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Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28182
Experience:  25 years of experience in surgery and internal medicine.
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I'm the 3rd owner of my Australian shepherd Rottweiler mix.

Customer Question

I'm the 3rd owner of my Australian shepherd Rottweiler mix. He's roughly 12years old and doesn't like vets. This Feb. He got a rash on his belly and back of legs. He had to be pinned down by 3 people to be looked at. I felt horrible watching it. They gave him a trank, shaved the problem area's and put him on antibiotics. I picked him up the same day and he looked like hell. I figured it was cuz of the trank still in his system. He could barely walk,and his foot was bleeding from a claw. The next day I got him home I noticed his rear legs not working so well. He also started peeing out blood or dark urine. I called the vet and urine sample was given, tested...and antibiotics were given again ( she thought he might have crystals and wanted to reexamine him). It didn't make sense to me so I took him for a second opinion. Again, he was difficult to examine. The vet basically wasn't able to see much and just offered some rimadyl which he's been taking. It seems to do nothing for his condition. So after all that here's the problem. His rear legs have got progressively worse since I got him back in Feb. His legs seem to go limp or as if he looses muscle control. It is worse after he's been laying down. After they warm up on a walk they seem to be about 75% functional. His legs will often cross over each other and he almost trips on his own legs. While he's lying down relaxed... if I lift a rear leg.... it just seems to have little resistance when I let go. As though a child would do with his arm while playing dead. When I do the same thing to the front arm... it feels different- like the muscles react to my touch and release more. Does any of this seem related? I'm concerned something else is wrong with him besides old age. It's just happening all so fast unlike arthritis or something. Another fear is something happened to him at the first vet visit. Possibly that he woke up during his procedure and fell off the table and damaged something. I really have no idea... but it seems the vet I took him too had no idea either. Any patterns here for anyone? Thanks for any ideas.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He also seems to curl his toes inward at times when he steps down but then flattens it out after he seems to realize it.
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 10 months ago.
Good Morning and welcome! I am Dr. Loretta, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your question. I am so sorry for your sweet guys condition...poor guy! He has been through so much! You are an angel to try to help him. From what you describe, I do believe that your guy may have arthritis in his hips and/or vertebrae that is so bad that the extra bone development has interfered with the nerve supply coming from the spinal cord and is causing him this odd behavior and obvious neurologic symptoms. This is common in older large breed dogs. An xray would give you more information. It is hard to know what may have happened at the first vet visit but most likely, your guys condition was already present and was aggravated by this stressful experience. The other possibility is a condition called DEgenerative Myelopathy (DM). THis is a hereditary disease that causes a progressive lack of nerve supply to the rear legs with no real treatment. This LINK will explain in more detail. I would strongly recommend that you have your sweet guy tested for this to be sure. Does that make sense to you? Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please REPLY so I can clarify for you. Sincerely, ***** *****
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 10 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Loretta