If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
http://daleysdogyears.com/senior/what-s ... cant-walk/
New to this forum. I am in need of advice for walking aids when my dog has three legs that are having issues (the main two are on the same side) as well as advice on when knowing it's "his time." I've never had to evaluate someone's quality of life before (dog or human).
Anyways here's our story:
Our 12 yr old dog, King, has exhibited new behavior this past week, which seems to be escalating. Obviously he is an elderly dog, but has received regular walks, loves to eat and snuggle and has always had a great attitude.
Recently we left town for a family emergence and were gone for a week. King had a house sitter. 5-7 days after returning we noticed a few things abnormal. The first few days back, all seemed fine. Then towards the end of the week, he started to lose control over his bowels. This happened several days in a row, all while in bed (ours or his) or resting. Then he started to have problems standing and started constantly falling down. At first he was able to pick himself back up, but then a day or so later, he could not. Since then we have had to carry him outside for peeing/pooping each day, but he doesn’t always seem able to go (or doesn’t want to).
I should mention that he has had some mobility issues previously. For the past year, King has only walked on three legs, holding his front left paw up towards his chest. He also cries out in pain if it is touched directly. This behavior occurred suddenly and we do not know why/how. This was checked out by the Vet in the fall. She concluded (after an exam/x-ray) that everything seemed in check for a dog his age. The Vet x-ray showed no signs of breakage or advanced arthritis. And since King at that time had no issues eating/drinking and continued to enjoy walks, she said that everything was fine. He also has had issues his back paw for the past year (same side). The Vet said it was a yeast type infection (b/c he constantly chews it) and prescribed a topical and a round of antibiotics. We rec'd a prescription of Rimadyl and Tramadol for pain, along with Proin for incontinence (which he had issues with from time to time).
So, everything seemed fine after that fall visit. Everything remained the same and King didn’t seem to mind his new walking style. Anyways, over the past week, here’s what new behavior we have noted:
1.) Intensified crying (which comes and goes or subsides if we pet him/hold him).
2.) Extreme lack of mobility. For the past three days, we have been hard pressed to get him to walk for bathroom functionality.
3.) Lack of control of bowels (but not bladder).
4.) Loss of appetite (but will eat if we had feed him.
5.) Loss of thirst (we tried chicken broth, which he rejected, but ate it over his dog food).
6.) Muscle spasms on his hurt leg (periodically, but not consistently).
Upon consulting with our Vet, she recommended an office visit, examination and blood work. We also understood that if he is not sick, that it might be his “time.” This is my first time dealing with this type of situation with an elderly pet. I also found an online blog that suggested honey when a dog is getting dehydrated (he wouldn't take Pedialyte or Chicken broth), so we tried this and he perked right up. I also had the idea to try ice cubes (I forgot he enjoyed these as treats previously). He ate the ice cubes consistently so we were able to get some fluids in him. He even ate dinner that night. Brilliant!
The Vet came the following day and did a thorough examination. She mentioned that all his vitals seem good (temperature, heart rate, breathing, etc.). Here is her verdict: "King's attitude is generally pretty good, I think he is just uncomfortable, painful and unsure of what's going on. He has several issues, the most important being unable to get up and move around. I hope that the steroid injection will reduce any inflammation enough to help him get on his feet again. Even if he doesn't respond to the steroid, if he has had a stroke, he may improve with time. His second issue is the left foreleg which is VERY painful for him. I am calling in a prescription for Tramadol for you to begin giving ASAP. It may make him a little sleepy, so keep that in mind when evaluating him. If he improves from the steroid injection we will start oral Prednisone tomorrow. Remember that this drug will likely cause him to want to drink more water and he will therefore urinate more often. If he continues to improve I would definitely try to repeat his x-rays on that left foreleg to see if there is evidence of a tumor or other cause of disuse."
Since then, King has started to wet himself constantly (a side effect of the Steroid injection), continues to poo his bed and won't stand up without assistance. However, he has continued to improve appetite wise and even started drinking water the past two days. We made a DIY Dog sling out of a tote back to see if that might help. It made it easier to carry him (he's 50lbs), but he still won't stand up.
The Vet recommended that we start the steroids today and give it a few days to see if he improves. My husband has been out of work for the past year or so and we are extremely limited on funds after bills/groceries.
Wow, I don't know where to start...
I don't think it would hurt anything to wait a couple of days to see if steroids help, and pred is cheap. Have you tried using a "male wrap" to help with peepotting? In a pinch, you might ask people with babies if you might have a couple of big diapers (or even adult ones) and hold them over his "gun" with elastic wrap stuff (probably 4 inches wide) like you'd use if you sprained a knee. Or you might come up with something better; parents can be quite creative!! If they work well enough, they'd take quite a load off your washing and your/his trips to pee.
Thanks for the tip. Yes we are waiting a few days to see what might happen. I really want to see him improve. We have been giving him the Pred and the Trymadol. His attitude seems good, but the peeing is difficult to deal with. We did buy some adult diapers. That helped, but they don't stay on well. The adult S/M are huge and he's a 50lb dog. Note, I wish I had purchased baby pull ups or diapers. They seem to hold more liquid. Any ideas for helping him get back on his feet? He was doing okay if you propped him up and held him up. But he still won't walk and can't stand on his own. Now he's curling his toes on his back legs so it's even harder to prop him up. Difficult to do when you're getting pee all over you while you hold him. It's comical really. Any advice for walking devices or techniques would be great. Thanks!
From your description it does sound like he's improving. My senior dog started losing control of his bowels in his sleep or walking around the house many months before he got to where he couldn't get up. The vet said it was just normal spinal degeneration you find with some aging dogs. Since then, I've talked to other people and found out that they have had this problem with aging dogs, too. My solution with my dog was just to be sure he ate a diet that produced good stools (firm, well formed, low odor) and to keep him in the part of the house where I didn't mind so much (he was not allowed in the living room, dining room, or upstairs). For food, Science Diet w/d dry (not canned) worked for us. I could simply pick up the stools with a kleenex, they left no trace, and I didn't have to use carpet cleaner. I agree the idea of male wraps would help. My dog gradually became bladder incontinent and dribbled urine as well as doodling without seeming aware of it, yet he could still walk. Eventually he got to where he could not get up without assistance, so I used a belly sling like you're doing.
http://www.handicappedpets.com/mediawik ... th_handles
5 posts • Page 1 of 1
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest