Thank you for your responses.
It's so hard to tell where they are hurting.
I do trust my vet, however, sometimes I get the feeling when they refer a patient (just like with my doctor) I'm not sure if they are really thinking about all the possibilities-expense, anxiety of a new place, etc. or if it's just, we don't know what to do next.
We do have her on a glucosamine regimen-it's her front leg though and only one, so I don't think it's joint related. However, I don't think that ever hurts with bigger dogs. I went through hip dysplasia with my last dog, a dalmatian.