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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11127
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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My dog is an Akita. Several years ago, she was t by a car

Customer Question

My dog is an Akita. Several years ago, she was hit by a car that resulted in her tail being amputated. The vet thinks she was hit in her hind legs and hip area. She has had difficulty laying down for quite a while. About two weeks ago, she started having weakness in her back legs and we would have to assist her in standing. Our vet gave her two injections and some meds for arthritis. She took the meds for a week. Four days after her meds were stopped, she has no use of her back legs. She is currently taking Carprofen 75 mg bid and Tramadol 100 mg bid. She refuses to eat and take her meds most of the time. Is there anything else we can do for her?
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. 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 comfortable

1.) 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 initially

2.) 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 needed. This can be used in combination with the gabapentin and alternative therapy I have listed below since she is already taking it

3.) 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 sessions of one or both of these in combination

4.) 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 again

5.) 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 comfort

6.) 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. http://helpemup.com

I hope this information makes sense and gives you a new starting point for your Akita to get her comfortable and ambulatory again but please let me know how else I can assist you 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.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you both today, I am online another hour tonight

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!