How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Deb Your Own Question
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 8942
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Deb is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian My 17 year old dog has been

Customer Question

Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
My 17 year old dog has been dealing with Lumbosacral Disease on one back hip left leg for about 3 years now. She was always able to pull herself up and walk around. My care for the last 3 years has been to limit her extreme running reduce her weight from 70 pounds to 61 pound, Daily Dasuauin with MSM, and Welactin Natural Omega-3. Occasionally I would give her Carprofin 100 mg for a day if she was sore. I decided not to use too much of the Carprofin. I do use a mild drug Tramadol 50mg daily.
She uses a Ramp to climb into the car when traveling. I limit her movement because I figure her back leg only has x amount of miles left before she the leg gives out. I was doing good for 3 years, but there has been many trips to the doctor’s office for the past 5 weeks because she has been dealing with a tumor that had been removed several months ago at the back hip area …which is the area that has Lumbosacral Disease…which has not spread and has been contained in one area for the past 3 years.
Several days ago when visiting the doctor’s office she slipped on the floor…no carpeting like my home and she injured herself. Also she also required my assistance in getting up the ramp into my car…the combination as caused her not to be able to lift herself up for the past few days. She could walk about 10 feet and she starts to fall.
Note: She did lift herself up this morning without any help…and traveled 10 feet.
1. I started on 100mg of carprofin once daily….Does the Carprofin help reduce the inflammation in the area?
2. Is the Carprofin dosage too low or too high?
3. Should I not try and let her lift herself up because this is just re-injuring area?...sometime she like to reposition her body in the middle of the night…I happened to wake up and helped her.
4. The auto ramp is in a 30 degree angle which loads into the back of an auto-station-wagan…could the walking up the ramp has caused this to become worse?
5. Was the slipping at the vet office floor caused the injury…can she recover to maybe she could pull herself up again….complete rest for several weeks…or is this no turning back?
6. The Vet recommended that we could try giving a Cortisone shots…What are the side effect?…What does the shot do? How many shots is she allowed? Can carprofin still be given with the Cortisone Shot?
7. Do you think Acupuncture will help her? Will the Acupuncture interfere and have a reaction with the Tumor Removal area…the tumor was removed several time in the last 3 years…it has not spread…put it swells every week and it has to be drained with a needle?
8. What do you think of Laser Therapy?
9. Would you use hot packs 3 times a day and would this help?
10. Would you use cold packs 3 times a day and would this help?
11. You I try and find a Vet doctor that makes house calls so she could have complete rest?
12. The dog eats well…enjoys life…very happy..and still wants to live… When dogs can’t lifts themselves up and only walk 10 feet…it is normal for me to continue to fight for her until there is no life left and I know it time to let go?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr B replied 7 months ago.

Hi this is DRB and I am a veterinarian that is certified in canine rehabilitation. Since Dr Deb is not currently available would you like me to help you or would you prefer to wait for Dr. Deb? Let me know. Thanks, DRB

Expert:  Dr B replied 7 months ago.

Hi, since I have not heard back from you I am going to opt out of this question in case Dr Deb comes back online and wants to answer. I would be happy to help you in the future. Sincerely, DRB

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 7 months ago.

Hello John,

I'm sorry that I was offline when you asked your question about your 17 year old dog; I'm also sorry to hear about her recent injury.

Do you still require assistance? If so, I'd be more than happy to address your questions.

1. Yes, Carprofen can help with inflammation since it's a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug; however, I typically dose at twice a day...1 mg/lb of body weight.. although it can be dosed at once a day (2 mg/lb).

2. 100 mg once a day or 50 mg twice a day is the dose I'd suggest for a 61 lb dog.

3. I would help lift her with a towel or sling wrapped around her midsection since she may inadvertently reinjure herself. I wouldn't let her struggle to stand although if she's just shifting her body weight while on the floor, she may not need your help to do so.

4. I doubt it unless she fell off the ramp which doesn't sound like the case. I would imagine that in her current state that it would be difficult for her to make it up the ramp, though, without your helping her which shouldn't cause more damage.

5. I would expect her to recover with time and that irreversible damage wasn't done; however, as you no doubt know, compression of the cord by a disc may also be responsible for her signs. It's also possible, given her age, that she has other issues which are complicating the situation such as arthritis and possible decreased muscle tone.

6. Concurrent use of Carprofen and steroids is contraindicated since gastric ulceration is a risk when both are given together. It's just not something which is recommended. And when changing from one to the other, there should be a wash-out period of 3-5 days which wouldn't be wise in this situation. If your vet was going to use steroids, they should have done so at the outset as soon as she injured herself.

Having said that, though, the authors of one study reported that 79% of 38 dogs with disc-related lumbosacral disease treated with epidural administration of methylprednisolone acetate (a steroid) demonstrated clinical improvement. Treatment consisted of three injections given approximately 2 and 6 weeks following the first injection.

I'm not sure how wise this would be at this point but it may be something to consider if she's not showing signs of improvement on her current medications.

7. I think that acupuncture may be of benefit but I don't have personal experience with any patients who have had this done for this particular problem. I wouldn't expect it to interfere of cause issues at the tumor removal site.

8. I think laser therapy can play a role in these patients as well and often suggest it for many of my patients with various orthopedic/neurologic conditions. I have to refer them, though, since we don't offer this service at my hospital.

9. I don't think warm compresses would necessarily be harmful but I don't know how much benefit they'd be at this point. Certainly worth trying, though.

10. Cold packs are generally suggested within the first 72 hours of an injury so I'd use warm compresses if anything.

11. Definitely worthwhile if you have a vet who makes house calls in your area. Given the difficulty in getting her to the vet's office and the injury she sustained there, treatment at home would be far preferable.

12. You should continue to be her advocate as long as her quality of life is good...which is sounds like it primarily is. I would give her every opportunity to respond to rest and medication. If she were my patient, I'd increase her Tramadol dose to probably 100 mg 2-3 times a day; her current dose of 50 mg/ day is low.

I might also add Gabapentin (another pain medication which works better than Tramadol for neuropathic pain) as well. All three drugs can be given together and most patients tolerate this combination quite well.

I don't know if Adequan would be helpful for her lumbosacral disease but this may be something else to consider especially if she has osteoarthritis somewhere in her body which is complicating her situation. It's an injection which would have to be given twice weekly by a vet (hopefully one who makes housecalls) and then once per month.

I'd also start her on a combinations of antioxidants such as Cell Advance 880 or Golden Years as well as Tumeric 1000mg/day.