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WoofnHoof

Lameness in 13.5 yo husky

20 posts in this topic

Hi everyone been a while since I've been around just hoping to get some outside opinions re lameness in my old boy. Sorry it's a bit of a long story!

He has generally been sound although had some intermittent back problems causing weakness in the hind legs, always resolved quickly and probably only an issue a few times over his life. 

He has been declining the past 6 Months or so, he developed lupus a few years back and it wasn't affecting him much so he wasn't medicated until a few months ago as he had developed persistent inflammation in his gums causing his teeth to deteriorate more quickly than normal. So he is taking imuran (immune suppressant) for that.

He had been on loxicom (meloxicam) for a couple of years or so prior to this for arthritis and the vet said there was an issue with the loxicom being given at the same time as the imuran, so he was weaned off of that a few months ago, didn't seem to be a drama the first few weeks he was off it and his appetite improved. He then had an incident where it appears he has slipped a disc and lost the hind end for a few weeks, needed help getting up and generally unhappy. At the same time he had an anal gland abscess so not sure if he threw the back out from trying to lick or scoot, or if reduced mobility contributed to the anal gland issue. At any rate it was obvious he needed anti-inflammatories again so he has been on carprofen for about a month which has helped a lot however he hasn't really bounced back well and is still struggling although his general demeanour is good and he is still happy to go for his little walks, we don't go far just to the end of our little road and back as he gets worn out pretty quick. 

He has been getting synovan injections monthly for i think about 18 months and responded very well to them much more than he did to the meloxicam. He also gets neurontin pain relief at night, sometimes in the morning too if I can get them into him but he gets annoyed when I poke too many tablets down his neck.

 

I've tried adding some oral supplements to his food (turmeric, rosehip vital etc) but he is not really food motivated so will leave his food if he isn't keen on the taste. 

 

I realise there aren't a lot of options left but while he's still happy enough in himself I'm trying to keep him as comfortable as possible so just wondering if anyone out there has any ideas we haven't thought of.

I will link a couple of videos from our walks he finds the uneven ground tricky and sometimes loses his footing even with the front legs but I am just wondering if I have missed anything here. 

 

TL,DR: lameness in husky, history of back problems, just looking for opinions/ideas, current meds: carprofen, imuran (for lupus), neurontin and synovan. 

 

 

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Deeds   

When one of my Giants had Osteosarcoma the vet prescribed Tramadol which worked quite well for him.  He was lame in the back leg.

 

I have used both Onsior & Previcox for various Giants with arthritis.  Previcox has been around for a while . Onsior is a newer arthritis drug.

 

The vet used to give us a script for Tramadol & we would get it filled at our local chemist.  This worked out a lot cheaper than getting it from the vet.

 

He looks like a lovely dog.

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I've seen people use booties for better traction on elderly dogs, could that perhaps help him?

 

 

There's also help up/support harnesses for older dogs with handles - so you are able to help them out with tricky balance things like stares or going to the toilet. Maybe one of those?

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Tassie   

Lovely boy. :heart:    Do you have a vet acupuncturist anywhere near?  Different scenario, but my old BC girl seemed to get some benefits from acupuncture and PEMF and massage mat  Accell therapy mattress.    Something to work in conjunction with the drugs.

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Might be worth trying a green Coles bag to help take the weight off his back legs for a bit? Take out the plastic floor and cut leg holes in the bottom so you can use the handles as a way to support /carry his weight a bit? Cheaper than a support harness and will help you see if it helps the old boy at all

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Sadly no vet acupuncturist here (I’m in Armidale NSW) I have a human massage pad here I might see if he will lay on it he might get some benefit, helps me sometimes. Great idea about using a bag I might even try some horse gear and see if it would do the trick, I would love one of those help em up harnesses they look perfect but none of the suppliers seem to do Afterpay so I’m stuck till I can scrape up enough dough for that. I should be able to get some booties on payday though and the vet is coming out to the horses and give him his synovan so I’ll ask her about tramadol for him. 

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Deeds   

WoofnHoof I have just spoken to a friend who has a 14yr Golden Retriever .  The dog has arthritis in the back legs & has started limping on her front leg.  Vet x-rayed  the 'leg to make sure there was no bone cancer & there wasn't.

 

As the dog is already on Onsior for arthritis he also prescribed Gabapentin which is for chronic pain.  So the dog has Onsior (anti inflammatory) every 2nd day with Gabapentin each day.  The vet said Gabapentin was inexpensive.

 

https://www.wedgewoodpharmacy.com/learning-center/professional-monographs/gabapentin-for-veterinary-use.html

 

Hope this helps.

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Thanks @Deeds sounds similar to the protocol by boy is on, he gets the anti-inflammatory (carprofen) daily and the neurontin (gabapentin) 3x 100mg of a night and 2x 100mg tabs in the morning (been having trouble getting them into him of a morning as he is usually half asleep and doesn't want to eat anything). He has been quite bouncy on walks the last week or so so I'm pretty happy about that, he loves the cooler weather :)

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Deeds   

Check with the vet re Gabapentin vs tramadol.  It won't hurt to ask.  The Tramadol is slow release which may be better for your dog.

 

Being big & hairy my 2 also love the cooler weather as do the 2 humans in the house.  I can't wait for daylight saving to finish this Sunday.

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I had a couple of thoughts when I looked at the videos. I’m not sure that they’re correct but I think they’re worth mentioning.

 

The first is that he looks a little down on the right pastern - possibly more so than the left - and that may be the point of weakness when he stumbles. I’m not sure about the best way to treat that in an older dog. An expert in canine nutrition might have some ideas. Ensuring his toenails are very well trimmed may also help adjust his gait and relieve any strain on his pasterns.

 

The second thought is that the harnesses (and the heavy lead in the first video) are hampering his movement. A flat collar might be preferable, provided he doesn’t pull against it and twist his neck. 

Edited by DogsAndTheMob
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Hi everyone thought I'd post a bit of an update on Sonny. His movement has been improving I have gone without the harness now, as he's gotten older he doesn't pull as much and less likely to wriggle out of the collar these days lol! Thanks for reminding me about the nails @DogsAndTheMob I always struggle with those he has long blood vessels so can be hard to keep them at a good length, he is due for another injection next week so will get the vet nurse to help me trim them again. 

He has lost a little weight which is concerning, still in a safe weight range but considering he is still eating well it is a worry that he is dropping weight so will ask the vet about that next week too. He was not a fan of the bag idea lol so will have to see about a harness but his back end has been getting stronger so he doesn't seem to be having as many issues. 

 

He will be 14 in September so I'm pretty happy with how he is going all things considered, he is still very bright and gets very excited when its time for a walk. His coat doesn't seem to know if it's Arthur or Martha at the moment, probably my fault as I've been leaving the light on for him later as he has been barking of a night so I think his coat decided it was summer! So he was getting a bit cold for the first time ever so I got him a cute panda rug which he hates lol. 

Anyway here's a bit of video from the other day and a pic

 

 

 

20200515_121315.jpg

Edited by WoofnHoof
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Just a quick update and another little video, not much change in the paces but he's still pretty happy in himself so that's good, he actually pings off at a fair pace at the start that's why his rug goes a bit wonky lol. 

Checked in at the vets the other day, he's lost a little more weight, still in a safe range for a husky but not a good trend when he's eating well so we decided to send some blood away as the in house panel from December was normal so a full panel might show more. Unfortunately his veins were very uncooperative and we could only squeeze a few drops so going to have another try next week. Will update if anything interesting comes of it.

 

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On 4/3/2020 at 11:46 AM, Deeds said:

Check with the vet re Gabapentin vs tramadol.  It won't hurt to ask.  The Tramadol is slow release which may be better for your dog.

I have scripts for both (for osteo arthritis). They are different and can be complementary.  I tend to avoid the Tramadol because it gives a nasty blow to the head when combined with alcohol... probably not a problem for dogs. They help a bit, but the pain doesn't stop. 

Edited by sandgrubber
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Snook   

He still looks so happy on his walk and that coat looks gorgeous on him. :)

 

This might be stupid suggestion but I figure I'll put it out there anyway just in case it's of any help. I put Justice on to Antinol Rapid recently and he's noticeably bouncier and back to springing on to the couch with all four legs at once, instead of jumping up with his front legs first, as well as not really showing stiffness any more when he gets up, unless he's been curled up asleep for a long time. I realise his physical condition was nowhere near what your boy is dealing with but the reason I'm sharing is because I suggested it to my aunty for her senior dog, who is 15 and has a combination of pretty severe arthritis and degenerative myelopathy. She struggles to get up and slips badly if she's on hard floors, is very wonky on her legs and can't manage much in the way of walks. She's on anti inflammatories and pain relief from the vet (I can't remember what exactly) and after I showed my aunty a video of a dog whose vet added in Antinol Rapid on top of other meds for stiffness/lameness, she decided it couldn't hurt to try it. She's noticed an improvement in her dear old girl since adding it in. It hasn't miraculously fixed her and we never thought it would but it does seem to be providing a bit of extra relief. Here's the FB link to the Antinol video that I showed her if you're interested in having a look. 

 

https://www.facebook.com/2087838344767573/posts/2646233138928088/?sfnsn=mo&d=n&vh=e

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My Max (13y old mini schnauzer, who has always been a jumper onto and off walls, beds, the backs of cars etc) is on the antinol as well - he has pretty severe arthritis in his wrists (from an injury when he was 18mths) and while he's not a spring chicken now he is noticeably better. He was on the joint guard and an msm product (the paw osteocare) but the antinol definitely helps him a lot more than those. 

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Thanks guys will look into the anitol, its good that it's a tablet I can administer because it's virtually impossible to use any of the powders he just refuses to eat anything with powder in it now no matter how cleverly I think I have disguised it lol 

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Snook   
1 hour ago, WoofnHoof said:

Thanks guys will look into the anitol, its good that it's a tablet I can administer because it's virtually impossible to use any of the powders he just refuses to eat anything with powder in it now no matter how cleverly I think I have disguised it lol 

It's actually a really small gel cap and although Justice won't touch tablets unless they're buried in cubes of cheese, he was happy to eat the Antinol Rapid straight from my hand, so now I just mix it in with his food. Hopefully that means it will be easier for you to get down than a tablet too. 

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