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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7336
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience caring for dogs and cats
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Is this chat....for real? Do I have to pay for advice? Thank

Customer Question

Is this chat....for real? Do I have to pay for advice? Thank you. Kent
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with Kent?
Customer: LOL, It's papa's KODAK i'm asking about. I adopted KODAK when he was approx. 1 year old. I'm sure he's a purebred, just by his piercing blue eyes and the tan and white coat and other for sure Siberian Husky characteristics. I figure he is close to 13 years old (Human Years)
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Kent?
Customer: Anyway, KODAK went to live w/ a family for approx. 3 years while I was away. I rescued him this past July/Aug. I don't understand, they didn't trim his nails (they were at least 1 1/2 " long) Subsequently he could hardly walk. Since then, I got him trimmed up, Here w/ my other two dogs (which I'm convinced has helped w/ his depression) We, myself and the total 3 dogs, go for a brisk walk around the block at least once in the morning, and/or park, and /or another walk before bedtime. Been suplementing glucosamine, fish oil, a multiviatim (sp) and just recently added a fiber pill. I usually give it to KODAK w/ a spoon ful of peanut butter. His tail has been up, and always following us around the house for human food. This morning for his walk, I noticed he appeared to be real achy and pulled back on our walk around the block. He didn't make it up the stairs to our apt., fell down, and I picked him up (about 60 lbs) and got him inside. He didn't eat on his own, but I did bring some canned food w/ a little bit of peanut butter and he ate that. His look just appears to be real spacey. Also while he was laying down, me and the other papa saw KODAK's rapid breathing for a bit. In addition, the way he was laying...his Left rear leg, had an uncontrollable shake.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
On healthy days, he keeps up w/ my other two dogs on our brisk walk. Love's the small amount of snow that we have received in Salt Lake City, Utah a couple days ago. Since KODAK has come back to live with me, He has had a difficult time, jumping up into the back seat of my truck and jumping up on the bed. When he was younger, absolutely No problem, But now I help him as he "grumply growls". He still LOVES truck rides and going to the Dog Park.Just concerned what I should expect as KODAK continues to get older and what I can do as his Papa Kent to make him comfortable in his old age.?
Expert:  petdrz replied 8 months ago.

Hello. Welcome to JustAnswer. I am Dr Z. I'm reviewing your question now, and will post back with a reply ASAP.

Expert:  petdrz replied 8 months ago.

I am sorry that you have been waiting for a response. I recently just logged onto the site and noted that your question hasn't yet been answered. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years’ experience and would be happy to work with you if you are still needing assistance but need a bit more information in order to better assist you if you don't mind.

Is Kodak at a normal weight or is he overweight?

Has he ever had his spine, hips and hindlegs radiographed to look for signs of degenerative joint disease or arthritis?

Thanks and I will respond further after you reply. There may be a slight delay while I formulate and type a thorough response or I may be offline, but if so, I will respond as soon as I am able.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
KODAK was overweight when I got him back to my home. If I recall, he was like 68 plus lbs, I haven't "spoiled " him like the previous caretakes, I just let him eat what he wants. I would say he's in the 50 lb range. I had planned on taking him to the vet's reception room and get him weighed again. I've also noticed.....he might now be more on the skinny side. His poops are considerable smaller than I remember, and I just started giving him fiber pills, cause I notice he does strain to poop now. He does lift his leg to pee, but it does go on his leg. KODAK been pretty good about going in the house, it's just when he doesn't go out on his/their regular time interval. I try at least every 3 hours.NO regarding any x-rays. I am on a very limited income, but realize because of his age, I need to budget for some upcoming vetinarian bills. I don't know if I can get Vet Insurance for him at this stage.....haven't done my homework yet. :(
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Woops, I meant..."KODAK has been pretty good about NOT (KNOT!!) in the house"
Expert:  petdrz replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for the reply. Yes the cost of vet can can definitely increase as the pet ages, and many insurance policies will very in what they cover, so some research would be helpful.

It does sound as if there may be some degenerative joint disease (DJD) going on and having xrays is not essential to developing a treatment plan, but they can be helpful. First of all, they can make sure we are not missing something more obvious as a cause of his weight loss and discomfort. If he is painful, it may affect his appetite or if there is an other cause for weight loss present, an xray may help to identify. His stool may be smaller due to less food intake, or he may becoming constipated, which can lead to discomfort and decreased appetite.

Even if DJD is present, getting a baseline picture of how severe it is can be helpful for the future as his condition progress so that you have something to refer to. On many cases, supplements like glucosamine and fish oil are very helpful early on, but as DJD progress, medications to better manage the pain may be needed. There are other options of supplements or alternative therapies that can be offered as well, for management, but it sounds as if he may need some relief of pain, at least on a short term basis to quiet things down. DJD is best managed with a multimodal approach. The concept of multi modal therapy (combining drugs) is very effective and adding another drug to the regime may be beneficial. This not only incorporates attacking the pain by a different mechanism of action, but the sometimes synergistic effect of the two drugs together allows you the keep the doses of both down, avoiding potential side effects.

I would definitely see what you can do to budget in a veterinary visit so that he can have a thorough physical exam and specific therapies can be discussed.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.

My posted replies are for general education only and not meant as a diagnosis. Only after a thorough veterinary examination can a diagnosis for your pet be made and specific treatments be advised or medications be prescribed.

Dr Z