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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4855
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My dog does not want to get up and walk. I haveto puck m up

Customer Question

My dog does not want to get up and walk. I haveto puck him up to take him out. He will stand still and potty but is wobbly. This happened about one month ago as well. Treat and was doing better two weeks ago he got edema in is leg. On water pills, joint medicine and antibiotics. This started yesterday
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help your dog. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Snoopy
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Snoopy?
Customer: The leg that swollen had acl surgery about 7yrs ago. All blood work checked out normal. Does have signs of a slight enlarged heart
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Ana Bascunan replied 4 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I'm happy to help answer your question about Snoopy. I'm sorry to hear he isn't doing well and is having trouble walking. How old is Snoopy?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Expert:  Ana Bascunan replied 4 months ago.

Ok, thank you. It sounds like you have had Snoopy examined recently (2 weeks ago?) for the edema in his leg. Was he having trouble walking and weakness at that time as well or is that new?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He has a bit a a limp, but it seems like his back hurts
Expert:  Ana Bascunan replied 4 months ago.

Poor little guy. Sorry to be asking you so many questions (I know you came to me for answers) but can you tell me what tests your vet did other than bloodwork? Did they do any x-rays?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
All blood work, x-ray, ultrasound, prostate and pancreatitis test, tick heart worm
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He had pneumonia at that time
Expert:  Ana Bascunan replied 4 months ago.

Gosh, it sounds like he has many issues that are accumulating and that they are getting worse over time. How are your feelings about his condition at this time? Are you concerned about his quality of life and how much further you can go with him in pain?

Expert:  Ana Bascunan replied 4 months ago.

It sounds like your veterinarian did a very thorough work up for him. Did they give you a final diagnosis or were they left unsure of his underlying problem? You mentioned heart enlargement- do they suspect he was in heart failure leading to the fluid accumulation in the limb?

Expert:  Ana Bascunan replied 4 months ago.

Without being able to review all of his test results and examine him in person, it's hard for me to point toward an underlying disease process. Based on your description, it sounds like he has a heart condition that may or may not be the cause of the edema in his leg. Edema, if severe, can cause pain and result in the limp you describe. Other potential causes of pain in the back and hind limbs include disc herniation in the spine, infectious or inflammatory disease of the spine, and spinal neoplasia.

My concern is that, in addition to his previous conditions including pneumonia, heart enlargement, and joint pain, he now is showing new signs including reluctance to walk and possible back pain. In my experience with dogs of his age, accumulation of issues that don't respond well to treatment or respond initially but then worsen or grow usually signifies that something bigger, more serious is going on. At this point we as pet owners are faced with a conundrum - how far do we go before we decide we've done enough? You did every test your vet recommended, and yet his condition is worsening. If you did 10 more tests, would it change the ultimate outcome? It is the hardest decision we ever make and yet we all have to make it at some point if we are fortunate enough to own a dog into their senior years.

If you wish to pursue additional testing, your vet may recommend things such as advanced imaging (CT scan or MRI) to locate the source of Snoopy's pain. They might also recommend referral to a cardiologist to further characterize his heart condition.

If you are feeling that additional testing isn't an option financially or that it wouldn't be the right choice for you or Snoopy for any reason, then we can discuss quality of life and end of life decision making. Snoopy's vet is also qualified to have this discussion with you (perhaps more than I am) because they know both you and Snoopy and your long term goals for him.

Either way, I am here for you and supportive of the path that you choose for you and Snoopy.

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