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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18928
Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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My 13 year old golden retriever has been having trouble with

Resolved Question:

My 13 year old golden retriever has been having trouble with his hind legs lately. If you pick up his back paw it takes a second for him to straighten it to set it down. He has also been having some episodes lately where he acts almost like his leg has fallen asleep, but was actually standing. Is there any vitamins or nutrients that will help with nervous system health for my aging best friend?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 5 years ago.

Welcome to Just Answer. Do you feel that he's not as active? Is he more hesitant to go up and down stairs or getting on off the couch / bed? What other joint support meds have you tried?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He is about as active as he has been for the past few years, I am just wondering if there is anything I can add to his diet to help him. He hasn't been able to jump up on our bed for a few years. Stairs are slow and hesitant but okay. Usually needs a lift in the rear to get the rest of the way into the car or on the bed I think mostly out of fear because he has wiped out a couple of times. The 2-3 episodes in the past month have been usually in the morning while he is wandering around and we are getting ready for work (he follows me EVERYWHERE). All of a sudden he will start walking like a sidewinder with a rear leg not supporting him and wavering to the side. I usually help him by supporting him around the butt and belly because he won't side down but can't stand up straight. After a few minutes he seems okay again. Believe me I instantly started crying the first time because the fear in his eyes broke my heart.
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 5 years ago.
I know how hard it is to see one start to have some issues. Based on your description, the best case scenario would be some progression of arthritis / hip dysplasia that is causing these episodes. In his case, I would absolutely recommend having him evaluated by your vet on a physical exam to make sure that this isn't a neurologic issue. If it is an arthritis issue, they can do a trial of some oral NSAID's to see what is needed and at what dosing to make him as comfortable as we can. These medications can help him to feel better and to be more active. There are a lot of medications to choose from. Here is a great link going over them.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have been told this is a neurological problem that often occurs in older large breed dogs. His back feet are also turned outward. I tried a aspirin regimen with him and was told when there was no change sometimes that may help but with no improvement and no apparent pain that it most likely wasn't arthritis. Does this help?
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 5 years ago.
The can have regenerative neurologic issues, that is on the list of rule outs. A trial of aspirin wouldn't, in my mind, be a good way to rule out arthritis. There are much stronger and better medications for it that your vet can prescribe as a trial therapy to see how it helps.
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