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Jess K
Jess K, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1512
Experience:  Licensed Veterinarian
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Overweight 6 year old lab not climbing up stairs to go to

Customer Question

Overweight 6 year old lab not climbing up stairs to go to bed (has always ran w pleasure to join everyone) - not crying but wincing here and there Appetite is fine and isnin good spirits
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The noise must be worrying. I'll connect you to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Jax
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Jax?
Customer: Nope
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Jess K replied 8 months ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Jess. I am sorry to hear about Jax! Is this a brand new problem or has it been going on for a bit?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hello - I'd say it's twice since we have had him - we have had him about 2 years
Expert:  Jess K replied 8 months ago.

Ok. How long has it been going on this time?

Any accidents or falls that you know of or has he gone on an extra long walk or played hard recently?

Are you home with him now?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
we r w him now No recent trauma that we know of - he's in great spirits just not moving anymore than necessary (he usually follows me 24/7)
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
No no long walks or hard play - he's a big relaxer -part of the issue
Expert:  Jess K replied 8 months ago.

Ok. Can you take each of his legs and flex and extend them to see if you get any reaction?

Then starting at his neck and working down to the tail, press firmly down on his spine, working your way backwards, checking for any reaction.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Nothing out of the ordinary
Expert:  Jess K replied 8 months ago.

Ok. And does he seem to be lame in any particular leg, or just overall seems hesitant to move more than needed?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
No seems like hind right leg was mildly spasmimg before
Expert:  Jess K replied 8 months ago.

Ok. And if you feel both hind legs compared to eachother (best to do with pet standing), do you feel any difference/asymmetry between the two legs? Particularly in the knee area?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Not really
Expert:  Jess K replied 8 months ago.

Ok. So there are a few things I would worry about given your description. One would be mild back pain due to a very mild slipped disc in the spine. This can cause some compression on the spinal cord which can make it uncomfortable for the dog to do things like jump up and down off furniture and use stairs. I also worry about flare ups of mild arthritis due to something like hip dysplasia, or chronic knee problems- dogs can get partial tears of the cruciate ligament of the knee or the meniscus of the knee, which can have occasional flare ups.

In cases like this, I would recommend an exam by your vet while a flare up is going on, to see if they can detect where the problem might be coming from, and a prescription of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as Rimadyl for incidences of flare ups of pain. If the pain is more ongoing, I would also recommend a joint supplement such as Dasuquin to help decrease the discomfort.

Unfortunately there is not a safe fast acting pain reliever that I can recommend in dogs that you can get over the counter.

Expert:  Jess K replied 8 months ago.

Please let me know if my response came through and if you have any additional questions. If you do not, please take a moment to click and rate our conversation so we can know if you were satisfied with your service and I can get credit for helping to answer your question. Thank you and best of luck!

Expert:  Jess K replied 8 months ago.

Hello, I am getting ready to sign off for the night but don't want to do so if you have any additional questions?