Hi. My best friend and I need help. My friend Poppy is 9 years old. He is a Rhodesian Ridgeback/Belgian Malinois. He was 6 weeks old when he came into my life. About three years ago he had some trouble walking. For a few days he even walked only on three legs, lifting up his right hind leg. The vet x-rayed his knees and we were told he has arthritis in both hind knees and to give him rest for 6 weeks. This we did. He was also given a supplement for Arthritis, which I don’t remember now, other than it was made in France. Anyway, he gradually started to walk again and we increased his activity. He seemed fine. A few months ago he was too eager to jump into the back of the car before his ramp was down on quite a few occasions, but still he showed no adverse effects. Yet now I blame our incompetence of not preventing this to his current situation. About 4 weeks ago he started to limp, right hind leg. We thought it’s a bout of bad arthritis again and let him rest, no walks. After two weeks he showed some improvement and went for a short walk. The next day he was worse again. So we didn’t walk him any more. Just brief toilet visits in the garden. He did not improve. After a week of rest he did not put any weight on his right hind leg at all. The vet said he thinks that he has a ruptured cruciate ligament and prescribed 100 mg of carprofen (anti-inflammatory) once a day. A week prior to this we started to give him rose hip vital powder and osteo care joint health chews. After two days of carprofen he started to put a little weight on his right hind leg, but he walked extremely wobbly and his left hind leg seemed to give out to the side. The vet had warned us that he might put too much pressure onto his other leg and we thought that that is the reason. We had measured him up for a double knee brace to support his walk (cannnot afford the $10.000 surgery), but they haven’ arrived yet. Post is slow thanks to Corona. A courier service was not possible, even within Australia. We supported him for his toilet visits with a sling to ease the weight burden but he became more unsteady. Three days ago he could hardly walk and was in pain. Without help he would fall over. He managed to have a poo, but he does not pee anymore. We read about expressing the bladder, but were not successful and took him to the animal hospital two nights ago late in the evening, growing worried even more. The vet there said his right knee seems to be an old injury and that it is not unstable, the left knee is ok. She thinks it’s a spinal injury and possibly hip related, such as bad arthritis in the hips. She gave him methadon and and told us to take him for a walk in the house three times a day with a sling to help him remember to walk and place his feet in the right position. He left the vet walking out wobbly, but now he does not use his back feet. When we move him, he just uses his front legs. When I stand him up with a sling he puts a little weight on his left hind leg, but not on his right one. The vet said his nerves and reflexes are not that great in his hind legs. She emptied his bladder with a catheter and prescribed him 300 mg Gabapentin twice daily and Amantadine 100 mg once daily. He is really lethargic now, but hopefully with no pain. After yet another day of not being able to express his bladder he has been to the first vet again. The vet said that he thinks now too that it might be spinal and that he might need an operation at a specialist centre, costing around $20.000 with no guarantee of success. We just moved back to Australia from overseas, self financed with our two pets and have no money left. When we arrived Poppy was just over 9 years old making him too old to take out pet insurance. The vet said if there is no operation we should put him down now. Obviously I’m struggling with this. It is happening so quickly. I don’t want Poppy to suffer, but do I take a chance of life and recovery away from him. He is drugged up, but he is still with us. Getting excited when he hears the car keys, extremely eager eating his food. I got a small amount of pee out of him today, but maybe it is due to the fact that he starts to dribble due to overflow. The vet was not willing to empty his bladder. He believes it is pointless, because I won’t be able to express the bladder of such a large dog who is not fully paralized. So I’m on my own. He poops twice a day. It justs pops out while he lies down. I have not been able to get it manually yet. I will try again to get more pee out in a minute. I just wondered if anyone here has gone through a similar thing. I am under so much pressure to euthanise my boy now, even from my husband. My thoughts evolve around the urine bit. Do I have to give up if I don’t succeed with expressing him today? Does that not mean I am not fit to look after a handicapped dog? Probably not. How could I leave him with an overflowing bladder. My thoughts were to learn to express him and to get him a wheeler, and hopefully we could reduce his pain medication one day and start physiotherapy.