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Discussion Starter #1
Ben is now approaching the grand old age of 17

For some years he has suffered from arthritis and increasing weakness in his rear legs. He can still get about but he increasingly needs help from myself or my wife to assist him getting up, and often when he is up his rear legs cross each other until he gets moving ('scissor legs'). It's increasingly the case that when he is up he will rapidly flop down again - not always, but more often than he used to.

It breaks our hearts to see him like this, but other than that he eats and drinks well and genuinely seems content with his lot. His eyesight is also failing, as is his hearing, but we're sure that it's not his 'time' yet.

What can we do to help with his rear legs problems? The vet thinks it's a combination of arthritis and loss of sensation.

He's on Metacam and the joint supplement Fortiflex for his arthritis.

We'd like to do more though, even if it means going 'off base' and using other forms of medicine. As long as they don't cause Ben any issues then we'd like to try and improve his rear leg problems.

Can acupuncture help at all?

Are there any other forms of treatment worth trying or anything at all that we can do to help?

Many thanks :)
 

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It depends--is it neurological damage causing the rear end issues? If so, then acupuncture may not necessarily help that. Acupuncture is great for orthopedic and arthritic conditions, but it didn't help our first golden as much when he developed neurological issues in his hindquarters. He also had hip dysplasia and arthritis so we kept up the acupuncture treatments for those issues, but his back end issues never improved that much. The orthopedic surgeon that diagnosed it prescribed metacam and neurontin. Unfortunately the neurontin didn't help him too much.
 

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I would try acupuncture as my hubby is a acupuncturist. I'm sure some relief can be given.

Another might be what my Naturopath recommended for Sierra, she takes Grapeseed with MSM 2 capsules 3x a day and then a tablespoon of Colloidal Silver if a boost is needed (after a hard play session and she's a little gimpy)
 

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Dr. Rainheart
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Acupuncture may be something to look into. You also may want to invest in a sling to help him get around.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
It depends--is it neurological damage causing the rear end issues? If so, then acupuncture may not necessarily help that. Acupuncture is great for orthopedic and arthritic conditions, but it didn't help our first golden as much when he developed neurological issues in his hindquarters. He also had hip dysplasia and arthritis so we kept up the acupuncture treatments for those issues, but his back end issues never improved that much. The orthopedic surgeon that diagnosed it prescribed metacam and neurontin. Unfortunately the neurontin didn't help him too much.

Thanks for the reply. The arthritis is definite, but the cause of the increasing lack of sensation in the rear legs is uncertain as there doesn't seem to be a definitive test for it.
 

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Thanks for the reply. The arthritis is definite, but the cause of the increasing lack of sensation in the rear legs is uncertain as there doesn't seem to be a definitive test for it.
Our dog's orthopedic specialist did some diagnostic tests at our appointment and diagnosed it as neurological as opposed to arthritic. He knew we were getting the dog acupuncture and told us that he didn't think the acupuncture would improve it, if at all.
 

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First off, I am just smiling so hugely at his being almost 17!! That is so great - and you are so lucky. :wavey: Got any pictures?

Has your vet told you there is no test? If he is losing sensation, that suggests something neurological/spinal to me. Maybe an MRI could help? At his age, I would never put him through anything invasive or that required anaesthetic, but there may be something that could help...

One thing... if you do go "off base," be careful about mixing anything with his current meds!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the words of advice.

Sweet Girl - thanks for your advice too - I've posted a pic of Ben elsewhere on the forum (a year or so ago). I forget where though!

We had thought of a scan, trouble is that Ben would need to be sedated first and I fear that the experience would severely panic him. So hard to know what to do for the best ...
 

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Dog-drops, at Ben's age, there's probably not a whole lot you can do medically to remedy the scissor legs. However, a HelpEmUp Harness would let you and your wife assist him with ease, so he doesn't fall down once he's up and you can get his legs under him more quickly. If you Google it, you'll find it. Several people of this forum have used this harness for old dogs with mobility troubles and have found it helpful. Give your old fella a smooch from me, please, and tell him to keep on keeping on.
 

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Definitely try the help em up harness.

Help 'Em Up Harness with Hip Lift | Dog Harness, Hip Dysplasia, Dog Carrier

We use it to lift our 14 years old into the back of our SUV. We used it for our Di when she had hydrotherapy in the pool. It will allow you to gently help Ben to his feet. On days he is unsteady on his feet, you can hold the back handle and it will take some of the weight off his back end so that walking is easier. Would hydrotherapy be an option for him? Our Di absolutely hated getting wet and had never swam. She came to love hydrotherapy and it helped her immensley.

Hope you find something to help. It is SO wonderful to hear that you've had him for 17 years. Gives me HOPE!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Regarding the aforementioned harness - Ben is 'intact'. The web site indicates that a pad can be removed if the dog is intact so that his testicles aren't squashed.

From looking at the photos it appears that in addition to that the dog is free to urinate and defacate with the harness on.

Is all the above correct?

Have many people here used the harness on their male (and complete) Goldies? If so, any problems, etc?
 

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Dr. Rainheart
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Also, I am not sure if you have tried an injection called Adequan, but it really helps arthritis. It may help your pup move around better. Talk to your vet and see if they have it.
 

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Hi, our 14 year old girl has arthritis, too, and also had a lose of sensation in her back legs last year. At the same time she had pancreatis and had a hospital stay for that. Vet seemed to attribute the leg weakens (she would just fall down) to the disgestive prob and arthritis. But after we researchec online we determined it was neurological and related to a disc problem. As the med treatment was the same we didnt take her back to vet. But rest was the biggest factor in her recovery. I had been trying to walk her more before her illness, thinking she just needed more exercise. Turns out that was worst thing i could have done. We found out This type of back injury is very common in older dogs. It can happen just going down a step or running. Kind of like older people with their hips. Sassy recovered from the problem and we no longer longer take her down any steps, even the three at front of our house. We had to help her up some for a couple of days, but she slowly recuperated and responded well to continued derimax for arthritis. She took a steroid initially. Also, i got a strap with handle to help lift her up from jeffers pet.com much cheaper even with shipping than any pet store.
As for alternature supplements - fish or krill oil is great as is calcium supplement such as bone meal. Good luck. Please share what you find out.
 

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Oh my, I am so sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks - it's only 6 days ago but those 6 days seem to have lasted forever. We are very slowly adjusting to life without our lovely Ben.

Charlie (4) and Billy (5) (both Goldies) keep us on our toes though and help ensure that sure we're not too miserable.
 
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