiful puppy. He has been re-named Cooper and now weighs over 25 pounds. He is vibrant, healthy and active with no evidence of permanent scars from his early days of suffering. His coat is SHINY and his skin is now healthy. His bones are straight and strong.

I have to say that I believe this is all due to the superior nutrition he has received via Royal Canin.

I wanted to say a big Thank You to all of you who work at Royal Canin for striving for superior nutrition for both Dogs and Cats. Although you may not think it is a big deal, and it is just your job, you are wrong. You make a difference in pets lives every day. I know because I've witnessed it firsthand.

And for that, I thank you all....And so does Cooper.

1,154 Posts
I keep coming back to this thread - like Linda I'm VERY upset for you and Duster!

Did you bring a stool sample to the vet to test for worms? Have you considered trying another vet? And did your husband ever call the "breeder"?
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