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Dr. Matt
Dr. Matt, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5798
Experience:  DVM - 13 years experience in canine medicine and surgery.
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My 8 yr old male chihuahua seems to be walking funny. It's

Customer Question

My 8 yr old male chihuahua seems to be walking funny. It's his hind legs, they seem a bit stiff. He is otherwise active, healthy, good appetite, and good weight (8 lbs). he does not seem to be in pain, the hind legs just seem stiff. Any ideas?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 2 years ago.
Hello - I am Dr. Matt - I would be glad to help you with your question.
Does Kato seem uncomfortable when you push up and down his back?
Is he having trouble jumping up?
Is he holding one of his hind legs up in the air?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi - No discomfort when I press Kato's back up and down. Also, no trouble jumping up on my bed. He isn't holding either hind leg up in the air. Just noticed his gait seems a bit out of sync. Someone suggested an otc supplement for arthritis. Thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I feed him 1/4 cup of dried Wellness brand small bites mixed with 2 small dried chicken cubes. He eats once a day in the morning.
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.
I am sorry to hear that Kato's gait has changed though glad to hear that he is not acting painful. Without examining him, giving you an exact diagnosis is going to be difficult though I can tell you some of the more common disorders that could be causing him to walk more stiff then normal:
- Arthritis in his hips or knees is a possible cause
- A patellar luxation which is common in smaller breed dogs - this is where the kneecap floats to the inside of the legs causing temporary discomfort and a different gait for some dogs
- A pinched nerve in his back or bulging disc called intervertebral disc disease
- Lumbosacral disease which is pain in the lower back that can be subtle - very similar to what happens with people
The best way to get a diagnosis would be to have your vet examine his back and hind legs and then potentially take some x-rays. There are many different types of treatments that can help dogs with arthritis or any of the above disorder:
Joint supplements:
The best one is Adequan though it is only available as an injection - This helps lubricate the joints, helps protect the cartilage that is damaged, and helps rebuild some cartilage in the joints. Here is some more information about Adequan-
Another one is Glucosamine and Chondroitin . One of the most reliable versions of this for dogs is Cosequin and Dasaquin. This works similarly to the Adequan though does not seem to help as well as I have seen in dogs as the Adequan. The nice thing though is this is available as an oral tablet.
Pain medications/NSAIDS
Most of the safer pain medications are available from vets such as Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Metacam, and Previcox. Another pain medication that you could give him is buffered or enteric coated aspirin. The dose in dogs is about 5 mg per pound every 12 hours. This can sometimes cause an upset stomach in dogs though therefore if you see any vomiting or diarrhea I would stop the aspirin and contact your vet.
Different diets
Joint diets are also available to help and can provide relief fairly quickly for some dogs. Some examples of joint diets for dogs with arthritis are J/D made by hills, JM made by Purina. Here is an example:
Hope this helps to answer your question - if not or if you have any more questions please feel free to reply by clicking on the "reply to" button. Thank you for your question.
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 2 years ago.
Hi Kay,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Kato. How is everything going?

Dr. Matt