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15 Year Old Mixed Breed with trouble walking
03-04-2017, 12:05 AM,
#1
Shocked  15 Year Old Mixed Breed with trouble walking
My family dog is a mixed shiba inu. She is 15 years old. When she was much younger she was hit by a car and lost feeling in her tail. Years later her tail became infected and had to be amputated. Now that she has aged, she is having increasing difficulty with walking. Her back legs and back end in general are very weak. Her left leg specifically seems to be giving her the most trouble. She wants to be mobile and she wants to eat but the weakness of her back end causes her to constantly to lose balance, fall, and spin in circles. I know she may not have much time left but is there anything nutritionally or otherwise we can do to help her regain some strength until she's ready to leave us? We are desperate for help.
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03-04-2017, 12:35 PM,
#2
RE: 15 Year Old Mixed Breed with trouble walking
I am sorry to hear your 15 year old is having trouble walking. At this age it could you are dealing with intervertrebral disc disease, hip or knee problems (acl tear, hip dyslapsia, arthritic changes). In some cases can also be degenerative myelopathy, a progressive loss of nerve function of the rear legs. You first need to know exactly what is causing this, see the first step would be to see your vet and then you can explore nutrition, supplements etc based on your vet's findings. Is your dog already on glucosamine?
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03-04-2017, 05:58 PM,
#3
RE: 15 Year Old Mixed Breed with trouble walking
Have you discussed with your Vet giving the dog Rimadryl? Sometimes a doggy NSAID helps. My one dog post a Vestibular attack, had a combination of arthritis, and weakness in her rear legs. Making it difficult for her to get up, and maintain her balance. The Rimadryl did wonders for her. Also possible is the balance is a neurological problem involving the brain. Ask your Vet if the OTC medication meclizine which is effective against dizziness would be worth a try - along with the appropriate dosage.

Other than that, use a towel for a sling in front of the rear legs to keep her study. I still have to use a towel to help mine go up/down the inside staircase. Immediately after the Vestibular attack, the Vet loaned me a nylon padded sling for the entire body, which helped in taking her for short walks. Those are available online at various sites for purchase.
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03-05-2017, 10:58 PM,
#4
RE: 15 Year Old Mixed Breed with trouble walking
Thank you both so much for your input! She has been to the vet. They haven't said much other than it's just old age. At that time, she had good and bad days mobility wise. Now she seems to consistently have trouble but she does not want to sit still and insists on pacing the house, although stairs are no go at this point. I know that she is on glucosamine and condotrin. It seemed to help more at first. I'm not sure how much it is helping now. We've been just holding her up if she's having trouble standing to eat and carrying her outside.. I'll definitely see what the vet thinks about Rimadryl. Thanks!
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03-06-2017, 10:26 AM,
#5
RE: 15 Year Old Mixed Breed with trouble walking
Pacing or anxiety could be a sign of pain from arthritis.

If the Vet does prescribe Rimadryl, you'll need periodic blood work to check on liver enzymes. In some dogs Rimadryl, and other doggy NSAIDs can harm the liver. Thus, it's best to get a blood chem panel 1 month after starting, and then every 3 months thereafter. Also I give my 70 lb 14 yr old puppy 75mg rantidine (e.g. Zantac) twice a day, to guard against any acid stimulation or gastric irritation from the Rimadryl. You would have to ask your Vet the appropriate dosage for your smaller dog.
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03-06-2017, 05:56 PM,
#6
RE: 15 Year Old Mixed Breed with trouble walking
My dog has problems with his spine, he gets intervertebral disc disease flare-ups every now and then. In my dog's case it affects his neck and causes him to limp and he also has arthritis. I know of dogs who get it in their back and when the back is affected often it causes legs to give out. We have been using Metacam for flare up and  Bixbi Joints and Vetridisc for maintenance. 

 When I had a doxie and her legs tended to give out (because of back problems, very common in this breed) and arthritis we did a whole lot, acupuncture, B12 injections, Adequan, Vetprofen (Rimadyl), Gabapentin, chiropratic care swimming, laser therapy and t-touch and hydromassage.  I would discuss with your vet what you can do or consult with another vet who specializes in rehabilitation. There may be chances your dog needs the pain and inflammation under control to regain better mobility.
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