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When To Be Concerned With Hind End


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Bella is 10, for reference. No health issues since we've owned her (other than slicing her paw up a couple of weeks ago and needing stitches!).

 

When do I start to be concerned with hind feet dragging/hind end weakness? Bella had started missing steps with her right hind during the winter, occasionally dragging the top of her foot along the ground for a step. It's starting to happen more frequently, as in every walk. She just had another vet check last week (final foot check & 2 vaccinations) and the vet basically said "she's getting old".

 

The suggestion was made to add fish oil to her diet - unfortunately even small amounts cause horrendous gas and very loose stools, even high grade salmon oil. She's already on MSM, glucosamine, vit. c and chondriotin (via the Greyhound Gang).

 

 

I haven't had a lot of old dog experience, hence the questions. I've seen the quality of life scale/questionnaire and certainly we are not anywhere close. Her (legendary) appetite is unchanged. No issues with stairs. She has been more demanding of affection lately (since before the paw incident). Quality of life is great, but since I am noticing this happen more, just thinking about what to expect and if there are other ways I can help her, or things to watch for.

 

Thanks!

Dave (GLS DeviousDavid) - 6/27/18
Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

 

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I would consider a neurology consult, especially if it worsens. Seems like you're more likely to get help with diagnosing the issue and possibly managing with medication or supplements than you would with your vet, who sounds pretty dismissive if you ask me. :dunno

 

I do agree with the fish oil suggestion. Have you tried different brands? Added it into her diet *very* slowly? I like Icelandic Pure sardine/anchovy oil personally and all of my dogs have tolerated it well.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest sireltonsmom

Hi,

 

I'm sorry you are going thru this with pretty Bella. My grey, Sir Elton, went thru this and lived several years with it. I'm sending you this website as it has lots of information on a variety of symptoms of things you might wonder about. My vet sent it to me.

 

http://www.akcchf.org

 

Another: veterinarypartner.com

 

Good luck. Kisses to Bella

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Not intending to hijack the post, but for those who do add fish oil, how much do you add (just a ballpark, tablespoon/day, quarter cup/day)? I have been experimenting with swapping sardines or salmon for Bil-Jac which has been my go-to additive for Max & Logan's food, so I'm assuming they get some fish oil there, but I was thinking of adding more since I have seen it recommended for the coat and now apparently for hind leg weakness (which Max is just beginning to have very intermittently at 10.75 yo).

Rob
Logan - LoganMaxicon15K.jpg - Max (Aug. 4, 2004 - Jan. 11, 2018)

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Following. Our greyhound Darcy is much older than Bella (14.5 y/o), but started dragging her hind feet this past year. Our vet made note of her loss of mobility at her visit last month, but didn't have any recommendations. Darcy is on Dasuquin with MSM. She still does stairs fine too (pretty amazing, really).

Laura with Celeste (ICU Celeste) and Galgos Beatrix and Encarna
The Horse - Gracie (MD Grace E)
Bridge Angels Faye Oops (Santa Fe Oops), Bonny (
Bonny Drive), Darcy (D's Zipperfoot)

 

 

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Yes, we've tried several different varieties of oils and different quantities. Even after a few months we were having the stool/gas issues :(

 

I haven't tried the sardine oil so will try that next.

And yeah, I'm not thrilled with our vet - this kind of tops it off.

Dave (GLS DeviousDavid) - 6/27/18
Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

 

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Guest afulton

Having had two 10 year old Greys at different times I'm always afraid of bone cancer. They both started with difficulty getting up then grew to limping or walking on three legs.

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I have never had the foot dragging problem with any of my seniors, but have some suggestions for the fish oil. You can try adding sardines, mackerel, or salmon to her food. Not as much benefit as the pure oil, but some help and she might tolerate it better. Also, I believe flax seed & flax seed oil has some of the same good stuff as fish oil, she might do ok with that.

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I have been bringing Robin to physical therapy for the past year. His treatment included muscle building/maintaining exercises, massage and stretching, cold laser, and a swim in the pool. I am convinced that these treatments are responsible for him still being with me, even if he is declining more now.

Cathy & Calvin (DOB 9/18/13). Always missing my angel Robin (Abdo Bullard).
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Guest PiagetsMom

We've been dealing with something similar for a while now with Mirage....the dragging of the back feet, knuckling under on examination. His is neurological. Although he will be 12, he doesn't show any significant signs of arthritis, and we've done xrays and know that we are not dealing with osteo. There are definitely some meds that could be helpful for Bella in addition to the glucosamine and fish oil, regardless of whether it's something like age related arthritis or something neurological. If your vet is not willing to look further to help Bella, I really suggest getting another opinion.

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I found chiropractic adjustments helped when I had an old lady. She made it to 15.5.

I was going to suggest this as well if you have one in your area. And sometimes acupuncture helps too. It's nice when you can find one practitioner who does both. Sending good thoughts for your sweet girl.

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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Just another thing to check - has she had bloodwork done recently? Hind end weakness can be one of the symptoms of kidney disease. My dog was recently diagnosed so I answer "check for kidney disease" to everything, it seems. ;) I had mentioned my Diana's hind-end weakness (age 11) to my vet a couple of times and he never thought to check for it. We only discovered it through bloodwork before a dental.

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Guest Prematurelygrey

Our Mohican had LS (so similar hind-end weakness) - chiropractic & acupuncture seemed to help.

FWIW, can't remember anymore who gave us this advice, but Mohican was pretty gassy (so bad it could practically peel paint off the walls) when we first got him & we were told to add 1-2 Tbsp of low-fat plain yogurt to his breakfast. Worked wonders with him, so might be worth trying with the fish oil to see if it helps?

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I have been bringing Robin to physical therapy for the past year. His treatment included muscle building/maintaining exercises, massage and stretching, cold laser, and a swim in the pool. I am convinced that these treatments are responsible for him still being with me, even if he is declining more now.

:nod That was true for my old chap too - sadly no longer with us, but he did make it to the grand old age of thirteen years seven months. He did a couple of hydrotherapy courses but didn't like them much, so what helped for us longterm was having a veterinary physio do home visits, which he loved. She would massage and manipulate him and finish off with cold laser treatment.

 

She also gave me physio exercises to do with him every day. They only took a few minutes and definitely helped keep his back end muscles going. And both she and the vet were quite clear that it was important to keep going for walks - short ones if need be, several times a day for preference - for the same reason and to help keep life interesting!

 

As well as fish oil supplements do look into turmeric paste, and joint supplements with glucosamin & chondroitin.

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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Try Vit E, and borage oil. Walmart has a good supplement that is a mixture of borage, flax, and fish oil. We have been using it for years. It is made by Spring Valley and is $6.00. Our greys get two a day.

Wendy and The Whole Wherd. American by birth, Southern by choice.
"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!"
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Sorry Bella. Pagliaccio had LS, we kept him going initially with Depo injections and later Adequan. He also had Gabapentin on board and I'm pretty sure there was Deramaxx involved. At the end, his body simply wore out at 14.1. I second the suggestion to find a new vet, argh.

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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We're dealing with this with Po'boy, as well, at 14ish years old. He's been doing the foot dragging in small doses for a couple years, then a couple weeks ago he REALLY started struggling with stairs. After that, I came home and he had slipped on the floor and wasn't able to get up, so I realized we had to really start taking it seriously. We've got him on Gabapentin and Quellin, plus glucosamine for the bit of arthritis in his back hip, and it seems to be helping quite a bit. I was planning on checking into chiro or acupuncture, but I hadn't heard about the depo injections... do they seem to help a lot?

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I should add that our 14.5 y/o Darcy started on Gabapentin a few weeks ago. She takes 200mg 2x per day. Today was our first morning walk in about 1.5 weeks. I definitely noticed less foot dragging.

Laura with Celeste (ICU Celeste) and Galgos Beatrix and Encarna
The Horse - Gracie (MD Grace E)
Bridge Angels Faye Oops (Santa Fe Oops), Bonny (
Bonny Drive), Darcy (D's Zipperfoot)

 

 

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Just another thing to check - has she had bloodwork done recently? Hind end weakness can be one of the symptoms of kidney disease. My dog was recently diagnosed so I answer "check for kidney disease" to everything, it seems. ;) I had mentioned my Diana's hind-end weakness (age 11) to my vet a couple of times and he never thought to check for it. We only discovered it through bloodwork before a dental.

She has - they actually ran bloodwork when they stitched her paw up a couple of weeks ago :)

Dave (GLS DeviousDavid) - 6/27/18
Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

 

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After seeing a lot of the comments, I just want to add that there are multiple issues that could lead to the symptoms you're seeing. Acupuncture, cold laser, chiropractic, pain meds, supplements, etc are all possibilities that may help her, but the first thing you need is a diagnosis. I especially would not start chiropractic work on a dog who I didn't have a diagnosis for. If she seems comfortable right now, you may not need to pursue it at the moment, but my two cents for if/when you do.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Thanks all! I've reached out to another vet that I have connections to to schedule an appointment. I'm not looking for miracles or unnecessary testing but just feel that my current vet is being a little *too* relaxed about it without much explanation. I've asked questions about how we would know it was neurological or arthritis or something else and am getting somewhat vague answers that just don't help much. I didn't realize that there are many things that could trigger this so while we may move on to some of the great referrals and suggestions, I think I will try that second opinion first :)

Dave (GLS DeviousDavid) - 6/27/18
Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

 

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She has - they actually ran bloodwork when they stitched her paw up a couple of weeks ago :)

Cool. Rule that out.

Thanks all! I've reached out to another vet that I have connections to to schedule an appointment. I'm not looking for miracles or unnecessary testing but just feel that my current vet is being a little *too* relaxed about it without much explanation. I've asked questions about how we would know it was neurological or arthritis or something else and am getting somewhat vague answers that just don't help much. I didn't realize that there are many things that could trigger this so while we may move on to some of the great referrals and suggestions, I think I will try that second opinion first :)

Good for you. Your dog is too young to just write it of as "she's getting old". Try another vet, do some more research, and try to give your dog the best quality of life possible. We got into this crazy greyhound thing to give these dogs the best life possible. Sometimes you have to step out of the box to do that. I'm doing it now with my grey. My vet doesn't agree with what I'm doing. I'm doing it anyway. I'll switch vets if he won't support her.

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Rhea my over 13 yr old GSD has this and has the hind end weakness for awhile. She is also fecal incontinent, she tries to get outside when she feels it coming but doesn't always make it. I too use Salmon oil, 1/2 of the suggested dosage as I thought it too much. She gets that and I alternatively use raw unrefined coconut oil. I just had her at the vets because the other day she collapsed and I had to carry her in my arms while I had Charlie my Greyhound on leash with us. She rebounded within a 1/2 hour and hasn't had another episode. The vet mentioned possibilities ie tumor on spleen or brain. She is not in pain so I said I would just watch her and the vet agreed. I am not wiling to do a lot of diagnostic testing on her at this age. I said to the vet if it was a tumor what would we do? Operation if on the spleen if that's what it is. No, not at her age. As long as she is pain free I am not willing to put her through a lot. I know how to massage her spine from back of neck to tail, shown to me by an acupuncturist. It is hard when they age and I can only keep her comfortable. Her nick name is the amazing Rhea as she always rebounds and keeps going. I thought about therapeutic swimming too build muscle in the hind end but a vet I know who has a facility like this doesn't think it would help at this stage. So for now she still loves short walks to keep her limber and yes she will drag her back feet a little but she is smiling and happy. Sometimes when Charlie is trotting she will try to keep up :-) Whatever you decide I am sure you will make the best decision for you and your pup.

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