Hi Sir or Madam,My name is XXXXX XXXXX X've been with Just Answer since 2006. It will be my pleasure to work with you.
There may be a few things going on. Dogs with long nails will often find it difficult to walk on smooth surfaces like wood and tile. This is because the nails prevent their pads from getting a good grip on these surfaces/ So trimming the nails back may help him walk on smooth surfaces a little easier. If the nails are long, it can also be painful for the dog to walk as well. Additionally, if the pads are overly dry, that might cause some problems as well, so if the pads seem to be too dry, a little moisturizer without zinc can be used on the pads.
Dogs of all ages can develop arthritis. Arthritis tends to be affect dogs worse in the morning as they are trying to move about but seems to get a little better once they are mobile for a while. You might want to try glucosamine chondroitin (a supplement) and see if that helps him along with deramaxx. You can read about this here:
Buffered aspirin can be given to a dog with a dosage of up to 5-10 mg per pound every 12 hours for pain. Keep in mind that a dog's body does not metabolize aspirin in the same way as a human and thus should not be given more than a day or two without contacting your Vet. The aspirin may need to clear your dog's system before other medications can be given, so keep that in mind if you decide to give aspirin and be sure and tell your vet when your dog is seen. Read side effects and precautions here.
Aspirin can not be used full time so you will need to see the vet and ask about deramaxx for your boy. If arthritis, you might want to consider Adequan which is injected and said to have some great results in restoring mobility of the joint.
And if the condition is extremely severe, surgery might be warranted. Surgery might include just clearing out debris from the joint, or repairing the joint by rebuilding parts and fusing bone or in some cases whole joints are replaced with artificial joints. Some owner elect to start using braces to help keep the joint immobile. You can see braces here:
There have been some interesting results in using stem cells in the treatment of canine arthritis. You can read about this here and talk to your vet about this possible treatment for your dog.
Another possibility might be a disc issue. . An intervertebral disc that has slipped or ruptured up into the spinal canal causes inflammation of the spinal cord, which in severe cases causes paralysis of the rear legs. You can read about this here:
I'd go ahead and have him seen by your vet so appropriate treatment can be started if the nails do not seem to be the issue. I feel arthritis is the likely cause given that you say it seems to be in the mornings.
I hope this information is helpful to you.
Thanks for the additional information. If it is just in the morning, then arthritis is likely and you should investigate the possibility with your vet. A disc issue can also cause a stiff legged walk and the symptoms you are seeing as I mentioned. A disc issue might show up on x-rays but sometimes a myelogram or CT scan is needed to rule disc issues as the problem.
Lyme disease can cause lameness and discomfort but in most cases, the lameness and stifness tends to come and go and switch legs. Your dog might be having problems with an elbow or with an injury to the wrist area. If swelling develops, it might indicate carpal hyperextension which you can read about here:
Dogs can have elbow dysplasia which can also cause lameness and stiffness as well. You can read about elbow dysplasia here:
If your vet has not done x-rays, you might start there but given the costs, i'd just elect to go with a CT scan if your vet has the equipment to do one.