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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19006
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My dogs legs have become weak in the last month. He falls to

Customer Question

Hi my dogs legs have become weak in the last month. He falls to the left or right when he first wakes up and try's to stand. He's old. 16 years. Love him too much. Can I give him anything to help him he constantly scratches. I spray him with medicated spray. Helps for awhile.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Does he seem stiffer when he wakes and then warms with movement/exercise?

What spray are you using?

Where does he scratch specifically (ie neck, belly, etc)?

Are you seeing any changes to the skin in these areas?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just over the counter hot spot spray neck and belly
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Don't see any change in his skin
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

First, if we are not seeing skin changes, then his scratching may be due to an allergic dermatitis. This can be triggered by literally anything they are in contact with (ie flea saliva, pollens, diet, products used in the house, dust mites). With so many possible triggers to consider, you will want to make sure to keep on your monthly flea treatments, potentially trial any diets he was better on in the past, and consider trying him with an antihistamine. Most commonly we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/diphenhydramine-benadryl).A low dose (ie. 0.5-2 mg per pound of their body weight twice daily) can just be enough to reduce that allergic irritation. We like to keep the dose low, as it can cause drowsiness (just like people). And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your wee one has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first.

Otherwise, we need to consider this weakness he has. Now based on what you have reported and considering his age, we'd be most concerned about arthritis being at the root of this. Often they are weak and stiff when rising and can be prone to falling. In regards ***** ***** to aid him with this, for severe cases we do tend to use prescription dog safe anti-inflammatory medication like Metacam, Rimadyl, Onsior, or Previcox. As well, if very sore, we can also use other pain relief medications (ie Tramadol, Bupenorphine, etc) too.

That said, there are some OTC joint supports that could be of benefit here. Specifically, we often find glucosamine/chondroitin helpful for dogs in these situations. This is a nutrient supplement that is available at your vets, pet shops, and health food stores (as capsules, liquids, and even treats). There are a range of products on the markets and examples of ones we typically use for dogs include Cosequin, Seraquin, and Flexivet. It works by aiding joint suppleness by helping cartilage replenish itself and blocking enzyme destruction of cartilage in the joint. Often we can find this helpful in dogs with mild signs but it could help alongside pain relief and therefore worth considering here. Normally we give dogs 300mg glucosamine + 50mgchondroitin a day per 10 pounds of body weight.

Further to this, the natural anti-inflammatory properties of Omega 3 + 6 (EPA + DHA)fish oils can be helpful in soothing sore joints. Again this can be purchased over the counter at vets, pet stores, and health food stores. If you did want to try this for him, we tend to give a dose equal to 20mg per pound of their body weight. So, this too is a mild aid but would be another supportive measure you could consider for your lad.

Overall, these would be our concerns for the 2 issues you have reported. In this case, I would suggest the above at this point. If you do so but he doesn't respond to these or if his signs are severe, then we'd want to speak to his vet about further pain relief for him +/- even a course of steroids to halt his itchiness and soothe those aged joints.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
nekovet