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My dog is 17 and has lost the ability to walk. She has been…

Customer Question
Hi Pearl! My dog...

Hi Pearl! My dog is 17 and has lost the ability to walk. She has been thrashing a lot lately... it's not a seizure, it's more out of frustration. Nothing comforts her... she just tends to wear herself out. After a bit of rest it repeats all over again.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name?

Rosa

Veterinarian's Assistant: Are you ready to speak with the Veterinarian now?

Sure

Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 1 minute by:
2/25/2016
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Peter, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago
Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 33,878
Experience: 16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
Verified

Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian. I am not set up to make a live call. But, I am happy to answer your question on this thread. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- How long has this been going on?

2- Can you describe what happens when she is trashing?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Hi Dr. Peter,
1) it has been going on for the past 6 months, but is happening more frequently now.
2) all of a sudden, she will just start throwing her body up off of her bed- I believe she's trying to get up, but she just can't, although she DOES have the ability to hold her upper body fully upright. She will start to grunt a bit and just thrash up and down. Her breathing becomes rapid. It is like she is more frustrated than anything. Sometimes when trying to comfort her, she'll take a nip at your hand... I believe she is more frustrated/angry than anything in the fact that she can't get up. She eats like a horse and is otherwise very aware, but it's heartbreaking to see her do this... sometimes she'll go for several hours of 5 minutes of thrashing with an hour or so of rest... then it repeats.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Peter, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago

1- Can she walk or she has not walked in the last 6 months?

2- Is she currently on any medications?

3- Has she been seen by a veterinarian for this problem?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
1) She hasn't been able to walk for almost a year now2) yes, she is on tramadol (2 tablets am and pm) and proin (1/2 tablet am and pm).3) she has been to the vet for gi issues- at first it was loose stools, then it was constipation, although now we have her normalized) I've spoken to the vet about this, but they just think she's frustrated by not being able to be mobile. I'm not sure if I should have an ultrasound done or if this is just a symptom of the inability to get around. She's a shepherd/husky mix. We take her on "walks" in a cart to give her the sensation of getting outside and moving about, but sometimes she'll start thrashing on the walk.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Peter, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago

Friend, I am going to opt out and allow another expert to comment. I don't think I could be of any help in this case without a hands on examination, I am sorry.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
okay, I understand, thank you so much
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 35,556
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified

I'll follow up for Dr. Peter for you. I believe that you've determined the correct reason for Rosa's behavior. She still believes that she can rise and walk like a normal dog although 17 years of age and 6 months of disuse atrophy has set firmly in. Quality of life is as important as any factor when I consider therapy for my patients. I believe that the quality of her life is greatly diminished by the anxiety and frustration she's living with. In my opinion we're looking at very limited options. You might see how a psychotherapeutic drug affects her - an anxiolytic such as the SSRIs (fluoxetine, paroxetine, e.g.) - and, regrettably, you might consider euthanasia at this point. I don't see the value of an ultrasound unless it might offer a more definitive prognosis for her longevity.

Free now to run, jump and play

Or snooze in the shade on a sunny day

To sit for hours watching birds in the trees

Or to lie on the porch and enjoy the breeze

Free from sickness that made me weak

Restored to the dog that I was at my peak

You made the right choice for me my friend

Be at ease with yourself and let your heart mend

No more vets, shots or pill

And while you can't see me, I'm here with you still

For though you may think that we really did part

I'm there in your memories, I'm here in your heart

-------anonymous

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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