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Struggling to walk - partially blind


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New to this forum, I pet sit regularly and have recently begun study in veterinary nursing. I have just taken on a 10 year old Australian cattle dog for 2 weeks, who lives with an older gentleman who has had many strokes and is currently in the hospital.


She is very over weight, I can only assume she has had very little exercise in the last few years and his daughter admitted to over feeding. I was told she has arthritis, but to me it seems a bit more serious, her right back leg faces outwards on a 45 degree angle, and shakes just standing still. She sits almost constantly and tries not to move much. She can't handle even one step with out a slip or a fall.


My question is, from others experience, what could this be and what can I do, and recommend be carried on to help her live a more pain free life? Open to suggestions of supplements.


I have bought diet dog food and cut her portion size down for weight loss and I have been massaging both her back legs.


it is breaking my heart to even watch her move, she is blind in one eye but has such a sweet personalty. I want to do everything possible before she gets taken back to a place where they can barely take care of themselves.


Thank you

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A vet, yes.  Be prepared, though.  If the old gentleman has tight finances, that must be made clear with the vet from the outset.  Testing, xrays, etc. can run up a big bill very fast, and even the drugs for making the dog comfortable can come to $100/mo.  It wouldn't surprise me if a strict diet, gradual introduction of exercise, and something for pain relief - with some vet supervision - would do a lot of good.  If money is tight, I'd suggest proposing something like that and seeing what the vet says. 

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Forgot to mention: One common problem you may be able to fix.  Check her toenails.  Over long nails can make it hard and painful to walk...especially for oldies with other aches and pains. If too long, trim very gradually.

As for blindness... generally not a huge problem for an inactive dog, and likely there's no good treatment. 

Edited by sandgrubber
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