7 month old Labrador mix has strange gait , tires easily and has trembly muscles.
(SF Bay Area)
I have 7 month Lab mix puppy. I've noticed lately that when i take him for a romp at the dog park he tires very quickly to the point where he will just collapse and refuse to get up. At 7 months i imagine his energy would be unending. but he barley plays for 10 mins and he is wiped out. labored breathing ,fast heartbeat, panting the whole " I am POOPED " deal.
I also noticed that when he does TRY to play fetch, when he is running towards the ball and he tries to stop, the momentum of his body is too much and his legs give out before he can get himself to stop. I've checked his legs and hips for pain, but he just seems like he is exhausted.
plus he walks funny. sort of choppy and his rear feet sometime drag. when he runs he sort of bunny-hops. and his toes rather then being tight and together seem to fan out when he stands. his rear hocks are sorta pointed inward too.
Earlier the vet told me he had a heart murmur but that i shouldn't worry about it because puppies will sometimes out grow it. but lately he has been turning his nose away from food. he drinks water ok, but it seems like when he gets excited, even by my just coming home for the day he coughs, has rapid heartbeats and breaths funny.
he seems happy and still wags his tail. but all these little things have started to make me nervous. especially his finicky taste for food lately. His gums also don't seem as pink as they normally are. I heard that can mean he is sick???
( in the picture i uploaded of him, you can see his toes -without weight bearing- are sorta spread already. when he stands the spreading gets worse....)
Your pup looks adorable, love that expression! Although he looks healthy in the photo, that's a lot of symptoms that you've picked up on and I think you're right to be concerned and to want to look into things further.
The fact that he's easily tired and seems to have a rapid heart beat, weakness and difficulty 'catching his breath', plus the pale gums and loss of appetite make me think that you need to have his heart murmur re-evaluated.
A slight heart-murmur in puppies is often approached in the same way your vet has done, taking a 'wait and see' attitude, as long as the pup is healthy and active otherwise. This isn't the case with your boy now, and it could be that the murmur indicates a heart problem requiring treatment.
I'd recommend that you check out this page Dog Heart Murmur as it explains a lot and will help you to understand what may be going on. Although the site is dedicated to Rottweilers, the same thing applies to any breed with this condition.
I'd also recommend that you get your pup back to your vet for evaluation soon, and don't over-tax him in the exercise department as right now you don't know how strong his heart is. I don't want to frighten you, and this is a 'worst case' scenario, but sudden death can occur in this sort of situation if the heart is put under too much stress.
The strange gait you mention could be something to do with the general weakness related to the heart problem (if that is what's going on of course), but it could also be that he has problems with his hips. There are varying degrees of dysplasia in dogs, and the other things you mention about your boys' feet and hocks etc., could mean that he's simply not 'put together' exactly right back there, which is causing an uneven gait. The fact that his front feet aren't 'tight' is probably just another manifestation of loose ligaments/structures in his limbs.
It's important to note that both certain types of canine heart murmurs or heart anomalies, and hip dysplasia in dogs, are genetic or congenital in nature. That means that it's possible the parents of your pup have one or other of these conditions or are 'carriers'. It's not advisable to breed from dogs like that and if you bought your pup from a breeder, if he is diagnosed with a hereditary-type condition I would recommend letting the breeder know.
I'm not a veterinarian, so this is all just my personal opinion based on the symptoms you mention, only your vet can make an accurate diagnosis so please get your pup examined asap. There are a variety of treatments for both conditions and the sooner you get an accurate assessment of the problem, the sooner your pup will be feeling much better.
I wish you the best of luck and hope that he is doing much better soon.