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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our dear old dog, who is 11 about 100+ lbs has been having trouble with his back legs for some time. About 5 yrs ago he had his ACL repaired, and has been doing fine since then. Once the weather turned this year though it got much worse fairly suddenly. He was still able to get up and around though most times on his own - and if he did need a bit of a boost, he could stay up.

The last few days he's taken another turn for the worst, and hasn't been able to get up on his own, and even after we boost him up, he falls down at the littlest things (like he just caught his foot on the threshold on the floor and slid down).... and he couldn't even get up last night when he pooped (which he has also been losing a bit of control with too and doesn't seem to even know he's pooping at times) and ended up sleeping in his own poo
.

I'm planning to cal the vet Mon to see if there's anything we can do to help him - but thought maybe some of you may have been through this with your dogs and may have some advice as well.

TIA
 

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Is he taking anything for arthritis? Since it has worsened and seems connected with colder weather, I'd say get some glucosamine and chondroitin for him -- sounds like it's arthritis, or at least that's a contributing factor.

You can loop a towel under the back end of his belly to help support him (like a sling), in the meantime. And get some puppy pads to put under his hind quarters while he sleeps if need be.

Is he overweight or a large breed dog? Could it be hip dysplasia?

We had this happen with our Akita and it was awful, really. I feel for you.
She ended up being put on steroids (after we had her biopsied and all kinds of procedures to try to see what was wrong).

Definitely call your vet Monday.

Good luck. I hope everything ends up okay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you nighten
It really is so sad to see him going this way.

We have given him glucosamine and chondrointen in the past, but he hates pills, so I have to admit, I didn't force them on him (although I tried every creative way of hiding them I could - bugger always found them and spit them out - even started hiding them in his cheeks and after I thought he'd downed 'em I'd say "good boy" and he'd look at me sweetly and spit them out!). I probably should have been more persistent though - if it isn't his hip do you think they'd still help being this far gone??

He is a large breed (well mutt) dog - not overweight at all - so I guess it could be hip displasia....which doesn't sounds like an easy fix


Did the steroids help your pooch? There isn't anything else wrong with him - he doesn't seem to be in pain - but he isn't happy about the bathroom issues (this is a dog who didn't even go in the house when he was a puppy) and seems scared about the loss of control with walking ( understandable). Other than these things though he's healthy - Just these darn legs.

Thanks so much for your advice and well wishes.
 

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Well, to be honest, the steroids introduced other issues, so it was kind of a catch-22 for us. Pandora was a bit older than your dog though and in much worse shape, so there's that. And it was several years ago -- they may have something much better to help deal with it now.

It couldn't hurt to give your pup the gluc/chond though -- I would try dipping/coating the whole pill in peanut butter and handing it to him. Or put the pill with peanut butter on a treat. If you haven't tried those already. Peanut butter is my favorite delivery system, as it makes it a lot harder for them to be selective about spitting anything out.


You can try also getting an orthopedic bed for him. That might help too. The towel/sling trick really does help a lot, and even if it is a backleg/hip issue and localized to the backlegs, then you can get contraptions that allow mobility even without the use/control of those legs.

Here is just one site I found (there are lots out there!):

http://www.dogkarts.com/

And you can give him baby aspirin safely, too, if he seems in pain from the arthritis. Given his weight, you could probably give him two baby aspirin at once. I can give my 45 pound beagle (she, unlike your dog, is fat
) one whole one safely.

Good luck and if I forget to check the thread, and you have more questions or if I can help at all, feel free to PM me.
 

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At the vet clinic we use that trick pp recommeded with using a towel to support the hindquarters of a dog that cannot walk on its own or get up on its own. For pain too, what pp recommended baby asprin.

I would definatley get your pup into the vet on Monday, they will probably want to do x-rays and a complete physical. But like pp said given that this game on in the cold weather, it does sound like arthritis. My rotti when I was a kid had hip dysplasia and the vet put her on rimidyl. It really worked, but you need to bring the dog in every 6 months for bw to check if it is affecting the liver.

The night I left for basic training she was yelping and couldnt walk, my father had to carry her (it was in January and we just got quite a bit of snow), found out she had hip dysplasia (at 5 yrs old) put her on rimidyl and she did great! She was able to run again and play. She still had some bad days, but she lived for 3 more years.

Also, if you have trouble getting meds down, you can use canned food. Just a little bit in a bowl and hide the pill, or put it on your finger, though I really like the peanut butter idea.

I really hope your dog gets better.
 

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We have always had amazing results with acupuncture treatment for many issues, but particularly pain management for our dogs. It takes only a few treatments to see a full recovery in most dogs, and this may buy you some time before meds are the last resort.

Another thing to consider might be lowering the weight of your dog. Check with your vet, of course, but the less weight he has to carry, the easier getting up and walking will be. We have large breeds and always keep the older ones quite thin because of their hip issues.

You can find a practitioner in the US by going to the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture: www.aava.org
Click on "information center", then you can link to a vet in your state.

Tracy
 

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It really does sound like arthritis. If the arthritis is in his back it could even be causing nerve damage, which would cause all the problems with the back legs. I would:

1. Give immediate pain relievers.
2. Get acupuncture and stick with it for a couple months at least.
3. Synovi G3 chews (Has all the supplements listed, but most dogs thing they're treats)
4. Inquire about Adequan injections.
5. Look at diet - if already on raw foods - try to find lungs to feed.
6. Short, frequent walks every day - especially early in the day to help him get started.

The acupuncture is amazing. I can't stress it enough.

Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your time and advice. I really appreciate it.

As far as the sling/towel for support - do you use it just to get the dog up or also follow him as he walks to give him the added support so he doesn't fall?

I'll definitely try some baby aspirin - those are usually chewable no? I've tried peanut butter (he licks/sucks it all off and then spits out the pill most times), cheese, just putting it as far back in his mouth as possible with my hand, sneaking it in with his food (dry) - but I haven't tried the soft food - we don't usually do soft food but I'll try that - I'm figuring he'll find it and just leave it in his bowl, but its worth a shot!! I don't know how he got so good with the pills - but he's a total trickster when it comes to them


So Tom'sTxMom - do you just feed your large breeds less so they drop weight even if they aren't over weight? I don't want to starve him, but understand of course that the less he weighs the less his legs have to carry him. The vets always comment on how muscular he is and that he's surprisingly not fat (I think you see the scales tip at over 100 and folks automatically think overweight)...but he's pretty sedentary at this point so maybe he doesn't need that many calories anyway???

I'll definitely keep ya'll posted about the vet. I, obviously, can't get in touch with them till Monday - then have to find a time Dh (who works 10 hr days) can take him in - I'm 5 mo pregnant and can't manage getting Bear in and out of the car - but will start with the aspirin and supplements tomorrow.

Thank you all so much for your advice and well wishes for Bear - he's still having the same troubles today but I'm really hopeful that the vet can give us some good treatment advice this week.
 

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s momma going through this right now.

I have talked to my chiropractor and will be bringing mine in but in this case I have not strayed far from traditional vet medicine as of yet. Glu/choindroitin has worked really well for us - I give a generic of Bioflex or something like that and the price was reasonable. He also rec Fish Oil.

My vet swears by Nuvet for a supplement though I have yet to get some.

We are using Carprofen (Rimadyl) 2x a day and Tramadol 2x day. Last week began Adequan shot and have seen the most improvement with that.

I roll the pills in Velveeta (bought specifically for this as vet rec and my dog wouldn't touch peanut butter anymore)

My dog went from 103 to 97lbs. a mix and almost 13 showing severe arthritic problems. He did test positive for Lyme and was treated for that. He has made a huge comback in agility through treatment.

Love and peace to you.
 

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Our 15-yo dog lived like this for a while.....we took her to a holistic vet who treated her with chiro and acupuncture and homeopathy and some supplements (Max-GXL and Derm Caps) and something called Warrior. It helped her for about six months. When none of this was helping her anymore, and she could not drink or chew and swallow well anymore, and could not stand up to pee and would end up falling over and peeing on herself, we decided it was time to let her go. In her case, it was not just arthritis. If it had been just arthritis it would have been easier to treat. I would recommend searching for a holistic vet or veterinary chiro as some of the chiros will also use other methods as well. The vet you see now can treat aggressively for arthritis, and if that is not helping, go on to trying other approaches. When it was finally time to let her go I felt very certain that we had done everything we could possibly have done for her. I hope you are able to find a treatment that helps your dog.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Earth Angel View Post
So Tom'sTxMom - do you just feed your large breeds less so they drop weight even if they aren't over weight? I don't want to starve him, but understand of course that the less he weighs the less his legs have to carry him. The vets always comment on how muscular he is and that he's surprisingly not fat (I think you see the scales tip at over 100 and folks automatically think overweight)...but he's pretty sedentary at this point so maybe he doesn't need that many calories anyway???
Yes, I do keep them "Thin" if they have joint problems. This means you can easily feel their ribs, and in shorter haired dogs, you can even see the ribs (much the same as in an athlete). You're right, it makes sense that if you're trying to get up from the floor, if you have less volume, it's easier to pull yourself up. You're still using the same muscle mass, just less volume your muscles have to carry.

I don't want my dogs to feel hungry either! And I do want to be certain they are getting the nutrition they need. At 11, he doesn't need too much protein, he does need nutrients. If you're comfortable with the nutrition in what you're already feeding, you might consider feeding the quantity for an 80 lb dog (which should give him all the nutrients he needs) and fill his belly with add in's like: canned green beans, raw carrots (help the breath!), cooked brown rice or whole wheat pasta. They will fill the belly, but keep the weight off.

If you think you can muster it, either prepare your own raw foods, as mentioned, or purchase a prepared raw food (it won't be cheep to buy it prepared for a dog that big, but if you can afford it, you will be amazed by the results.)

Just a little FYI: One study showed that when vets commented about owners dogs being too heavy/fat, the vets lost 40% of their clients! So, don't expect your average vet to tell you if your dog is "big". It can't STILL be all muscle mass if he's your average 11 year old, sedentary dog!

Best wishes!
Tracy
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
to you too farmlife and llp 34. Never easy to watch them go from frisky pooch to one that's in pain. Thank you for your advice and support


Good news - he's been improving a bit on his own, able to get up when he wanted to go outside both last night and this morning (and its bitter cold this am) and made it out, about, and back in without falling down or slipping. This is where he has been since the early fall. With things like this I'm just always psyched to see improvement vs regression.

I'm still going to get ahold of the vet and see if we can't get him in to be seen and attempt to develop some type of treatment plan for him. Its interesting that you mention lyme disease farmlife - its quite possible that that is a factor with him also - the ticks up here have been insane the last 2 summers.

We are pretty strapped for cash or I'd love to feed him a raw diet and take him to a chiro, etc I know they can work wonders as I've had both chiro and acupuncture done on myself and my son and the results are always amazing.

tomsTX mom, thanks for the advice on the veggies and such to keep his belly full, that sounds like a good combination of nutrients and "fullness" to keep him happy. I'm interested to see his weight now as he has never really gained or lost - always steady since a full grown pup at about 105 - 108, and I could see him having lost some on his own as he does seem to self monitor his food in his older age and will, at times, go a day or so without eating like he did this weekend. It always makes me a tad nervous, but he never seems sick or anything - just not interested in eating. He'll also be sure to let you know if he's still hungry other days - so I'm sure I could adjust what we're feeding and monitor his own cues to make sure he feels "well fed". But your right, at 11 in the winter when he's fairly happily hibernating - he probably could easily take a reduction in food - and is likely carrying some extra poundage!

Thanks again everyone - I really really really appreciate the advice and the BTDT support - this guy - like I'm sure is true for all of your dogs - is a big part of our family, and we want to do everything within our ability to help him have a good quality of life until its his time to go on....which is hopefully not any time soon.
 

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We have a 8 year old Chesapeake with hip troubles and it gets much worse in the winter. We do glucosamine and baby aspirin. The glucosamine we got at Costco and its liver flavored so he loves that. The aspirin I do have some trouble with. But they really do help.
 

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To get a dog to take pills all you have to do is put the pill really far back into their mouth and blow on their nose. It makes them swallow so usually the pill goes down. It is a trick my vet told me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
grlpowers - do you blow on their nose after you shut their mouth or just put the pill far back in their mouth and simultaneously blow toward their nose? This sounds like a trick that would really help us....cause unfortunately no Costco here -those liver flavored pills sound like they'd work great!! I just grabbed the regular glucosamine and choindrointin from the medicine/supplement section at the store, although it also has MSM and another med I know is good for arthritis -hyaluronic acid in it - he took 2 of those and a baby aspirin after much coaxing from me and a couple re-does due to him "cheeking" the meds
silly dog!! He had a much better day today and although he's still not up and about quite as much as he normally would be, he is still able to rise up on his own and not fall as he walks.

Oh, and we're heading to the vet on Friday to see if we can get a better picture of whats up and our treatment options.
 

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I tried Glucosamine and Chondroitin with my elderly greyhound. It just wasn't enough.

Rimadyl (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory, prescription only, somewhat $$) made a big difference. It dramatically improved his quality of life. It's meat flavored and chewable. He thought it was a treat.

It bought him years.

We moved to steriods at the end. It helped in the short term, but like the pp said, it's not a long term option. The steriods made his last few months more comfortable.

best wishes, mama.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi again,

Thought I'd let ya'll know how the vet visit went on Friday - sorry it took so long- we lost power for a day + and then I've just been swamped with holiday stuff : )

They tested Bear for lyme which was neg and then basically said its arthritis, likely some nerve damage, as well as the fact that he's just old. So, they had us do a trial of Metacam in addition to the glucosamine and the baby aspirin to see if we could ease his arthritic symptoms. Dh also asked about his weight (he weighed in at 118!!!!!) and the doc said definitely reduce his food and help him lose weight - 20 lbs would be great!

They said we'd know pretty quickly if the Metacam is working - and it seems to be. He is getting up on his own almost all the time (still has trouble if all paws are on the wood floor) and the real progress is that he's getting up to wander around the house - not just when we call him to go out or something. He isn't falling down at all once up and seems to be feeling more relaxed and happier about how his body is treating him (aside from not liking having less food
). After starting the glucosamine and baby aspirin he saw improvement too though so not sure which is affecting him most - but we'll keep the combo going.

The interesting thing to me was that Dh said the vet showed him a chart that compared a dog's height/weight to their age in human years - Bear is in his 90s - so he's not doing too shabby for a 90 yr old!! I always heard the the larger the dog the shorter their life span, but this just kind of puts it all in perspective for me.

Anyway - thanks again everyone for your kind words and advice! I really appreciate it
 
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