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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15629
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My 11 year old male Yorkie has Cushings and Diabetes, and a

Customer Question

My 11 year old male Yorkie has Cushings and Diabetes, and a Thyroid issue. He takes Vetoryl, Soloxine, and Insulin. His sugar level appears to be in range and maintained.
Several weeks ago he began crying at night. He became very restless. He urinated in the house and he never does that. His back legs appear weak. He sometimes stumbles.
My vet ran blood tests and an X-ray and found nothing. His foot was tested for neurological issues and he put it back on the pads when it was put in his knuckles. The vet said "he knows where he is". They did see him stumble/stagger.
He is scared of the stairs now because he stumbles. I know something is wrong with him.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Based on his signs, I do agree that this isn't normal. At his age and with his ongoing health concerns, his stumbling/weakness does raise some worries. First, we can see diabetic neuropathies in diabetic animals (cats are more prone but we do see this in dogs too) and this cause both these signs. As well, we could have early stage nerve degeneration in the back legs (where the communication from the brain is slower or reduced) or even the start of subtle arthritis. And I'd note that if he is struggling with his back legs, this may make him more agitated at night, restless and could be leading to him being reluctant to get up to toilet leading to accidents in the house.

With this in mind, we'd want to speak to his vet about treating these underlying concerns. His being stable will help with any diabetic neuropathy issues here but sometimes using vitamin B12 injections can help with the damage already done to the nerve sheaths. As well, it may be worth considering OTC joint supplements (ie Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Omega 3 fish oils, Duralactin) to counter any mild arthritis that may not have been appreciable on xray. And if his Cushing's is stable, then there is the potential to trial him on a very low dose of a dog safe anti-inflammatory.

Finally, just since he has this night restlessness, we may have to be wary of early stage dementia. This wouldn't cause the stumbling but can cause the other signs. For this, then Omega 3 fish oils can also be of benefit but there are some other treatments (ie Vivitonin, Aktivait, etc) that can help reduce signs from that.

Overall, even with those clear results, we do have a few concerns for your lad's signs. So, the above would be options to try. Otherwise, further to this we do want to heed his worry about the stairs and consider putting a baby gait up to restrict his use when you aren't there to supervise or assist him in using them.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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