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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24367
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a 15 year old Golden. Susie. She will be lying on the

Customer Question

I have a 15 year old Golden. Susie. She will be lying on the floor and yelp. I will let her go outside but then when she comes back in she will do it again. She has trouble getting up and her back legs seem to not work right.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. By the principle of Occam's Razor, it's reasonable to assume that Susie is quite painful in her hips (osteoarthritis/hip dysplasia), caudal (toward her tail) spine (osteoarthritis/cauda equina syndrome, and possibly from degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk") or neoplasia (cancer) in or around her spinal cord at her advanced age. Trouble rising and ataxia ("drunken sailor") are consistent with all of those differential diagnoses and X-rays and even MRI might be necessary to clarify which are present.

Pragmatically speaking, a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug such as carprofen or meloxicam plus a narotic analgesic such as tramadol should be on board. Please let me know what her current therapy consists of.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
She is not taking anything right now. I'm concerned that she is in pain.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

I agree with you. Good hospice care requires good analgesia. She needs to be back on a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug such as I mentioned above plus a narcotic analgesic. She can be given aspirin in a pinch at a dose of 10 mg/lb with food at 12 hour intervals but the prescription NSAIDs are more potent. Acetaminophen is OK at 7 mg/lb thrice daily but isn't antiinflammatory as is the aspirin. You must avoid both the toxic ibuprofen and naproxen.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.