Senior with rear legs collapsing

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carolk
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Senior with rear legs collapsing

Post by carolk »

Hi,
I have a 14 1/2 year old brittany whose rear legs have gradually gotten weaker and now collapse whenever he walks. He only walks one or two steps and then sits down. He is on medication for arthritis and up until about a week or two ago he was doing quite well. Today he had very little appetite for dog food but got up to make his way over for some turkey and some salmon that I made for dinner. He really enjoyed that as he doesn't often get people food. I know this must be a progression of old age or could it be something worse since this has come on so harshly over the last week? Any ideas or suggestions? It sure will be hard to let go of him because he has certainly been around for a long time and we lost our other 12 1/2 year old britt just a year ago:( Thanks for any thoughts...
Carol

Barb Wright
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Re: Senior with rear legs collapsing

Post by Barb Wright »

:( It sounds like it just hurts to walk....that plus the loss of appetite also could indicate a lot of pain and/or discomfort. Seems like a vet check would be in order to try to find out what hurts and if you can relieve it. These old puppers....it's really hard to watch the decline :(
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

holisticmom
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Re: Senior with rear legs collapsing

Post by holisticmom »

Oh, Carol...get the pooch checked out. NOW. It could just be arthritis and not wanting to eat, or it could be neurological. If it's arthritis, you have a lot of options, both natural such as glucosamine/chondroiten/MSM and pharmasuticals. If it's neurological, you and your vet can choose the best options. You are so in the right place for support and advice. Know you're being thought of.
The point of [dog guardianship] is to open oneself to becoming partly a dog...Edward Hoagland

michellep
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Re: Senior with rear legs collapsing

Post by michellep »

I think you should call the vet, it seems very sudden/severe to be arthritis. He may have wounded himself. I had a Brit mix (he was a beautiful O/W boy with fantastic feathering, not sure what he was mixed with his mother was a brit, his looks and personality were all brittany and he is what turned me into a brittany addict :) He was diagnosed with mild arthritis at around age 8. I had him on and off Rimadyl, ( I should have probably given it to him more frequently but I had read a few bad things about it). Anyway, he had 2 severe instances of rear legs collapsing around age 13.5 The first one was in the morning when he could not get up off the bed, he was crying & terrified and peed the bed. I called the vet (hysterical) and made the appointment to put him down. Wally was a big boy, at his best weight he was over 50 lbs and he was much taller than a standard brit. I could not lift him off the bed so I called my brother to come down to help me. He lived an hour a way. By the time he got here Wally was still on the bed but really fighting to get up and about 30 minutes later he flew off the bed, grabbed a toy and was *running* around the yard. I called the vet and she said he had old arthritic hips and likely slept on them wrong and needed some warm up time. He was immobile for about 2.5 hours that time. A few months later he collapsed again. This time it took about 3.5 hours for him to get up. He was already diagnosed with CHF so I knew he did not have much time but I had not considered that fact that his legs would give out before his heart. Well, he made it a few more months without collapsing before his CHF got too bad and I did put him to sleep. I think in his case his problems were more gradual and I am assuming they were related to arthritis. I love older dogs but it can be hard emotionally to see them battle with old age. I hope your Brit is feeling better soon!!
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Canned Ice
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Re: Senior with rear legs collapsing

Post by Canned Ice »

I agree with a vet trip! If it does turn out to be arthritis, I saw a guy walking his German Shepherd this morning with a hip sling to help support his back end. The dog was putting weight on his hind end but the owner used the sling to take some of the weight. It may be an option if the collapsing legs are due some joint problem.
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Puddin Man
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Re: Senior with rear legs collapsing

Post by Puddin Man »

carolk wrote:Hi,
I have a 14 1/2 year old brittany whose rear legs have gradually gotten weaker and now collapse whenever he walks. He only walks one or two steps and then sits down. He is on medication for arthritis and up until about a week or two ago he was doing quite well. Today he had very little appetite for dog food but got up to make his way over for some turkey and some salmon that I made for dinner. He really enjoyed that as he doesn't often get people food. I know this must be a progression of old age or could it be something worse since this has come on so harshly over the last week?
It could be something worse. Or it could be something, if not trivial, entirely controllable.

My 13-yr-old Brit gal had a similar problem about 6 weeks ago. Couldn't manage the stairs. The vet dx'd possible slipped disc in her back, put her on prednisone (which is serious). But, within a week, she was back to normal, and is doing rather well for her age.
carolk wrote:Any ideas or suggestions? It sure will be hard to let go of him because he has certainly been around for a long time and we lost our other 12 1/2 year old britt just a year ago:( Thanks for any thoughts...
Carol
Some suggestions have been made. Neurology. Could be related to blood flow. Congestive heart? Many, many possibilities.

Consider all of them. Spend some time with a skilled and patient vet. If he was mostly OK about a week ago, there's a good chance he can be mostly OK again after some rest and treatment.

Best,
Puddin'
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