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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20612
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My chihuahua Minnie 8 yrs old has wobbly back legs I took her

Customer Question

My chihuahua Minnie 8 yrs old has wobbly back legs I took her to the vet and was told she needed possible knee or back surgery. What can I do in the meanwhile till I take her to a specialist. (Funds for surgery is a issue at the moment) She is very active and hard for her to stay put she continues to walk as she tends to loose her balance.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

I am very sorry to hear that Minnie is struggling with her knees and her back. Still in regards ***** ***** question, its good to see that you are managing her discomfort with pain relief and anti-inflammatories to reduce any swelling or inflammation at these sites.

Further to these, the mainstay of supportive care until she potentially has surgery would be to keep her comfortable, support joint health, keep her weight down, and potentially take steps to keep her muscle mass up (as our muscles support our joints and are important if those joints are compromised at all).

Now in regards ***** ***** it will depend what exactly is amiss with her back. But it is worth checking with her vet to see if Minnie would be allowed to swim. Swimming is a very good exercise for dogs (using a dog specific pool, with a life jacked and lifeguard of course) because it allows dogs to move their legs, burn calories, and maintain muscle mass while the water supports their weight and reduces the workload on those joints. So, its worth checking to see if she is able to go swimming and her vet can advise you of a local dog pool for her.

Otherwise, you can also consider starting her on some joint support. For example, we often find glucosamine/chondroitin helpful for dogs. This is a nutrient supplement that is available at your vets, pet shops, and health food stores (as capsules, liquids, and even treats). There are a range of products on the markets and the ones we typically use for dogs in this situation would be Cosequin, Seraquin, and Flexivet. 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 her, 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 her.

Finally, with everything she is facing, we do need to be careful with her day to day activity. If she is prone to losing her balance, then we'd want to avoid her climbing on furniture, stairs, jumping on the bed, and such. Because if she does strain herself or fall, she could greatly worsen her situation. As well, if you have noticed that she is particularly sore in her back or knee, I would note that you can potentially warm compress and massage these areas to relax the muscles and reduce inflammation.

Overall, it sounds like you are on the right track with supportive care for Minnie. Still, do consider the above to help keep her even more comfortable while supporting joint health and helping her loose some weight.

Please take care & all the best for Minnie,

Dr. B.