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Jess K
Jess K, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1216
Experience:  Licensed Veterinarian
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Less than one week ago, my little 9 year old Shih Tzu

Customer Question

Less than one week ago, my little 9 year old Shih Tzu stopped stand/walk. She can raise her head and turn from side to side. Beside not looking herself she is not moaning or pulling back when we touch her. Her breathing is good. She is eating well. Should give her some Glucosamine? Please help!
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Jess K replied 3 months ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Jess. I am sorry to hear about your dog! So to confirm, she is unable to stand or walk on her own?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
in the beginning when she eats, she needs to be held. After awhile she can stand but she is very unstable. and she will fall and have to be picked up. and held for a second or two to get her balance again. She also has times of a Started jump to her head as she looks around. Her head will jump back quickly as if something started her. Also for your info she has had a history of "seizures" she will throw her head back, her body stiffens and she howls and urinates. Once she recognizes her surrounding, she gets out of it, and start wagging her tail.. We were questioning if it is more nightmares than seizures, as she came to us in 2009, and had been badly neglected. We love her so much. This was happening a lot more at the beginning, and they are getting fewer and fewer. Beside that, she seems very healthy, beside getting anal boils (x3), which I took care of them myself. I am a Registered Nurse, but what is going on, I don't have an answer. Help please.
Expert:  Jess K replied 3 months ago.


  • Does she have head tilt at all?
  • If you look at her gums, are they pink or pale in color?
  • Is she having any breathing issues?
  • Any swelling or pain in her belly?
  • If you stand her up and taker her feet, one at a time, and flip the foot over so the top of the foot is touching the ground, does she immediately replace the foot to its normal position? Or does it take her several seconds (or does she not do it at all)? Here is a video of what I am describing:
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Jessica: Since she is sleeping very calmly right now, I would like to continue in about one hour, if you don't mind?
Also right now I am not feeling too good myself. I am a senior (almost 74), and disabled. We try to make it on one small income, and right now, we are fighting to prevent foreclosure on our house, therefore, although, I would love to contact you by phone, but I cannot afford it.
Expert:  Jess K replied 3 months ago.

That is fine, I am not set up for phone calls anyway (I think the site automatically gives you that option, but not all of us are able to do calls). I may not be online in an hour but will check back on later in the day to see your responses.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
8226; She does not have head tilt
- Her gums, are pink
• No breathing issues?
• No swelling or pain in her belly?
• I did this test after I watched the video: ..... she immediately replaces the foot to its normal position
Expert:  Jess K replied 3 months ago.

Hmmmm... it is a very tough thing to evaluation without seeing her in person. We worry in dogs having issues standing about lesions on the spinal cord- most commonly a herniated disc pressing on the spinal cord and causing weakness in the legs. We also worry about arthritis causing weakness (though this is usually more gradual). We worry about trouble standing due to overall weakness (i.e. from anemia).

Unfortunately, without examining her in person, I don't know how much more information I can give you based on her description. I do truly think she needs a veterinary exam.

Glucosamine can be helpful for arthritis, but is not going to help other conditions that can cause difficulty staying in a standing position. Glucosamine can also take 4 to 6 weeks to see the effects, so it isn't something that is going to help in the short term.

Expert:  Jess K replied 3 months ago.
Hi Huguette Maclennan,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Dustie. How is everything going?

Jessica Keay