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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6099
Experience:  I have been a small animal veterinarian for 25 years .
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what maks a 13year old female dogs back legs week

Resolved Question:

what maks a 13year old female dogs back legs week
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 9 months ago.

Hi Fran, I'm Dr. Deb. I'll do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry that Baby's back legs are weak. I do have a few questions to ask about her first if you don't' mind:

1. I'm assuming that this isn't a few problem, correct?
2. Have x--rays been done of her spine or hips?
3. Is she currently taking any medication or supplements?
4. Is she losing muscle tone in her back legs?
5. Does she drag her toes or legs when she walks?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

It started about 3 months ago and then she dragged her rear paws & Had to lift them forward the vet did x-rays and her spine is just fine she had 6 week of laser and no great improvement just walks like she has a board up her but also the chiropractor. said Baby's injury was just above where the x-ray stopped?? She is in good health for her age except for her rear legs...I have now stopped all treatment except for the dog walker 2 x a week and see what nature and time will do at this stage what would you recommend?

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 9 months ago.
Fran:
Thanks so much for the additional information.

This sounds like Baby may have compression of her spinal cord by either a disc or a mass, unfortuantely. X-rays can sometimes detect these problems but it would really take an MRI to specifically diagnose it.
If you think you'd consider surgery on a 13 year old dog (something I'm not sure even I would do if she were my dog), then you might want to get a second opinion from a neurologist.

I'm a huge fan of alternative therapies such as laser and chiropractic/acupuncture therapies and it's disappointing that you didn't see improvement. But if the nerves to her legs aren't functioning because her spine is the problem, then these modalities aren't likely to be very helpful until or unless the primary problem is addressed. I'll also recommend underwater treadmill therapy for certain dogs if I think that arthritis is the problem since it can help build up muscle tone. But, again, in this case, it may not be very useful since the nerves are not functioning as they should.

I honestly don't know if any anti-inflammatory drugs would be useful at this point since the problem has been present for 3 months. But if she's not currently taking any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, you could try Aspirin at a dose of 10 mg/lb twice a day (with food to avoid stomach upset).
If presented with her case three months ago and you wanted to try medical therapy, I probably would have started her on steroids. And, you still could if you wanted, but, again, I'm not certain how helpful they will be at this point.

I suspect that she's not in any pain which is good.
You might consider a wheelchair for her (LINK) since her front is strong and she's otherwise healthy. Most dogs adjust amazingly well to them. I've had a number of clients who've purchased them for their dogs and couldn't be happier since it significantly improves their's dogs quality of life.

I hope this helps and provides you with several options to consider. Deb
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I am glad to hear your thoughts as I would not have her get surgery as I know she would not make it & she has had enough surgery as a puppy her front legs she had knee surgery and then she tore something in her right rear leg and has a plate in there also she has had several small surgery's for lumps from her Mast cell cancer which is under good control now and as you can see I love her dearly but guess I just needed someone else to tell me what I have all ready decided ad I have checked into the wheelchairs and my problem there is I have trained the last 3 Boston's to use a potty box and that des resent a problem but if thing get t bad I just might get her a cart. But one good thing is she has perfect teeth never cleaned and never any problem 's the only Boston I've had in over 60 years that had such good teeth........Thank you......Fran

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 9 months ago.

Fran:
You're welcome.
Bostons are great dogs, for sure!
That is pretty impressive that Baby has such clean teeth, especially at her age. Sounds like she has a pretty healthy mouth:)

She certainly sounds like a survivor. I'm glad that you've not dismissedthe cart out of hand but have considered it. I personally think it's a viable option for her. The smaller dogs tend to do really well and if she's as smart I think she is, she'll learn to adjust to whatever arrangement you might need to make with a potty box.

Good luck with her as you move forward. Deb

Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6099
Experience: I have been a small animal veterinarian for 25 years .
Dr. Deb and 5 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 9 months ago.
Fran:

Thank you for the rating and bonus; it's greatly appreciated.
I also wanted to wish you the best with Baby. This is a tough situation but at least you do have an option for her. Regards, Deb

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