How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16252
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
60269376
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My dog is 15 years old he can't use his back legs anymore

Customer Question

hi my dog is 15 years old he can't use his back legs anymore and he is always crying day and night I'm worried for him.. i don't know what to do
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The noise must be worrying. I'll connect you to the Veterinarian. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about your dog?
Customer: thats all
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 today.

How long has he been like this?

Can he move his back legs on his own at all?

Is he just stiff and weak?

Are the back legs colder then the front ones?

Is he on any treatments just now?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
hi, thank you. I'm so very worried.
he has been like this for about two months now. he does kick his both back legs on his own. he isn't weak because he does try and crawl around when he wants too. his legs sometimes are more cold then the front, but not always. he isn't on any treatment, just the medication previcox.
please let me know.
thank you so much
raj
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you, Raj.

Now if this has been going on for that length of time and he does have some movement, we can thankfully rule out paralysis based differentials. Though considering his age and signs, we'd be most worried of severe arthritis, possible disc disease (where signs arises from the disc pressing on the spinal cord), and nerve degeneration.

Now if the Previcox hasn't been enough for him, then you will want to ring his vet to discuss alternative options (ie Rimadyl, Metacam, Onsior, etc), the possible use of steroids (our step up from the anti-inflammatories), or about possibly adding in a second drug with the Previcox (ie Tramadol or Gabapentin). The aim is to find the best combination that can help reduce the discomfort he is telling us he has and get him more mobile.

Otherwise, until you can speak to his vet, I'd just now some other OTC joint support options that can help if arthritis is our culprit. Specifically, we often find glucosamine/chondroitin helpful for dogs in these situations. This is a nutrient supplement that is available at your vets, pet shops, and health food stores (as capsules, liquids, and even treats). It works by aiding joint suppleness by helping cartilage replenish itself and blocking enzyme destruction of cartilage in the joint. Normally we give dogs 300mg glucosamine + 50mg chondroitin a day per 10 pounds of body weight.

Further to this, the natural anti-inflammatory properties of Omega 3 + 6 (EPA + DHA) fish oils can be helpful in soothing sore joints. Again this can be purchased over the counter at vets, pet stores, and health food stores. If you did want to try this for him, we tend to give a dose equal to 20mg per pound of their body weight. So, this would be another supportive measure you could consider for your lad.

Finally, since it does sound like his lack of movement could be reducing his back leg circulation and that he likely has some muscle discomfort, you can also consider warm compressing the back legs. Just to note, you can make a safe warmer for use as a warm compress by filling a clean sock 2/3rds full with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min). Before use, do make sure to shake to allow the heat to distribute before using as a compress. (If it cools, you can re-warm as required).

Overall, his signs do raise a few concerns but it sounds like the Previcox isn't enough. Therefore, we'd want to start joint supportive care but it would be ideal to speak to his vet about adjusting their pain relief protocol (and ruling out disc/nerve issues too) to ensure we are keeping him as comfortable as possible and address these current signs.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please rate me afterwards by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
okay thats amazing thank you for your help. i am going to get all them things today and hopefully it will help. another worry is he isn't sleeping at night and barks all night. any idea what this could be or how we could help this?
thank you so much
raj
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

Hi again,

If he is in pain, that may be the cause for his nighttime vocalizations. So, we'd want to see if that settles with adjustment of his pain relief. If it doesn't, then we'd want his vet to check his blood pressure (a cause of nighttime restlessness) and we'd also have to consider dementia. In regards ***** ***** former, there are medications for that. As for dementia, it tends to be something we cannot cure but manage. And the fish oil can help with that, but there are also other supplements (ie Aktivait, melatonin) and prescription options (ie propentofylline) that can help as well.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please rate me afterwards by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
thank you so much.
are the Aktivait, melatonin available to buy from a pet shop?
thank you
raj
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

They are available over the counter but you will need to see if your pet store carries them specifically. If they do not, then you should be able to get them online (example1; example 2) or order them through your vet.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please rate me afterwards by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
okay great, thank you so much.
is there any certain food we should feed him to help him?
thank you
raj
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

You are very welcome, Raj.

You could use a joint supportive diet (ie Hills J/D) but if you use the above joint supplements, then that wouldn't be necessary.

Take care,

Dr. B.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

***Please rate me afterwards by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you (there is no extra cost to do so). Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
okay sounds great.
how long roughly should i see improvements in?
thank you
raj
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

Hi again,

If your vet amends his medication treatment, we'd expect to see improvement in a few days. If you are planning only to add in the supports, it could take a few weeks since they are milder and slower acting.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

***Please rate me afterwards by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you (there is no extra cost to do so). Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
okay great.
i think that should be all. hopefully it helps.
thank you for everything
raj
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

Have a lovely day,

Dr. B.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

***Please rate me afterwards by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you (there is no extra cost to do so). Thank you for your feedback!: )