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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10919
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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My name is ***** *****. I have a an at least 13 year old Shepherd

Customer Question

My name is ***** *****. I have a an at least 13 year old Shepherd mix with very weak back legs. He is slipping on the new hardwood floors we just put in and then can't get up. What can I do to help him?
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Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 6 months ago.
Welcome to Justanswer! I am Dr. Altman and happy to assist you both today!I am sorry to hear your dog is having this issue. The weakness can be treated to hopefully rebuild strength but often we need to address pain first then hopefully be able to conquer the weakness. There are so many options available to us now to help our beloved four-legged friends outside of the normal nonsteroidals (rimadyl, previcox, metacam, deramaxx). I will list them individually but all can be used in combination to assist your dog in getting comfortable1.) Gabapentin- this is called neurontin in people. It works by dulling the nerve firing associated with pain and is my top choice for senior pets because it is not metabolized as readily by the liver and is easier on a senior pet. The pros are that it is not pricey, has no high end dose so if the pain escalates as your pet gets older we simply adjust the dose, and is easier on older pets. The cons is that it has to be given consistently because withdrawing it suddenly causes what is called rebound of pain which is higher then original level, can cause mild sedation initially2.) Tramadol- this is in the opioid class so it is given as needed for pain when there are bad days. It can be given longterm to senior pets two to three times daily if needed3.) Alternative medicine: laser or light therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy, massage therapy. All are fantastic ways to help minimize pain, increase strength, and allow rest more comfortably. If there is a physical therapy facility in your area they would have all of these. Typically I will start with acupuncture and/ or laser therapy and then add in the physical therapy once we are more comfortable to build strength. I often see remarkable results with one to two sessions4.) Adequan injections. These are pricey but given twice weekly subcutaneously (I have owners give the medication at home after a demonstration to minimize the visits) for four weeks then taper frequency as improvement is seen and if there are bad periods then increase frequency once again5.) Supplements: Glucosamine sulfate 1500 mg daily, fish oil with 1500 mg EPA & DHA daily, Vitamin E, Ester C are all great to slow progression of disease and assist in comfort6.) Depending on your pet's size, a help em up harness that is used to support standing and moving to minimize injury to your back but also prevent further injury to you pet, especially on the hard wood floors. http://helpemup.com7.) Runners throughout the house so that he has areas that he can get through the house with minimal contact on the hard wood floorsPlease let me know how else I can assist you both today If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION. Bonuses are always welcome (I am not compensated in any other way). Thanks!
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 6 months ago.
I am glad to see you were able to view my responses earlierPlease let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you both today!If you are satisfied with our chat please rate or accept with the stars on the top of your screen so I may be compensated for my time. If you are having any difficulties you can also state your rating (excellent, good, fair) in our chat as an alternative. Thank you!