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I took my 9 yr old Rottie to vet yesterday because all of a…

I took my 9...

I took my 9 yr old Rottie to vet yesterday because all of a sudden she can’t stand or even get up. She can’t put weight on her back legs plus her left back leg and left front leg seem to be “giving out” more than the right side. This happened in a matter of hours. I carried the 105 lb baby to go potty n then put her in vehicle to go to vet. Vet gave steroid shot and joint supplement pills along with meloxicam and tramadol . She hasn’t gotten any better and is actually panting more now. She doesn’t really want to eat or drink. I got up n carried her outside at 3am to urinate then brought her back inside. She won’t even let me pick her up now without growling. This is not her normal nature . Is there anything I can do or is the ending inevitable?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the baby. What is the baby's name?

Malika

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Malika?

Not really. She is suffering in my opinion and there is nothing I can do

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Answered in 15 minutes by:
11/23/2017
Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3,579
Experience: DVM
Verified

Hello. My name is***** and I am a veterinarian that can answer your question. I understand Malika had a sudden loss of function of the rear legs with seeming loss of function on the left half of the body. It sounds like the veterinarian gave a steroid injection, and an oral anti-inflammatory and opioid medication. The panting is a behavior sometimes associated with pain, but it is also associated as a side effect of the steroid medication. However, growling is often associated with pain. Did the veterinarian take x-rays to find a diagnosis of what might be happening to Malika?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Vet didn’t seem to interested in X-rays when I mentioned it. He even saw me carry her in and out because she can’t bear weight. 3 months ago, she was put on DASOQUIN with MSM because of her age and the vet worried about arthritis. I questioned hip and elbow dysplagia but no X-rays were taken. Vet said that the only thing he could offer was the steroid and the joint supplement medication. So after $150 yesterday, I am seeing no relief and actually she seems worse

Thank you for the picture. There is evidence of muscle atrophy in the back legs as usually occurs with lumbar or sacral spine arthritis. There may also be dysplasia in the elbow or hips as this is common in the breed. In this situation, there is often a herniated disc, which results in pain and sudden loss of function. If the deep pain sensation remains present then there is a good chance she can restore a normal movement and function. However, this can take a long time and multiple weeks or months may be needed.

She will likely need a better pain control than what she was given. Dosuquin will not decrease pain to any significant extent. The Meloxicam is good and Tramadol is sometimes effective. However, sometimes a stronger medication than Tramadol is needed. A Fentanyl patch is a useful medication to give that can have better effect than Tramadol. Gabapentin is also used and other opioids such as buprenorphine are helpful. Surgery can be curative. The main thing to know is that this process can take a long time, but ultimately and even without surgery, the eventual recovery is good.

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I sincerely ***** ***** I have helped you, and that I have earned my 5 star rating today! Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen ( rating me now does not close your question). We can continue here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know. Thank you!

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I am going to be straight up honest with you. You seem positive that this is fixable, even without surgery. So there isn’t a need to euthanize her because of current suffering and her age? Should I take her back to the vet tomorrow and request more thorough exam including X-rays? We love her n just don’t want her suffering and we can tell she is hurting. What can I do to help with going to potty? I know I’m full of questions and I apologize sincerely

The decision to euthanize is reserved for whether or not you can achieve a good pain control regimen. If this is a herniated disc and resulting nerve compression then the treatment is generally favorable, but the timeline is often long to get there. There are potential issues with being "bed bound" such as ulcers on the skin, urinary tract infections, further muscle atrophy, etc. Helping her go to the bathroom will prove to be the most difficult task. Using a towel that is positioned under her abdomen to support her back half of the body will help her stand as most dogs are still able to use their front legs to some extent. I know you mentioned her front left leg appeared weak, so hopefully that will not limit her. If you can support the back half then she can hopefully be helped outside to urinate / defecate. You would like to not have her urinate where she lays down because that can cause dermatitis.

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Here is an example of what I am talking about: http://handicappedpetscanada.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Gingerlead-Dog-Sling-300x266.gif

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The bottom line is she may need a better pain medication, x-rays to confirm the diagnosis, and eventually, physical therapy to improve her muscle tone. This will take at minimum 6-8 weeks and it will require you to move her body from one side to the other every 8-12 hours and help her outside.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I have NO problem going to the extreme to help her recover. I know it’s timely, been a firefighter/medic for 19 years. I’ve seen a lot with humans. My wife works in ER. So we are well aware of most stuff. I was looking into the lift harnesses to help me work with her. Plus I won’t let her lay in urine or deficated area. Should I get lift harness that just supports chest and hips or get one that also helps support front?

I suspect the hips are the worst off, but having not examined her I would leave this distinction to the veterinarian who did. Therefore, the harness that supports the back legs will be better and probably more useful.

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A myleogram or MRI would give you the diagnosis definitively, but it is possible x-rays will also do it too.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Should I try a different food or will what she has always eaten be ok? All 3 of our dogs eat Beneful Healthy Weight. If there is something that will help her, I have no problem getting that. I can separate the min pins food and hers if there is something special for the situation. I did get her to eat a little but that was only because the min pins were trying to eat out of her bowl so she ate it and drank some water

There is no food that will specifically be beneficial for this situation. Just make sure she eats and is drinking to keep her hydration and nutrition adequate for healing.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Also, her left front elbow seems to be swollen too. Will the meds she its on now help with that?

If the swelling is from arthritis then the Meloxicam will help with that. If the swelling is a non-inflammatory swelling, such as a hygroma, then it is not painful and the anti-inflammatory medication will not improve it much.

Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3,579
Experience: DVM
Verified
Scott Perry and 87 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok. THANK YOU so much for your help on this holiday because I was under the impression that this wasn’t going to get better by the vet I have used for years. There are 3 vets at the facility n each one treats differently and assesses differently. I got the older one of the family yesterday. They are a family pet hospital. I was seriously thinking that I was going to have to euthanize her. Have a happy thanksgiving and once again, THANKS FOR ALL OF THE ADVICE.

You are most welcome. Take care.

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