weakness in the back legs - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2008, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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weakness in the back legs

First, thanks Joe for the new section! I'm real excited to be able to share issues and concerns with the other golden oldies owners!
My 11 year old boy is showing signs of weakness in his back legs, such as trouble getting up when he's on a slippery floor.
He's always had lots of exercise and been kept lean, although he does weigh 80 pounds because he's about 2 inches taller than standard calls for.
He takes 1 rimadyl a day (recent) because some of what we thought was weakness turned out to be pain, and it's made a huge difference in his getting around. We monitor his liver values with the rimadyl because he has some other liver issues, too, and so far it's not had any effect on the liver enzymes.
Anyone have any suggestions for ways to help him keep his muscle function for as long as possible? All suggestions appreciated!!



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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2008, 06:57 AM
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I would say swimming or aquatherapy would be the best for him!.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2008, 07:35 AM
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Swimming is the best way to go, definitely. But you'll need to find an indoor facility because it's COLD in Chicago Cold water is terrible for arthritis, if that's what you're dealing with. Being near a large city, you may have an indoor facility available. I don't have that here in the middle of Pennsylvania.

You can also take walks up slow inclines. Do you have a small hill nearby? That's great exercise for the legs, up and down. But it has to be a gentle hill. Good for you, too

Large circle 8's are good. It forces your dog to use both legs, not favoring one over the other.

I don't have Daisy on rimadyl right now because I want her to know where she's at with the pain from her knee, until she recovers completely from her ACL surgery. But I think beginning next summer, rimadyl will be a part of our lives too. She's taken it well in the past, let's hope that continues! It does help.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2008, 10:44 AM
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I know exactly what you are going thru. My Beau has severe weakness in his back legs because of the seizures and phenobarbital use. We have been using metacam but lately it has not been working as well. I spoke to the vet to see if I could use the Rimadyl but with his heart issues he is not able to take it.
It is so hard to watch them get old and have trouble getting around.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2008, 03:51 PM
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If your senior is having trouble getting up because of slipping, get some rubber-backed rugs to put around so he can get a good purchase when rising. Hydrotherapy is great for keeping muscles from wasting. If it's arthritis pain, you might ask your vet about Adequan injections (works a charm for some, not so much for others), as well as acupuncture. I knew a 10-year-old lab who could no longer go on walks due to arthritis; three acupuncture sessions later, he was doing two miles on an off-leash trail. You can do canine massage, which keeps blood flowing well into hindquarters, another way to help maintain muscle mass.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2008, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the replies. Unfortunately, the closest hydrotherapy place is over an hour away. Wonder if I need to put one in here at the pet hotel and deduct it on my taxes??? <big grin>
I'm real interested in the canine massage. Is it something I can readily learn to do myself?
For Carol, I've heard a lot of dogs do real well on either previcox (sp?) or zubrin if the rimadyl no longer works for them, is that an option with his heart??



CH Rosewood Little Giant, VCD2 UDX VER RA MHU SH MXP MJP MFP T2BP TD DJ VCX WCX CCA CGC FFX-OG (born 3-10-2007), also UCH HR UH UUD UJJ URO1 UHIT a.k.a. "Tito" (the Tito Monster)

waiting at the bridge:
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Gibson's Golden Girl, CD, CGC, TDI ( 3-20-1997 - 11-22-2013) a.k.a. "Tiny", "Queen B"
and my heart dog
Gibson's Golden Guy, CD, CGC, TDI ( 01-31-1998 - 01-02-2012) a.k.a. "Toby", "HRH"
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2008, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
I'm real interested in the canine massage. Is it something I can readily learn to do myself?
Yes, there are a lot of videos and books available teaching canine massage. We got lucky with our acupuncture vet who also does chiropracty, acupressure, cold laser therapy and massage. She taught us some massages to help our 11 1/2 yo.
Our first golden developed spinal disk damage at age 12, slipping on floors, having his hips go out while walking. He was put on an experimental drug--the human drug neurontin, used for parkinsons. It did not work. Due to liver damage from rimadyl he was switched to metacam. It helped some, but the best treatment for him was acupuncture. We also did adequin and cosequin for his arthritis and hip dysplasia. With acupuncture we got him back to walking short distances, which improved his mobility over time and improved his attitude. Towards the very end we used a lift aid to help him up.
Our 11 1/2 yo has muscle weakness in his hind end but the walkiing, acupuncture, massage, and cosequin are keeping him mobile. I hope and pray this continues. He averages about 6 half doses (50 mgs) of rimadyl a year.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2008, 09:58 PM
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It is possible it could be a pinched nerve in the back. My 11 yr terrier-mix was so bad last Feb I was expecting to have to send him to the bridge by March. I noticed his back was saging a bit but what I didn't expect was how his sides twitched when I began to rub him down near his spine which indicated to me there was something going on there. He couldnt even sit without falling over. To make a long story short, he recieved about 6 chiropractor adjustments along with me rubing down the muscles that were in spasm causing a vicious cycle of pinched nerve, muscle spasm....Today he chases squirrels and puts up with my GR, Piper.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2008, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by hotel4dogs View Post
thanks for the replies. Unfortunately, the closest hydrotherapy place is over an hour away. Wonder if I need to put one in here at the pet hotel and deduct it on my taxes??? <big grin>
I'm real interested in the canine massage. Is it something I can readily learn to do myself?
For Carol, I've heard a lot of dogs do real well on either previcox (sp?) or zubrin if the rimadyl no longer works for them, is that an option with his heart??

I dont know about those meds but will ask the vet next week. It is so hard because he can hardly get up now without help.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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WLR, how was the pinched nerve diagnosed? What kind of doctor would I need to take him to?? I want to be sure (as we all do) that I'm not missing something that could keep him happy and mobile longer.



CH Rosewood Little Giant, VCD2 UDX VER RA MHU SH MXP MJP MFP T2BP TD DJ VCX WCX CCA CGC FFX-OG (born 3-10-2007), also UCH HR UH UUD UJJ URO1 UHIT a.k.a. "Tito" (the Tito Monster)

waiting at the bridge:
My first dog, and my most special girl
Gibson's Golden Girl, CD, CGC, TDI ( 3-20-1997 - 11-22-2013) a.k.a. "Tiny", "Queen B"
and my heart dog
Gibson's Golden Guy, CD, CGC, TDI ( 01-31-1998 - 01-02-2012) a.k.a. "Toby", "HRH"
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