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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19834
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My Doberman is almost 14. And she has trouble with her hips

Customer Question

My Doberman is almost 14. And she has trouble with her hips falling up or down stairs or just walking Also she can't control her stool and has accidents in the house or if outside will poop while walking. Is there something I can give her that would help Otherwise her spirit is good We both live on s fixed income so income can be tight But I don't have the heart to put her down
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi Sir or Madam,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
Unfortunately, sometimes the most loving thing you can do when your dog reaches this point is to let them pass on peacefully. I know it is very very difficult to do when you have loved your beloved pet for so long, but is it fair to her when she can't walk, or play. Our usual way of determining if it is the correct time is to see if there are things the dog still enjoys doing and is able to do and if the dog is not in constant pain. If she has no activities she enjoys or is in pain all the time and meds don't help, then it is likely time to let her go no matter how hard it is.
However, lets address the symptoms she seems to be having. Her problems with mobility could be due to a disc issue which is something we see in the breed. An intervertebral disc that has slipped or ruptured up into the spinal canal causes inflammation of the spinal cord, which in severe cases causes paralyses of the rear legs. You can read about this here:
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/intervertebral-disc-disease-thoracolumbar-area-in-dogs/page1.aspx
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/intervertebral-disc-disease-cervical-area/page1.aspx
Large dog breeds sometimes suffer from a condition called degenerative myelopathy which can also cause problems with the rear legs and paralyses. You can read about this here:
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/degenerative-myelopathy/page1.aspx
Buffered aspirin can be given to a dog with a dosage of up to 5-10 mg per pound every 12 hours. Keep in mind that a dog's body does not metabolize aspirin in the same way as a human and thus should not be given more than a day or two without contacting your Vet. The aspirin may need to clear your dog’s system before other medications can be given, so keep that in mind if you decide to give aspirin and be sure and tell your vet when your dog is seen. Read side effects and precautions here.
http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/acetylsalicylic-acid-aspirin/page1.aspx
Your vet might be able to give an anti inflammatory medication that might restore some of the feeling in her rear and allow for more mobility and maybe even some control over her bowels. Diapers might also help control any mess and some owners actually get their dogs wheelchairs or carts to allow them mobility in their final years. She is 14 which is quite elderly for the breed, so I hope you will think about her best interests as well.
You will want to have your dog seen by your Vet to be evaluated and discuss treatment options. Here are some places that may help financially since cost is an issue.
This site may have additional resources as well.
http://www.speakingforspot.com/helppayingforveterinarycare.html
http://maddiesinstitute.typepad.com/chewonthis/2014/12/helping-people-find-money-to-pay-for-veterinary-care.html
These vets may offer a free initial visit though you may have to pay for extra procedures and medications. See the next one for the coupons.
http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/directory.html?utm_content=link.corp.ffe.locator.
http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/offer
I hope you found my reply helpful. If you need further clarification or more information, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.