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Is this "just" arthritis or something worse?

I have a 12-year-old Rottweiler/Lab mix. He has been arthritic for a few years, and been on a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement to help that. Lately, though, it seems to have gotten a LOT worse very quickly.

- When he's up and moving, he doesn't bend his left hind hock much, so he walks kind of "peg-legged."
- There have been several instances in the past couple months where his back end has simply collapsed while walking up stairs, even on the single step up to my porch. It's like he just sits down and then goes sliding backwards. He doesn't cry in pain when that happens, just sits like he's stuck and waits for me to help him back up.
- Sometimes he'll be just standing and I'll notice that back left leg is trembling a little.
- Though he doesn't like his legs touched, he doesn't seem to react in pain when I stretch and flex his back legs. At least, he doesn't fight me over them any more than his front legs!
- This may or may not be relevant, but he's pooed in my car several times now. Two years ago I could take him on an hour-long trip, but 3 out of 5 times in the past month we've gone to the park 5 minutes away, he's lost control.


Is this a typical progression of arthritis in dogs, or am I seeing something else? The collapsing on the stairs is what truly concerns me, because he's never had that issue before. Would increasing his supplement dosing help? He's 60 lb and gets 600 mg MSM, 500 mg Glucosamine, 850mg Chondroitin Sulfate daily (I'll put links below if interested). Thanks so much for any advice, even just questions to ask my vet.


He gets 2 tablets of each:
http://www.springtimeinc.com/product/joint-health-chewables
http://www.springtimeinc.com/product/fresh-factors

Have considered adding this:
http://www.springtimeinc.com/product/omega-3-6-9-fish-oil-for-dogs-skin-coat

Fed Taste of the Wild grain free food
Up-to-date on vaccines
3 Responses
612551 tn?1450025775
I guess, but say a Rot living 12 years is very old, but a 60 pound mix may have a better life expectancy.

I read it as the ongoing end-of-life loss of function, loss of quality-of-life that strikes all living things, including us.

Did a vet prescribe the treatment you dog is on or did you just take a guess based on labels.. or are some prescription?

A pain relief may help in the short run, I think you have to go with a dog specific pain med, not aspirin...but I could be worng on that.

I know pain can cause a leg to collapse while if the pain is reduced the "reflex" is lowered and a step or two may still be possible.

I suspect the loss of bowel control is due to some form of paralysis in the back quarter - along or with or due to arthritis.

It is best you have your dog examined by a vet, but you know that, and I say that for myself and other readers.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your response Jerry. Yep 12 is a very respectable age for a Rott (may be Lab in there too), but he's still spunky!

The treatments are not prescription, they were suggested by another who uses them, but I did consult my vet before giving them to him... they're on the level of human vitamins, not medications. The food is grain free because my other dog has allergies and the better food helps that.

I agree I think aspirin causes liver problems in dogs... will have to ask about some sort of pain management for him.

Do you know of any other treatment options for arthritis to ask about, besides the usual supplements or cortisone shots?
Avatar universal
Update:

Sorry it took so long, but I did go to the vet. He said that it is a torn ligament in the knee - the equivalent of a human tearing the ACL, as he described it. Said ligament degeneration is part of the process of arthritis in dogs. So, we have some NSAIDs and painkillers (Rimadyl and Tramadol, specifically) and he's being encouraged to be lazy (as if he needs encouraged! lol) for the next couple months... didn't want to do surgery, as he might with a younger dog, because it would be so rough on an old dog.

May or may not need long term management once it heals - we'll see in 2 months. So far he's taking it well, though I've had to 1/2 the amount of Tramadol he's prescribed... a full dose makes him so whiny, like he's experiencing that "out of it" thing painkillers do.

Thanks again for your input Jerry_NJ
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