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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20606
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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I have a 11yr old cane corso. he is now falling when

Customer Question

i have a 11yr old cane corso. he is now falling when walking, and we have to help him get up. He fall down when climbing stairs, and it seems like he aged 5yrs during the course of 4 weeks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I am afraid that the expert you have requested is not currently available. Still I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Was he struggling at all before these past few weeks? Any trauma, strains, falls, or slips prior to his deterioration?

Does he favor or drag any one leg? Are his nails scuffed?

Does he seem weak or wobbly in his back end?

Does he seem stiffer when first rising and then warms with exercise?

What dose of aspirin are you giving? How much does he weigh?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
past few weeks he's needed help getting up
nails are scuffed
back legs are wobbly
seems stiff after rising
weighs 110 lbs
small dosage of baby aspirin
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Now based on what you are reporting, I am concerned that we have some age related arthritis here but our recent deterioration may be related to nerve degeneration or spinal involvement (if we have spinal inflammation, disc compression, tumor compressing the spine, etc). Scuffing of the nails alongside his other signs are commonly seen when there is reduced communication between the nerves/spine supplying the legs and the brain. And this could come on suddenly and cause rapid deterioration as you have seen.

In this case, aspirin (which I would note that he could have up to 550mg every 12 hours for his weight) is usually not strong enough to help reduce nerve inflammation. Therefore, we'd really want to consider a check with his vet and potentially trialing a strong non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (ie Rimadyl, Onsior, Metacam, etc) or even steroids. Furthermore, if he has any pain with this, then Tramadol or Gabapentin could also be of benefit for Bear.

Otherwise, I do just want to briefly note some OTC supports that can be used alongside the above to at least help with his aged joints. Specifically, we often find glucosamine/chondroitin helpful for dogs in these situations. This is a nutrient supplement that is available at your vets, pet shops, and health food stores (as capsules, liquids, and even treats). It works by aiding joint suppleness by helping cartilage replenish itself and blocking enzyme destruction of cartilage in the joint. Often we can find this helpful in dogs with mild signs but it could help alongside an anti-inflammatory and therefore worth considering here. Normally we give dogs 300mg glucosamine + 50mgchondroitin 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. Again this can be purchased over the counter at vets, pet stores, and health food stores. If you did want to try this for him, we tend to give a dose equal to 20mg per pound of their body weight. So, this too is a mild aid but would be another supportive measure you could consider for your lad.

Overall, it does sound like Bear has had some pre-existing arthritis that has caused his stiffness at his age. But with the sudden deterioration and his nail scuffing, we'd be especially worried about nerve and/or spinal involvement. Therefore, we'd want to use the above to support him but also consider having this assessed by his local vet so that we can use those stronger options to manage any discomfort and reduce the inflammation that is affecting the nerves and therefore his leg use.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Bear. How is everything going?
nekovet