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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20729
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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My 9 year old golden retriever cant get up. Shes been getting

Customer Question

My 9 year old golden retriever can't get up. She's been getting worse since the last walk/swim about 3 days ago and now she can't pull herself up at all. She had a similar scenario in November but after a couple of days on Rimadyl and some pain meds she rallied. She was diagnosed with arthritis and has suffered varying degrees of "lameness" for the past year. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for the questionCustomerbr />
While I cannot diagnose this over the internet I can tell you the following :

1. It could be that your dog has some kind of back disease, say a " slipped disk " type lesion. This could be what the November incident was. such conditions can stabilise with ant-inflammatory drugs plus rest but are prone to recurrence.

2.It could be that your dog has advanced arthritis perhaps related to other diseases such as hip dysplasia which is a very common condition in your breed.

I am sorry I cannot suggest any home remedy here just in case this is some kind of back lesion. My advice is that you should have your vet check your dog over who if appropriate will get your dog on prescription drugs to reduce pain and inflammation and perhaps carry out tests to come to a diagnosis.

If I have not covered your question fully enough or you would like to ask more I will be online for the next hour or so and I will be at your disposal.

Scott Nimmo BVMS
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Is it ok if she hasn't eaten or had any water since last night, or gone to the bathroom? We have carried her outside to go but she can't bare any weight. Since it is a holiday our Vet is closed. I called them about getting in first thing when they open tomorrow. I'm just wondering if I should find an emergency hospital or if she'll be good through the night having been without food, water, potty.....thanks for your help!!
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 years ago.
Hello again,

1. While it will not do your dog any great harm in the short term if she has not eaten or drunk since last night it is an indicator how serious the situation is.

2. If this is any sort of " slipped disk " type back problem then time could be of the essence. The sooner these things are seen the better, ideally you should see an emergency vet now who will at the very least give drugs to make your dog more comfortable.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.

We have been giving her 50 mg. Tramadol. After reading about slipped disc, it sounds like that is very probable. I don't think surgery is in the cards for us as she is 9 years old. Is there any other medicine the Vet might give her other than Tramadol if we can get into the expensive Emergency Vet Clinic tonight? Will waiting until morning be ok when we can see her regular vet?


You are awesome. Thanks so much!

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 years ago.
Hello again,

Tramadol is used in the dog and is a CNS depressant and analgesic, and is used for treating moderate to severe pain, so are not doing wrong. However it is more a pain killer than an anti-inflammatory drug such as Rimadyl which would be more commonly used for arthritis etc. These drugs and others like them reduce inflammation within the affected joints.

Do not discount surgery, in selected cases it is very much the best course of action. There would be a great range of prescription drugs which your vet could use such as steroids.

While it is always a gamble I think you would be taking no great risks if you kept your dog comfortable overnight and got it to your own vet first thing tomorrow.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you very much. You have been extremely helpful! We will continue with the Tramadol and Rimadyl and take her in first thing tomorrow to see her regular vet.
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 years ago.
Good luck, I hope it goes OK,