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. Bruce Your Own Question
Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18799
Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Bruce is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

shih tzu: 15 years old..rear legs..blood tests..elevated liver

Customer Question

shih tzu dog - generally excellent health, 15 years old, staggering and collapsing of rear legs, especially on uneven ground, no noticable pain to touch or when falling down occurs, blood tests show slightly elevated liver enzyme but nothing else
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 7 years ago.
Welcome to Just Answer. I'm sorry to hear about this situation with Bolo. What antibiotics is he on? What dose and frequency? Was he acting like this prior to the medication? Is he still eating and drinking?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Doxycycline 1 tablet per day for 30 days (100 mg) He has had issues for several months, we assumed it was old age. But in the last few weeks he hardly moves and urinates on the floor.


So we took him to the vet, got the blood test and lyme disease diagnosis. Vet says his heart is strong. His appetite is good and he drinks fine.


Vet has suggested several other tests. At his age, if he needs surgery or chemo, we don't want him to go through that. But it is something non-invasive we want to help him.


Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 7 years ago.
Ok. One of the things that is a possibility is that he's having some arthritic issues that are being more pronounced due to the Lyme's disease. I would talk to your vet about a trial of an NSAID (a pain medication) they like to see if it helps his overall situation. I would say from your description of this being several months in duration and him hardly moving here recently have me suspicious of this. Some older guys will look years younger once they are on the medication. It is usually very well tolerated and easy to give. I would absolutely give it a try.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
By suspicious of you mean it leads you to believe arthritis might be the issue or that it is unlikely, but the likely next step to try?
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 7 years ago.
I would say it is likely that it is arthritis. So in saying that, a trial of an NSAID (an oral pain medication) would be a very likely next step. Response to therapy can be used as a diagnosis. If Bolo responds well to it, then it can be tapered down to the lowest effective dosing to keep him feeling well.