Should I have Ember's legs/spine checked?
#1
I have noticed recently that Ember is incredibly clumsy when it comes to stairs especially. She will miss a step almost daily (not every time we climb them, but often). I thought it was because she vaults herself up them like she HAS to have momentum to make it. Maybe like her feet aren't quite working in conjunction with her brain.

Tonight, I noticed that when she jumped for the couch, her back half didn't quite make it.

She's showing no signs of soreness, stiffness, or impeded movement, at all. I'm tempted to just brush it off. She's been like this for a while, in fact as we've been learning to play I've noticed she'll miss the couch and sort of bounce off of it with this puppy "meant to do that" air about her. But it doesn't stop whatever game she's playing and she shows no discomfort as far as I can tell.

It's just really weird that I'm noticing it now. Maybe it's more often - the missing the steps definitely is so. At least those are almost always on the way up - we don't fall "down" them at all. She just face plants the next step up when her feet don't catch her heading up.

And she's showing no aversion to anything related to jumping or climbing. She still takes the steps at the same pace and doesn't hesitate at the couch at all.

Is it possible she's just clumsy or should I get her checked over?
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#2
I think that sometimes dogs don't think about their back legs.  My GSD was really graceful until we tried agility and he didn't know where his back end should be.  He would have never been able to do the dog walk because of his hind legs (we started him on agility when he was a middle-age dog).  He really had no clue where his back legs should be.  Mattie often "limps" with her back legs.  When I take the collies outside in the morning I will notice she will hold up one leg.  I really need to get a video because it is quite interesting.  She never favors either of her back legs and when I take her to the park she will run flat out and not look like she is hurting at all.  In fact she never seems like she is favoring one leg except when I take her out in the morning.

How often does Ember encounter stairs?  Do you think she may just not understand how to navigate them?  If she doesn't seem in pain I would try to take a video and show it to your vet the next time you have a visit.  Mattie will walk backwards with incredible grace but will hop with one leg up when I take her out in the morning.  She never seems to be in pain.  I have massaged her legs and she enjoys the attention but never acts like there is any pain.  I'm wondering if it may be a habit for Mattie.
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#3
We go up/down the stairs no less than 3 times a day.

I'm torn between it looking like she's just not thinking about where her feet are and maybe having distance judging issues. It's really hard to determine if it's a coordination issue or a health issue. It would be easier if I could tell if it was the same paw(s) that keep getting tripped up but I've seen her catch any variation of the 4 on a slightly higher surface.
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#4
Most dogs actually have to be taught that they can control where their back feet go. They seem to think that the back feet should just automatically follow the front, but sometimes they don't. You can try having Ember walk through the rungs on a ladder lying flat on the floor, or teach her to put her back feet up on something. Anything that they have to pay attention to where they place their back feet will help.
Gotta love 'em.
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#5
Haven’t been able to get in with the vet yet, but swung by with Ember in tow to inquire. They want to do X-rays since they have already done a full work up on her in the past 6 months. This is most likely going to include anesthesia. I’m going to have to sit on it long enough to get the funds. But I do believe I might go ahead and do it, namely for many things I’m still noticing. Her legs shake whenever she squats to go, and I still swear it looks like she is pigeon toed from behind. She missed the couch again yesterday but hasn’t missed the steps in a few days. I still feel like it’s not exactly bone related. Also all of these things I had noticed from the very day I got her, but attributed it all to either poor health due to heart worm or lack of exercise/strength due to that and living conditions for the 6 months before I got her. At this point all of that should be passed. I would think. I’ll try to get a video of the pigeon toe thing tomorrow.
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#6
Do you have deer ticks in your area?
Linda

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

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#7
Apparently after a google search, yes. But she is bathed/brushed regularly and I haven't found anything by feel. What should I be looking for?
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#8
Here is the promised video. Again, I understand there may be actually nothing wrong, I don't know how a BC's back end should technically move. It just doesn't look normal to me. I would love to hear "girl, she's fine, it's an optical illusion" LOL. Also, it's not overly visible in the video but her back legs were trembling every time she stretched out.

Again, all of this was noted from the day I brought her home 2 years ago - but with the increased frequency of missing couch/steps, I'm wondering if it's all connected (of course, if it IS anything at all).

Video time is under 2 minutes so should be a short watch.



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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#9
Well I'm not going to say that you are seeing things, because I do see her legs trembling, plus her pigeon toed walk. I don't think I would worry about the pigeon toe, but I have to wonder if the problem is a result of nerve issues, like if she something is pinching a nerve in her back, but very minor that it just shows in trembling legs and missing steps/jumping on the couch. If it is a nerve issues then x-rays may not show anything.
Sorry I haven't read all the post about her and you, but when you got her do you know if she had any type of major injures? Broken bones, dislocated joints, etc.?
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#10
The only health issues she had when I got her was heart worm. She was severely out of shape, too, due to only getting a walk twice a day if she was lucky - the agency didn't have the people power. There were a few days I went to visit her before bringing her home that I was her first walk well into the after noon - but to their credit they usually did better.

Because of her shyness and people sensitivities we've been to several different vets trying to find the right one. Each one's initial visit included a full health check including hands in the hip sockets - and no one found anything. We're talking about 5-6 different vets before all was said and done, including blood work.

However, we've never gone beyond that.

The shaking may be something different. There is actually a post on here from last year (maybe early this year, but most likely last year, I can't even remember lol) where I got upset with the shaking after a visit to the dog park - she couldn't hardly reach to sniff while out on a walk without visibly quivering. I watched it abate but am now realizing I may have just quit paying attention instead of seeing it actually go away - we figured she had probably just over-exerted herself. Hmmmmm....
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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