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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:23 am 
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Remi has this small click at random times in her right rear leg...she walks and runs normal but sometimes when she stretches or moves a certain way I hear a click? I have felt all over her leg and there is kind of a small knot/lumpish thing on the inside of her thigh near the top that is not on the other leg. Anybody have any ideas?

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:32 pm 
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Just a warning, if you are researching this, a clicking sound in the hind legs can be a symptom of hip dysplasia. However, considering how mobile and active she is, it is unlikely you'd be hearing the sound without seeing any affect on her gait. If you do start to see any lameness or difficult standing or prolonged stiffness, you may want to go to the vet and talk about X-rays.

I'd think the more likely explanations are that she:
a.) She had a small fracture as a puppy and it has healed this way. Not much you can do about that, but unless she develops movement issues, it should be fine.
b.) She has a bone spur at the joint, which I actually developed in my wrist from horseback riding and drumming. It started to rub on my tendons and cause a lot of pain, so I had surgery to shave the bones down, but if it got that bad you notice it in her gait and might see swelling. If it doesn't cause discomfort, again it should be fine.
c.) She pulled or ruptured her ACL. The clicking noise is a common symptom. This one I'd worry about. Just like people, dogs can tear it by turning or slipping, and if it isn't serious it might not bother them. You can still walk and even run around with a minor ACL injury. But it needs to eventually be fixed before it completely ruptures. However, it would be pretty unlikely that she sustained that injury without you ever noticed any lameness.

Can you tell I spent way too much time around show horses whose legs were worth thousands upon thousands of dollars /:) I'd say just keep an eye on it. As long as she is moving fine, it probably isn't an issue. If you see any stiffness or change in her gait, I would definitely take her to the vet. She is such an active dog and needs that activity to stay happy, you don't want a small injury to turn into something serious and impede her career as a Lacy ;)

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:05 am 
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It seems to have been more frequent last night but that be because I'm paranoid that I did something to her by working her too hard too young...I've been watching her like a hawk. I think I'm going to call the vet and ask him what he thinks...we are coming up on the year mark next month so hopefully I can wait till then to have it checked out. I wonder if flyball and lure coursing is making it worse and I should hold off for a while... As always...thanks for the info Julie!

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:36 pm 
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Yeah, you're probably paranoid ;) Whenever I think something is wrong with Sadie or thought something was wrong with a horse, I'd turn it into this huge deal. It would be so much easier if you could just ask them, right? But I suppose we wouldn't be doing our jobs if we weren't worried about our dogs.

Though she may have developed the clicking from an injury sustained while being active, she could have just as easily done something running around in the yard or jumping up in the bed. Remember, these dogs were bred to work, and they are tough little suckers! And little is the operative word. Dogs with a compact build like the Lacy mature much faster than larger dogs. Most of those warnings are geared towards people with larger breeds. Sure, a Dane or even an oversized Lab might need to be cautious at 12 months, but Lacy dogs are out there working hogs and cattle and trap lines at well under a year. Sadie's dad was winning bay competitions at 9 months. And trust me, the stress of fly ball and agility are nothing compared to being pounded by a 200 pound boar! I think you are doing an excellent job of keeping Remi active and happy. If it does end up that she has an injury, don't blame yourself for starting her too early, because this what she was bred to do. And accidents happen no matter how careful you are. If you'd been taking her on 7 mile runs on the pavement at 7 months old, I'd worry, but fly ball once a week at 11 months is completely reasonable.

Keep us posted!

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"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys: http://www.truebluelacys.com
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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:11 am 
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Julie,

I have an interesting question for you considering I know not much about horses beyond the breeds I would like to own someday provided I actually get riding experience, lol. Was told that Americans tend to try to start training their horses very young and ride them a year or two younger than European horses resulting in horses that wear out earlier and have a smaller window frame of being able to be ridden..not sure if I make sense? Any truth to that?


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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:15 pm 
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Ted, that is an interesting question, and it is actually pretty relevant to this discussion.

Comparing the European horses to American horses is like comparing apples to oranges. American horses start earlier because they are lighter and thus mature earlier. Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds and their crosses are smaller and leaner than European Warmbloods. While a Thoroughbred can start racing at 2 years old and be showing over fences at 4, a Warmblood is still a bumbling fool until they are 4 or 5. Quarter horses aren't quite as hot as Thoroughbreds, but they are very compact and efficient, so they also develop much younger and are ready to work at younger age.

But I don't think this effects their serviceable life. I'd actually argue that a true European Warmblood become old, fat and lazy much earlier than the popular American breeds. In general, Warmbloods seem to have hardier legs than Thoroughbreds, but I attribute that entirely to the heavier bone structure. That is one reason Thoroughbred-Warmblood crosses are so popular. The best horse I ever had, EQ, was 3/4 Dutch Warmblood 1/4 Thoroughbred. He was much thicker than a Thoroughbred but more agile than a Thoroughbred. Which is kind part of logic behind Quarter Horses, they have the light build and speed of a Thoroughbred but are much sturdier. Between all of them, I think Quarter Horses last the longest, both mentally and physically.

So, to make the parallel, a Lacy is like a Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred mix, compact, light and agile, while hounds and retrievers are the Warmbloods. And even though they are hitting the woods at a year old, a Lacy is going to last a lot longer than heavier, bulkier breeds. That physical maturation definitely has an effect on their mental maturity as well. Whether they are horses or dogs, you do a disservice to the animal by leaving them alone in an attempt to coddle them.

Man, now I miss EQ!
Image

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"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys: http://www.truebluelacys.com
More Lacy Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julieanna/sets/72157605027566732/


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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:21 pm 
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I'd have to disagree with this. While American breeds are much lighter boned there is a tremendous amount of evidence that starting horses at two results in early arthritis and other joint problems. And their minds are just that..two.. IMO, No horse should be jumped before the age of five. Their knees should exrayed to be sure that they are closed too. Horses are started way too young because of the pressure to show, make $$, be proven, etc. If you want a horse to last you a lifetime, you go slow. Just ask the old timers..they had it right. They'd saddle/bridle them at two, ride them a little bit and then turn them out for another year.
As for race horses, just take a look at the injuries and the early breakdown of these animals. Just look at the number of thoroubreds and standardbreds at the slaughter markets and rescue organizations. Used and abused early.
There is a huge difference between young horses running around naturally and putting 150 lbs on him. Sure they love to race or ride, just like a young Lacy loves to work, but that doesn't mean that young joints won't be injured.
Rebecca


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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:55 pm 
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Race horses are a bad example, but I really think the problem is the intensity and danger of the sport more than their age. These horses have literally been breed for generations to mature very young. Same goes for horses bred to be show jumpers and hunters. Even in Europe they begin jumping the best stock at 3 or 4 to prepare them for stud book testing. And as you said, old timers would break horses at 2 and then start working them at 3. When cared for by the best vets, shoed by the best farriers and conditioned by the best trainers, an American-bred horse can be safely and successfully campaign in Green Hunters at 5 years old. And yes, those horses go on to have long, enjoyable careers with responsible owners. When I was in high school, there was a horse that won at the Garden in the 70s and was still packing around the Amateur ring at 20 and loving it.

But that really is getting off topic. The point I was getting at is one size does not fit all. There's a big difference in breeds due to the impact physical build and mental maturity has on working ability. This isn't the first time Chris has expressed concern about exercising Remi too early, but I believe he's made completely reasonable and responsible choices. She isn't a late blooming large breed that needs to sit on the sidelines until she's 1 or 2 years old. There is no reason a 10 or 11-month-old Lacy shouldn't do beginner fly ball classes once a week and run around in the woods after squirrels on the weekends.

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"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys: http://www.truebluelacys.com
More Lacy Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julieanna/sets/72157605027566732/


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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:11 pm 
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dont forget about the good ole' mule.... also started late and live long and healthy. :))

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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:31 pm 
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Ive had a pop like that in my wrist since grade school. never bothered me even after intensive football, wrestling, baseball, and jiujitsu.

The best thing you could do is ask your vet and get an xray, if damage is present you will be able to tell and can give the dog a rest and let it heal. My male heeler had a bad fall as a pup and hurt his hip pretty bad. I gave him the time to take it easy and heal up and he seems fine at 9 years old. all cases of injury, human or animal are diffrent as is the recovery rate.

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He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.--Unknown


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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:50 pm 
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Jiujitsu?! Now that sounds exciting! :D

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 Post Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:42 am 
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Thanks for easing my mind a little! I talked to the vet and he thinks that she might have sustained an injury young...maybe just some torn cartilage and as long as it isn't bothering her that it would be ok to wait till next month's check up to see her. He said all he would have to do is go in and remove the cartilage that is damaged if it ever starts bothering her. He also told me that he didn't think that flyball would hurt her anymore...to just watch her and use my own discretion! Another bit of good news, my wife's boss is a chiropractor and has agreed to x-ray her leg for me for free! Guess we'll check those and go from there.

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