German Shepherd Dog > Elder GSD quite using her left rear foot & leg (9 replies)
Elder GSD quite using her left rear foot & leg
by beerfarm on 01 August 2009 - 01:37
|I have a 12yr, 8 month GSD that the wife and I adopted at her age of 9 yrs, 7 months from Mid-Atlantic GSD Rescue. One great organization to work with.|
She, Gretel, has been a wonderful companion and protector. About one month ago she started limping. Not using her left rear foot. We examined it for cuts, thorns, cracks and didn't find anything. Took her to our vet and she,the vet, also examined the foot and found some sensitivity to the two center toes, but nothing obvious.
Wife and I kept examining her paw & leg each day. The days rolled into a week. Gretel, the GSD, continued to limp. She appeared to apply some pressure to the left, rear paw after that first week so we thought a bruise may have occurred as Gretel seemed to make use of the foot.
After another 10 days she has reversed and will not even let the left rear paw touch the ground. I took Gretel to the vet again and had a full radiographic series done plus exam to determine what is the cause. It was determined that nothing was broken but that Gretel has arthritis from her spine to her toes. Well, to my layman's thinking that evening, I expect Gretel to have some arthritis. Yet, that does not explain to me the sudden lack of use. After all, both legs are 12 yrs and 8 months old.
Gretel did chase our barn cat that morning of the first "limping day". There are no nails or puncture items that I can locate in our barn. We used to have horses so I am quite alert to any puncture items laying around. BUT, Gretel could easily have twisted her leg, or sprained it with all the equipment here.
AS of today, Gretel hobbles around on three legs. She slips and falls some, but she really makes the effort. We have placed non-skid rugs everywhere in our house so that her slip & fall chances are minimized. She does get herself into difficult positions though.
Outside of discussing meds for pain in this first posting, has anyone had a GSD suddenly lose the ability to use one leg? If so, was there any answer to the sudden lack of use? Was there even a solution?
Any suggestions for us would be so greatly appreciated. Gretel is full of vigor and life and always wants to go for a car ride. Now we have to pick her up into the wagon or set out a home made, non-skid ramp and do dog assist.
Thanking everyone in advance for your assistance.
by JusticeForAll on 01 August 2009 - 03:01
|I don't know if it would help your girl, but we recently lost our female at 13.5 years. Her last year she was getting accupuncture. It worked wonders for her. She had been getting stiff and not wanting to move around so we tried it. It was amazing the difference it made. She enjoyed her trips to the vet too. She would actually fall asleep during the sessions. But that is not guaranteed, because our vet loved her and said she was the best patient they ever had...but that's what worked for us...give it a try.|
by JRANSOM on 01 August 2009 - 03:09
|Is she eating and drinking normally? ie not eating due to pain.|
My pup had a sudden onset of Pano and wouldn't eat, drink or bear weight on his left hind.
He was put on Tramadol for pain so he would eat. Worked like a charm.
I'm guessing arthritis is a little different as it's there all the time. Anit inflammitories? If you trust your vet then do what he/she advises. Its seems like you have a good vet if you didn't order the tests.
I would do what your vet suggested and give it a few days and see.
by beerfarm on 01 August 2009 - 20:07
| Thanks everyone. |
The acupuncture sounds very interesting and may turn out to be an option.
Gretel eats and drinks fine. She attempts to be as active as possible. To assist her, and us, in getting her in and out of station wagons, we have constructed a ramp with a carpet face on it. She gives it her all.
We used the Tramadol for a few weeks but that really seemed to wipe her out and place her poopy cycles to one per day and at an unexpected time instead of the usual two/day. She has perked back up once off the Tramadol. We must use 3/4 tablet of 5mg Valium each night. She gets "sundowner syndrome" and gets very anxious when we must sleep. Her hearing is nearly gone so I am not certain as to if that is what gets her anxious at night.
Thanks again for the input !
by SitasMom on 01 August 2009 - 21:46
|check her for Degenerative Myelopathy its a long shot and I hope this isn't the case.|
by phoebe on 05 August 2009 - 22:00
|Our old girl suddenly stopped walking except to go to pee last summer. It occurred after a walk in the woods where she jumped up on rocks in a stream. After considering various causes, we decided that probably she hurt her lower back. She did not wag her tail, kept her head low, was very quiet, and so we assume she had pain. Vet put her on Rimidyl/tramadol for a while, and that helped. She recovered pretty well, but has never been the same. She never did favor one leg, but now has a rolling gait, very stiff. Also more recently, she is losing bladder and fecal control. Also, after the acute period of time, she suddenly started to twitch her legs pretty hard as she slept. Not a chasing the rabbit kind of twitch, and not a seizure. A vet friend suggested she was forming some new neural curcuits. That seems to have stopped.|
by Echo on 06 August 2009 - 14:35
|Quote Justiceforall |
I don't know if it would help your girl, but we recently lost our female at 13.5 years. Her last year she was getting accupuncture. It worked wonders for her. She had been getting stiff and not wanting to move around so we tried it. It was amazing the difference it made. She enjoyed her trips to the vet too. She would actually fall asleep during the sessions. But that is not guaranteed, because our vet loved her and said she was the best patient they ever had...but that's what worked for us...give it a try.
I agree that this is well worth a try. A friend of mine is doing this with her 11 year old for arthritis and is having very good results. This dog seems to enjoy it as well. What have you got to lose?
Good luck with your girl.
by Princess on 08 August 2009 - 01:26
|12 TO13 is a long time for a gsd and they will tell you when it is time, some dont give up so eazy, Its the breed . I would try all ,as well as different vets but pain in these dogs is not to be dismssed , as they will tolarate alot in silence before they show you, so when they do ,it is hard for you and them, I have a saying believe your dog and you will know.I wish you the best|
by Samba on 11 August 2009 - 01:01
|I have seen a dog with one leg affected who had a disc problem. Spinal surgery corrected it, but your dog is geriatric and one would have to consider the risk or wisdom of such intervention. Plain radiographs did not reveal this abnormality. |
Amazing the grand dog has lived to this age. Awesome for you taking such good care.
by WestDog1 on 11 August 2009 - 12:01
|Dave, that happend to me with my 12yr old as well. The vet said it was arthritis, we tried adequan injections but it didn't do any good. When she got worse and stopped using her leg altogether, and at the same time the other leg started to go bad, I brought her to a new vet who xrayed and found she had osteosarcoma. Said it was so bad that her leg could break at any time. I brought her home and loved her up, gave her all the goodies she shouldn't have and brought her back that afternoon to send her to the bridge. I felt so guilty that we let her go so long thinking it was arthritis, especially after reading up on osteosarcoma after the fact. It's worth getting another opinion just to be sure.|