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Old January 8th, 2014, 02:54 PM
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SuperWanda SuperWanda is offline
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Hind end weakness in senior dog

Hi - I have a 15 year old husky/hound x who is showing increasing hind end weakness.

I have been trying to research different supplements that may help her but haven't found any convincing evidence for any one in particular.

Most people I meet say glucosamine/chondroitin but when I read the current research (with humans) it doesn't look like they have concluded any significant results compared with placebo.

I am currently trying a green lipid mussel supplement (liquid softgels) that contain essential fatty acids but apparently you need a few months to see any results and I am only 1 week in.

I have also read about degenerative myelopathy (similar to MS in humans) where deterioration of the spine can cause these symptoms. Apparently there is no cure but increased antioxidents in the diet can help to slow the progression.

She is 15, so I imagine this type of deterioration is inevitable, but thought I would post to see if anyone has had good results using a particular supplement to help this issue.
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Old January 8th, 2014, 04:00 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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The most common cause we've seen of hind-end weakness here is spondylitis. The spine begins to fuse and bony spurs form that can pinch the nerves, causing the hind end to lose innervation. Usually there are no symptoms till late in life and often the condition is only found accidentally when side xrays are done on the dog--the condition doesn't show well on vertical axis xrays (ventral to dorsal, etc).

We have at least 4 dogs with it--all cases discovered incidentally while xraying the abdomen for other things. I suspect all of our dogs have it do some extent--many active breeds do.

Unfortunately, barring risky surgery, there's not much you can do for it except give anti-inflammatory agents, but I just wanted to let you know it could well be something other than degenerative myelopathy, which could move a lot faster...

Hope your girl responds well to the green lipid mussel supplement!
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Last edited by hazelrunpack; January 10th, 2014 at 11:14 AM. Reason: fixed a senior moment...
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Old January 8th, 2014, 07:42 PM
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SuperWanda SuperWanda is offline
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Thanks Hazel,

Our vet never suggested an x-ray which I wondered about.

It does actually seem to be getting worse in the last week but at the same time, we have been locked up inside due to the extreme cold and haven't gone on any regular walks for at least a few weeks now. Tomorrow this polar vortex is being pushed back up to the poles where it belongs so I'm hoping some exercise helps.

Today she is very wobbly and her left hind leg seems to tremor frequently when she is standing, she seems to not put as much weight on it. Her entire hind end seems to fall down as she stands and she slips around on the floors so we put down extra rugs.

I am feeling very worried because I know someone who just put their dog down because it couldn't walk anymore.

My vet mentioned there are dog wheel chairs but I really don't know how I feel about that.

I'm hoping we are far from that but at the same time don't want to be naive in thinking there could be a major issue around the corner especially given her age.
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Old January 8th, 2014, 08:30 PM
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Winston Winston is offline
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Superwanda have you ever heard of Sashas Blend? I used it for awhile for my boy Winston when he was getting older. I did find it helped him. It is a little pricey but you may want to look into it. Its been a few years now so I don't know what the product is like now. Its so hard to see them age.

www.sashas.ca
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Old January 9th, 2014, 11:51 AM
sweetheart1 sweetheart1 is offline
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Smile husky mix- 15 yrs old -Spondylis (M.S)

Hi Superwanda- Am I the only one from nyc on this blog? I know I use dogster.com and yahoo,com pet (P/A) and this blog is mostly for anyone who live in Canada and (surrounding areas? Can I use it too? will anyone respond back to me- Will it transmit via intnernet?

I just want to say, that I have a 15/16 yr old Lhasa who I believe has IVDD or spondylis like yours. I did give my boy that glusomaine/chronditon-msm pill and it did no good. I did not give it monthly because I also read that this pill supplement in drug stores,GNC stores is a lot of bunk. I will try the green mussel pill. His legs are like jello, so weak no strength. Its hard for me to watch him drag his back legs on the floor. Im trying very hard to help him. I do not know if acupuncture/or low light therapy will do it. I may have to put him to sleep. His neuro email me and said it will do no good. Should I believe him. I do not want to spend monies on acupuncture/or low light therapy if its not going to help him walk againi f this is a no win/win I will put him down God is not doing it so I will take this upon my soul.Im 66 yrs old and I have 2 bad knees and has put him first above my needs. Any advise from Pets.ca will be heard. I need all the support I can get. Im all alone and no one to talk with I have a few friends but they do not own one so they really do not know what its like but we do. bye. Im on facebook,com ,dogster.com {edited by mod}

Last edited by hazelrunpack; January 9th, 2014 at 03:31 PM. Reason: no personal emails, pls
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Old January 9th, 2014, 03:38 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Maybe a second opinion is in order, sweetheart1? Is there another vet you can call? Or, at the very least, have your dog's xrays, test results, etc., be sent to another specialist for evaluation?

If accupuncture is available in your area, maybe just have one or two sessions and see how it goes? You don't have to continue if it doesn't seem to be helping and just one or two sessions shouldn't be too expensive.

Good luck with your boy. I know how hard it is to watch them age.

Oh, and btw, I'm from Wisconsin. We have members from all over, but I'm not sure if we have anyone else currently active on the board who's from NYC.
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Old January 11th, 2014, 06:41 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperWanda View Post
Most people I meet say glucosamine/chondroitin but when I read the current research (with humans) it doesn't look like they have concluded any significant results compared with placebo.
Please don't believe the majority of those studies. There is so much bias in the design and interpretation of most of the supplement studies nowadays, there is a big attack on supplements. There are so many studies that do show benefit, and you can see it daily on the forums how dogs respond. If you scroll to the very bottom of this, and then to page 2, it addresses some of the issues with that study: http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2006/jun2006_awsi_01.htm

(There are similar rebuttals to nearly all of the larger Big Pharm supplement studies out there - most have terrible study design and control.)

For that hind end stuff, I can't say enough good things about chiropractric (www.avcadoctors.com ). I would also want to make sure there wasn't an active TBD ( ) You can use doxy for arthritic pain (studies show the validity), which is often better tolerated than things like rimadyl or metacam, if that's the direction you need to go in, but I would first load up on a good joint product. I always start with a Cosequin product, but I like to add a more whole foods product if tolerated too, like the glycoflex or the springtime products, though I've never used springtime. Adequan or the canadian version (which is supposed to be better) may also help (cartrophen? I always get the spelling confused with rimadyl, but it's not the same as that at all). Acupuncture may help too.
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Old January 12th, 2014, 08:25 PM
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SuperWanda SuperWanda is offline
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Thank you Dog Dancer. I'm so sorry about your Shadow. Yes, it is hard to watch them age and wonder if you are doing all the right things. That is what I guess I'll do is experiment with some things and hopefully something will help. At the same time, I guess these things are natural to some degree. It happens to every one even if we don't want it to.

MaxaLisa, I have made an apt with a holistic vet here who does acupuncture and chiropractic work. I Have to wait until next month but am on the cancellation list. The other unfortunate thing is she has now hurt her left leg (we think). My husband heard her fall between the wall and the bed and one of her legs got hung up on the bed. The vet prescribed metacam but I am trying some aspirin first and it seems to be helping. I have since pushed the bed against the wall and added a number of pillows to fill in the remaining gap. She loves to roll on her back up there but I guess didn't realize where she was rolling. Use to puppy proof the house and am now senior proofing it so no one gets hurt.
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Old January 12th, 2014, 08:39 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Oh man, I hate it when they do silly things like that that injures them

Great about the appointment, even if you have to wait a bit. I hope that whatever you decide to do, it brings quick relief. This aging part is really hard to watch!

Keep us posted on how things go
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Old January 15th, 2014, 01:03 PM
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SuperWanda SuperWanda is offline
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Lucky for me, they did have a cancellation so I go on Monday. I am glad but very worried because my vet has mentioned it could be degenerative myelopathy a few times and that really scares me. I know she is 15 and has had a great life but I feel sick thinking that I may be nearing the final stages of her life. It upsets me to see her struggle. I thought she was a little better yesterday but this morning she couldn't get out of bed again and her hind legs gave out. Her entire back end is so saggy and weak today. I feel nervous about leaving her at home alone because she is having these issues and unfortunately is a dog who has struggled with separation anxiety her entire life. When I go out she doesn't just lie down and relax, she gets upset and paces around which is exhausting for her and hard on her physical body. I have actually been setting out a "mummy dummy" which seems silly but it does work. I have this halloween inflatable skeleton which I dress in a hoodie and she thinks it is me resting on the couch or sitting on the chair. As long as she doesn't investigate it too closely, it can trick her if she is tired. Her hearing isn't great so I can sneak out without her knowing. The things we do but I have been devoted to her wellbeing, more than my own, for most of her life. This is why it is so hard to watch her decline, like a piece of myself is fading. She means so much to me.
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Old January 15th, 2014, 11:01 PM
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erykah1310 erykah1310 is offline
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I have used and still do use Sashas blend on my older dogs and my "hard on their own body" dogs and love the stuff.
However I have had great success over the years with raw unpasturized apple cider vinegar added into their water daily as well.
It takes a long time to "help" but it is so great for so many things.
But by no means will it be a quick fix, neither will Sashas blend either though.
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Old January 15th, 2014, 11:19 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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I'm glad you are able to get in sooner.

DM is hard to diagnose, there are other back issues that can mimic it, but it a sense it doesn't matter what you call it, it's that time when everything gets harder

I would also want extra antioxidants and B vitamins in addition to the joint stuff, just to note response.
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