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Stumbling, lack of coordination in an older Lab

Annie's mom
December 2nd, 2005, 07:17 AM
My 11-yr old Lab, Annie, has been having increasing problems with walking over the past 6 wks. For the past year or so she has been stiff usually in the mornings but recently I have noticed her coordination getting worse...she sometimes stumbles or has a misstep..has fallen off the steps getting into the house. Xrays yesterday at the vet showed spondylosis of her spine. Pain reflexes are intact, she wags her tail(like mad as always:-)) and has nno bowel or bladder problems. She takes 100 mg of Deramaxx daily. I have purchased an orthopedic bed for her. Yesterday bought rugs and non skid material to go underneath because hardwood floors seem to be a potential source of trouble lately. The vet didn't offer any more suggestions than what I was already doing. Is this the common scenario for spondylosis? Should I seek a second opinion? Should I realize this may just be the way it will be for a while before it gets worse and love her fiercely each day?:-( Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated by the sweet old girl and her mama.

December 2nd, 2005, 08:21 AM
I'm sorry that your baby is feeling ill. I'm not too familiar with spondylosis. I did some research online and came up with 2 websites that might help you out.
How long have you been giving her the medication? Sometimes it can take a little while to show its effectiveness. Have you considered natural supplements to help her as well?

If you are not comfortable with your vet, then you could always go to another vet for a second opinion.

Because she is a senior dog, she will most likely suffer from arthritis. This is not to say that her quality of life will be diminished greatly, but that there will be times when things may be a little difficult for her and will need your help.

What you are doing is great. Nonskid rugs and the new bed should help her be a little more comfortable. Make sure her bed is in a draft free area and try and help her with the stairs as much as possible. Her exercise should be strictly monitored so that she doesn't go overboard and then feel it later. Gentle massaging may also help.

Annie's mom
December 2nd, 2005, 09:04 AM
Thank you for responding. I will go to these sites as soon as I finish with this. I have curtailed any attempt by her to navigate the stairs without far, so good. as for her medicine, it's been about 2 wks now and am beginning to wonder if it has had any affect at all. Wouldn't think of discontinuing it because it helps with pain control(if this IS due to arthritis) if not actually helping with her walking.

Am seriously considering 2nd opinion just to be sure.

Thanks again, Annie's mom

December 2nd, 2005, 09:18 AM
I think if your gut says you need a second opinion...go with it. Besides it will make you sleep better at night knowing that you've exhausted all avenues. Your baby is worth it.

December 2nd, 2005, 09:56 AM
A second opinion never hurts. Different vets may also treat things differently. So even if the second vet confirms what the first vet diagnosed, they may have a better/different treatment option.

I would believe that after 2 weeks of anti-inflammatories, you should be seeing some sort of difference. I would also consider natural supplements that help with the arthritis.

Annie's mom
December 2nd, 2005, 10:12 AM
Any suggestions re: natural supplements?

December 2nd, 2005, 10:35 AM
My dog is on Sasha's Blend. Not every vet carries it though. We've had great results with it. Here's a link to their website:
There are others available as well from veterinarians. Most contain glucosamine and/or chondroitin which is very good for arthritis sufferers.

Annie's mom
December 2nd, 2005, 10:54 AM
I will be sure to ask about this (or whatever it is they may have that may be comparable) Thanks!!