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Dr. Jenn
Dr. Jenn, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5689
Experience:  Practicing small animal medicine since 2004 , also involved in working with animal rescue groups.
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My dog has trouble standing up - hind legs seem weak. A 6-year

Customer Question

My dog has trouble standing up - hind legs seem weak. A 6-year old 75 pound male shepherd/collie. We noticed he was having trouble standing this summer and went to the vet end of August. Tests came back positive for Lyme disease. Gave 30 days of antibiotics and 7 days of Rimadyl (half a 75mg pill in a.m. half a pill in p.m. - didn't notice any difference in behavior or legs). Also started him on weight reduction food (vet wants him down to 55-60 pounds). Went for follow up end of November (11/30) bec he still stands up slowly. (he weighed in at 70 pounds!) Vet says it's probably arthritis. Gave him Lyme vaccine #1, glucosamine #2 (750mg in a.m. 750 mg in p.m) and rymadyl again - Did half a pill again twice a day, and for a couple days tried 1 full pill (75mg) in the am and pm, saw no effect and went back down to half a pill. After two weeks (12/13), dog started having diaharrea in the house, so stopped the rimadyl, and the diaharrea stopped. Since then his back legs have gotten worse. He rarely gets up now, only to go out in the yard for potty, or our walks - and he gets two walks a day - in the morning and evening. Yesterday morning, he fell down on our walk, like his back legs just gave out on him, and last night I stood him up to go on our walk and his back legs were shaking. Other than that, he's been doing fine and seems fine when we do on a walk, sometimes a little slower than he used to, but it seems the worst when he first stands up, and seems like he won't stand if he doesn't have to. Since we're home for x-mas, we started him on half a pill, twice a day of rimadyl again on Wednesday. I also noticed that one of his feet, and the ankle appear larger than the other one, almost like it's swollen - he doesn't wince or shirk or cry when I squeeze it or check it out. Is it possible for his arthritis to have accelerated so much in the past couple of weeks?? Is this a possible side effect to any or all of the medications or the new high-fiber W/R dog food? Or is this something else besides arthritis? We have a follow up with the vet on 1/4 for lyme vaccine booster and blood work (to make sure his liver is okay on the rimadyl.) Thanks.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jenn replied 5 years ago.

Dr. Jenn :

Hi there

Dr. Jenn :

Poor boy. There are few things I recommend-your baby sholud have x rays done to make sure this is actually arthritis- not to scare you but dogs can get bone cancer as well! There is a medication called METACAM that is like a miracle drug for arthritic dogs! It is an anti inflammatory but works on a different pathway than the Rimadayl. He would have to be off the Rimadyl to use the Metacam. The Metacam can also be combined with Tramadol, a pain medication. This combiination works wonders. THere is also a condition called Degenerative Myelopathy that be a contrubtuing factor which affects the nerves in the hindend. There is minimal treatment for this. There are special diets and supplements that may help and are worth na try!

Dr. Jenn :

If you have further questions just let me know.

Dr. Jenn and 3 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Expert:  Dr. Jenn replied 5 years ago.
Did you have any more questions?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I will be happy to "accept" your answer and submit payment in a few minutes here, sorry it took so long to get to. Here is the follow up: I went in to the vet who did x-rays as you suggested bec he felt my dog too young for arthritis. The xrays showed very good hip joints, but in the hock joints there was no black areas between the bones, and the tissues around the joints were/are swollen and it hurts him to move them (esp. toward his body) and the vet showed me how the joints themselves were giving off heat. He put my dog on Amoxicillin for 30 days and is hoping that it is a symptom of the lyme disease, and that the original prescription of doxy didn't work on him. Next step if doesn't work will be a joint tap. One more question...after 10 days now on Amoxicillin and still Rimadyl...yesterday evening I noticed that his left hock joint and area were back to normal size, not swelled up as in the past, and I was able to bend it up and down with no resistance...yet only 6 hours later it was swollen again! and he wouldn't let me bend it-gave me lots of resistance and/or it hurt. Do you know why that would change in such a short time?? Is it the Rimadyl wearing off? Or some other diagnosis??