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Old 06-01-2009, 11:05 PM
 
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I'm heart broken. My labrador is about 13 years old. His hind legs started to become weak about a year ago. It wasn't bad. He was standing like a German Shephard. Sometime's he would hesitate before going up the stairs or jumping onto the bed. He had lost a lot of weight and the vet said that was good---less weight for his weak legs to hold.

Over the past two days, he's having difficulty walking. He still manages, but his legs give out on him. He doesn't appear to be in much pain. He's still happy as can be. I'm just terrified he'll become completely disabled. I can't imagine putting a dog to sleep when it's alert and happy. But he's so large that it would be impossible to carry him.

Is there any hope whatsoever that I can help him maintain his mobility?
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,315 posts, read 4,631,043 times
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Have you consulted your vet for a proper diagnosis and possible treatment?

If he's otherwise healthy, there are carts (doggy wheelchairs) that dogs can learn to use to get around when their hindquarters don't work any more. That raises a whole other set of issues with stairs and accessibility. Again, your vet can probably advise you.

Good luck!
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:18 PM
 
3,528 posts, read 5,875,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
I'm heart broken. My labrador is about 13 years old. His hind legs started to become weak about a year ago. It wasn't bad. He was standing like a German Shephard. Sometime's he would hesitate before going up the stairs or jumping onto the bed. He had lost a lot of weight and the vet said that was good---less weight for his weak legs to hold.

Over the past two days, he's having difficulty walking. He still manages, but his legs give out on him. He doesn't appear to be in much pain. He's still happy as can be. I'm just terrified he'll become completely disabled. I can't imagine putting a dog to sleep when it's alert and happy. But he's so large that it would be impossible to carry him.

Is there any hope whatsoever that I can help him maintain his mobility?
My heart goes out to you as I'm also dealing with a geriatric Lab of almost 14. I help my Bandit with his walking on bad days by putting a towel under his belly and supporting him by holding the ends. He can still walk if he has just a little help. He still eats fine and shows me in 1,000 ways that its not his time yet. He will let me know (as will your Lab too)- they always do. I hope this helps you.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Georgia
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there are some dog foods with glucosamine/chondroitin in them or you can give them supplements in their foods. the weakness is almost inevitably to do hip dysplasia, spondylosis or severe arthritis in which the supplements can 'help' not cure. Also your vet can let you know if Adequan can help or any of the NSaids on the market for dogs now
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:50 AM
 
Location: Southern England.
10,686 posts, read 6,683,843 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigafan View Post
there are some dog foods with glucosamine/chondroitin in them or you can give them supplements in their foods. the weakness is almost inevitably to do hip dysplasia, spondylosis or severe arthritis in which the supplements can 'help' not cure. Also your vet can let you know if Adequan can help or any of the NSaids on the market for dogs now
That's what I would have posted.
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
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Adequan injections, 2 a week for 4 weeks made a significant difference for my last old black lab mix. Along with the supplements mentioned.

Now my oldest , Nikki, almost 15, is in the same shape as your baby. For pain he's one Duramaxx, 50 mg. per day along with amytripiline (elavil) which helps the duramaxx be more effective. About a month ago the vet added tramdol 3 times a day for additional pain relief.

Like many old dogs his eyes are cloudy with glaucoma and his hearing isn't what it used to be but he's still a ralatively happy guy. Our walks are now short strolls out in the pasture, a couple of times a day if the schedule allows. Some easy exercise is important to help maintain what muscle there is.

I try to stay in the present moment with him and not dwell on what is coming very soon.

No matter how long they are with us it's never enough time. What a blessing and joy it is to have them share their lives with us.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:04 AM
 
3,528 posts, read 5,875,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zugor View Post
I try to stay in the present moment with him and not dwell on what is coming very soon.

No matter how long they are with us it's never enough time. What a blessing and joy it is to have them share their lives with us.
I couldn't have said it better myself! My vet has told me that there really isn't anything they can do for my Bandit that hasn't already been done. My dear sweet boy is just very old. (He is the Choco Lab on my profile) All I know is that I'm gonna do everything I can to make his twilight time as gentle as he is. Like you, I'm living in the moment and will face what's coming only when its here. For now though, he still gets a gleam in his eye and a big sloppy Lab smile on his face when he hears the food bucket rattle. The boy never met a biscuit he didn't like!
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:55 AM
 
Location: California
9,796 posts, read 24,482,052 times
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My heart goes out to you. I just lost my 13 yr old Golden a few months back. She had multiple problems, and the the weak hind legs was one of them. For a quick fix, (while your waiting for the meds to kick in), when trying to get him up/or to go out....wrap a large towel under his belly and lift gently with both ends. Takes pressure and weight off of his legs. They acutally sell a belly band type thing....2 handles on either end to help lift...but in a pinch, the towel worked well for us. Gentle hugs to you both.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:56 AM
 
43,017 posts, read 50,723,815 times
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Thank you for your replies. I don't think the wheelchair will work. It seems his front legs are affected also. It's really one front leg that is giving him the hardest time over the past couple of days.

I know what you mean about wanting to make the twilight days as gentle as possible. I took him for a ride to pick up my son from work last night. He had a difficult time getting into the car. (I used my hands as a step for his back legs.) At first, he was uncertain about standing while the car was moving so I rolled down all the windows and opened the sunroof so all the smells could get into the car. He was so cute---laying in the back seat with his head and nose moving everywhere to smell all the smells. I drove very carefully making sure that I didn't break fast. After a while he stood up and smelled out the window.

The downside was my son took an extra 45 minutes leaving work. He was getting tired sitting in one place watching the door of the establishment where my son works. He'd shift into different positions, but eventually gave up and laid down again. I told my son I would only bring him along on days he was certain of the time he was getting off.

I'm making an appointment with a vet. I'm so glad to hear that there are injections and medicines that might be able to help him. I knew about excersise to help retain some muscle. I'm trying to locate a place for him to swim because I've read that swimming is the best excersise for a dog in this condition.

Please keep my old puppy in your prayers.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:01 AM
 
Location: California
9,796 posts, read 24,482,052 times
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I might add, Rimadyl worked great and very fast, for my Mia. IF they do prescribe it, go to their website and they will send you a $5 check for purchasing the med.
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