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looking for ideas to help my senior pet with hip issues

Orthopedic/Arthritis: Problems associated with joints, bone, and connective tissue.

looking for ideas to help my senior pet with hip issues

Postby khill1222 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:14 am

Hello. I am trying to figure out how to further help my 14 year old dog (Shadow). She is a border collie/ chow mix (we think). She has had hip issues for about 4 years now. It started with just a glitch but about 2 years ago the vet found arthritis in her back. Its really the hips that give her the most trouble. Specifically her left hip. It gives out when she tries to walk and makes her fall. She has progressed to a point where it takes her forever to stand up and most of the time she just falls back down again. So now i have to hold her up to go potty and carry her around a lot (she weighs 40 lbs). We have tried many things. She takes previcox and tramadol daily. We have done laser therapy. She now gets regular adequin injections. But she has lost a lot of muscle tone in her hind quarters due to non movement. It's been about a year since we have been able to take regular walks. I believe missing the regular walks is effecting her bowels because she is not very 'regular' anymore. Looking to get her up and moving about a bit again. She does not like the harness that goes under her belly so its basically me bending down to hold up her left side which is killing my back. I have been looking into wheelchairs but they are quite expensive. Any suggestions would help.
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Re: looking for ideas to help my senior pet with hip issues

Postby CarolC » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:20 pm

You might consider a harness that does not go around the belly. Here are a couple of ideas.

https://www.handicappedpets.com/walkin- ... ort-leash/
http://www.hartmanharness.com/

When you say she is not as regular anymore, do you mean she seems constipated, or she is dropping stools randomly in the house or her bed?
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Re: looking for ideas to help my senior pet with hip issues

Postby khill1222 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:40 am

Ok thanks for the suggestions. In reference to her not 'being as regular'. She seems to be going through phases where she will constantly have small amount of poop coming out. And then following that a big blow out. Seems to be on about a 2 week cycle. She's had a couple bacterial infections but the 2 week cycle thing has been going on for a few months. I can help but think its in part due to her sitting all the time and things not getting moved around like they should.
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Re: looking for ideas to help my senior pet with hip issues

Postby critters » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:12 am

:slant: Have you considered wheels so she can be more mobile and independent, at least while supervised? She might enjoy trips to dog parks, stores, etc. again.
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Re: looking for ideas to help my senior pet with hip issues

Postby khill1222 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:07 pm

yes i have been looking into the dog wheel chairs. trying to figure out which would be best for her...any suggestions? there are a lot out there!
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Re: looking for ideas to help my senior pet with hip issues

Postby critters » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:05 am

Personally, I like the HP wheelchairs because they're so adaptable. https://www.handicappedpets.com/adjusta ... heelchairs They are reportedly problematic for the smallest kinds of critters, but a Border/Chow shouldn't have that problem!! :mrgreen: HP carts (wheelchairs) are also standardized, so getting parts should be easy when necessary.
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Re: looking for ideas to help my senior pet with hip issues

Postby khill1222 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:03 pm

Ok so I decided to order her a doggie wheelchair which will be here next week. Excited to see her move again! Any suggestions on an exercise program? She hasnt been able to 'go for a walk' in a year. Before that she was just hobbling around the yard. Stand up, walk a few steps, sit, repeat. She really hasn't walked much at all now that its gotten cold. Just kinda sits. She has lost a lot of muscle....Is it even possible to rebuild some muscle on a 14 year old dog? She does walk with help but that has really just been a few steps everyday out the door to potty and then sit.
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Re: looking for ideas to help my senior pet with hip issues

Postby CarolC » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:02 pm

It's kind of hard to be sure, really. Muscle can come back with exercise no matter how long the dog has been down, but exercise tolerance is affected by other things such as the heart, joints, etc., and like you say, she is a senior citizen. I think I would plan on just letting her do the minimum at first and try to observe how she seems to be feeling. One walk around the fence line of the back yard may be enough to tire her out when you start, you'll have to see. If that's the case, it can kind of make the owner think, "Gee, is it really worth putting the dog in the wheelchair for a 5-minute walk?" But yes, it absolutely is! It is great for the dog's mental health to be standing up in a normal position, even if it's just for 10 or 15 minutes standing in one place. It also is good for the circulation for the dog not to be lying on her hips and side and elbows, but to be standing so the blood can flow.

When my senior dog needed a quad cart (4 wheels), he was big and it was an effort to get him in, but I have this one photo of him just standing on the porch in his cart, not walking, just breathing the fresh air with a beautiful look on his face, and yes, it is worth it. I think the most happiness he had in those last months was being upright in his cart. He couldn't really walk, but he could stand tall again.

You'll have to see with your dog, they sometimes take to it right away and sometimes have to adjust. They didn't have Walkin' Wheels in the large size yet when my big dog needed his cart, so I never got to try it, but I know if you have any questions they will answer them for you, and you can send in photos of your dog to the company and they will check the fit and make suggestions.

I'm attaching a photo of my dog, and you'll see the happy look on his face. If you decide your dog is getting weak in front, too, because of age, there are attachments available for front support, you'll have to see how she does with 2 wheels.

Merlin_17Mar09.JPG
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Re: looking for ideas to help my senior pet with hip issues

Postby khill1222 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:29 pm

Thank you Carol. I am really hoping this will perk her up a bit. There have been so many changes in her these last few months that i feel are because she is not moving. The will of a dog to go on is tremendous. Most humans would give up in her situation. We will just take it slow. Thank you for reassuring me that buying the cart was the right decision.
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Re: looking for ideas to help my senior pet with hip issues

Postby critters » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:49 am

I would add to not underestimate the freedom of independence! Going to a store, where it's flat, level, climate-controlled, and has LOTS of rewards (smells, people, etc.) might be a good place to exercise for many.
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