Senior Dog question

My Tyler will be 14 in December.
In the last 3-4 months his cataracts have become a concern. However, his short (near) sight vision seems to be the minor problem. He has in the last 3 weeks aquired a small anomaly out of the blue…His back end no longer seems coordinated with his front end. Mild stroke has been ruled out. Vestibular, not the same symptions. He stumbles more often on slick surfaces, so we have put down rugs. He's still stumbling, always in the rear end.

Oh, he all of a sudden thinks he has to poop in the house, no pee, just poop. He asks to go out to pee, then randomly poops on the carpet

Suggestions?

I think the random pooping is likely related to the hind end incoordination. What does your vet say?

Maybe his spinal cord isn't giving the signals to his bowels so he knows he needs to go.

I know my holistic vet has been a key ingredient in keeping my seniors going. (Diggie the brindlewonderkid will be 15 in Dec; Jet the trying will be 14 later this month) It'd be worth a try to see if something like acupuncture could help.

Have they done an X-ray or ultrasound?

My nearly 14 year old has been diagnosed with a bulging disc in his neck. He presented differently than expected for a bulging disc in that he actually showed left shoulder pain and front leg lameness. I was told it was far more common for this issue to cause hind end weakness and problems. We have since stopped using collars on him for walks, he now has a nice harness. He also required metacam for the first 10-14 days to get the swelling down. Since then we only use metacam if he tweaks his neck which he most often does trying to squeeze under the cedar chest for a stray kibble.

Sounds like it is a spinal cord injury of some sort. He may not know where exactly his rear legs are in space… I would take him to the vet and have his back checked, his range of motion, and so on. X-ray may be helpful. Something for pain and inflammation might be needed.

Good luck.

Agree with Moth, sounds like spinal injury, pinched nerve or similar. Antiflamatory drugs may help or acupuncture.

Like Lvoss, my Eddie, 12, has a neck issue that causes right front leg limping. We thought it was his shoulder but good friend who has trained as animal chiro felt him, did mild adjustments after which the limp went away immediately. He has reached a point where she won't adjust him any more, not sure about next step. It's only bad when he has been running or jumping a lot. We stretch him, one of us holds his chest/shoulders, the other gently and slowly pulls on his head (we refer to this as 'lets pull Ed's head off') and Ed seems to enjoy it, he solids very still and relaxes while we stretch his spine. Topper had some mid spine problems (among a thousand other things) and we did stretching for him as well.

Mid spine issues (disc, nerve, injury) can definitely affect the rear legs and bowel function. See a vet, get X-rays and treatments, the sooner the better. Good luck, the older ones are so precious but like us humans, stuff starts to wear out and break!

Thanks all….I hadn't considered a spinal x-ray due to the fact that he goes up and down stairs just fine and has no trouble running and still plays with Katie. It's more like missteps when he goes from a walk to a trot, like his gait in the back doesn't match his gate in the front so his back end wobbles. It's hard to explain. Yes, he's had a full vet check. Blood panels remain within normal ranges and pretty much match his base line done a few years ago. We're at a "wait and watch" this week but I thought I'd check in here and see if anyone had additional suggestions.

@lvoss:

My nearly 14 year old has been diagnosed with a bulging disc in his neck. He presented differently than expected for a bulging disc in that he actually showed left shoulder pain and front leg lameness.

FYI, that is not all that atypical (though usually it is all four or the back). In fact my Rottie bitch hurt her neck throwing hay bales (don't ask) and she was dead lame in front. I felt for heat, injury– called my vet who said "could be neck disk"--and it was. We tried a chiropractor, didn't help. Put on meds for the initial incident, but I maintained her til she died with bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory. If I ran out, she'd go lame again holding up her leg even. My vet said likely all the legs hurt but they carry more weight on front so that one may simply hurt the most.

Great article: http://www.sniksnak.com/doghealth/degen-disk.html

After a veterinary consultation, I'd go down the Bromelain, acupuncture or laser puncture road. He is not a young dog and I wouldn't consider long term chemical pain killers.

Just an update…Ty is holding his own, as a matter of fact doing a little better I think. I increased the Omega 3's (per a wildlife nutritionist) and changed to specifically Salmon Omegas.

I also asked about "Satin Balls" for weight gain or when our oldies/under the weather dogs were in need of extra calories and about his cataracts. Here's what she said......

Oh dear no, I wouldn't recommend that mix. It could cause everything from allergic reactions to diarrhea to metabolic bone disease. I'd suggest adding some cat food to his diet, so that it is about 1/2 dogfood, 1/2 cat food. Wellness Core would be good. Give him a tablespoon of full fat yogurt/day with that (goat yogurt if you can find it, plain, unsweetened.. or if you can't find that, plain unsweetened full fat cows milk yogurt). You could also simmer, low heat until just cooked, some chicken thigh and give him little chunks of that. You'd need to add a bit of calcium to it. Per small-medium chicken thigh (bone and skin removed): cut a calcium tablet (600mg strength) into 6 pieces. Crush one piece to fine powder and mix it well with the chicken pieces.
That should help with his weight and boost his immune system. If you mix a tablespoon of defrosted frozen, or fresh, chopped blueberries in with his food it might help his eyes, as will the extra Taurine in the cat food and in the chicken thigh.

Hope this information may help someone in the future.

Thank you 'senji forum for being here when ever I need you, and ty long time forum friends for all the input. You ground me and make feel not so "nutso" and crazy about my dogs. 🙂 Especially about my old boy, Ty.

Thank you for the update on Ty. I'm pleased he's holding his own.

So glad to hear that Ty is doing better! My Spencer will be 14 on Tuesday, and he has started having hind leg issues as well. His back legs tremble and he keeps his tail down between his legs a lot. Our vet said it was arthritis, and he's been on meds and Omega 3s for that for a while. They don't seem to help all that much. Now I'm starting to wonder if he could have a disk problem, too. Just this weekend, he has started to stand with his hips hunched, like he's getting ready to sit. I'm calling the vet tomorrow. He's going in later this week for his bloodwork, but I'm worried. There are so many things to balance with these sweet old guys.

About 15 years ago our Corgi suddenly showed paralasis in her hind legs, took her to the vet and he diagnosed it as a back injury and put her on Perna Mussel extract, starting at 2 capsuls a day. Within 10 days she was bouncing around like a pup again. And you can take this to the bank, 11 years ago when the arthritis in my right ankel became so painful i coumd barely walk I started taking New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel extract and it knocked the pain down so much that I'm able to walk now. Ask your vet about them .

Okay so this is one of those "no solid proof but doesn't hurt so why not"? cases. I had never heard of mussel extract, ever. SO I looked and while it doesn't have any real proof, it also has some weak support. For someone like me, who cannot take NSAIDs, this could be a big boon. Sadly it is mostly omega-3, which I am one of the unlucky people who actually get cholesterol and triglyceride increases when I take supplements. 😞

http://coxcollege.edu/cc_homepage.cfm?xyzpdqabc=0&id=6&action=detail&AEProductID=HW_CAM&AEArticleID=hn-2860000

http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=108308

What Is the Scientific Evidence for Green-Lipped Mussel?

Arthritis

The evidence regarding use of green-lipped mussel for arthritis remains weak and inconsistent. 16

Several animal studies performed by a single research group have reported that green-lipped mussel reduces symptoms of osteoarthritis. 4-6,17 However, the results from human studies remains inconsistent. Of five reported controlled studies of green-lipped mussel for osteoarthritis, two found benefit. 7-13,16

Asthma

In an 8-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 46 people with allergic asthma, those who received a green-lipped mussel extract showed some improvement in wheezing and peak flow of air. 14

Thank you all for the information. Re: Perna (Green Lipped Mussel) Debra, it appears you can buy it in the powder form without the added Omegas….

Freeze-dried Perna mussel powder contains the amino acids glutamine and methionine, vitamins E and C, and minerals zinc, copper, and manganese. 6 The preparation Seatone is a freeze-dried, concentrated powder of Perna lipid extract, while Lyprinol is a stabilized, super-critical fluid extract preparation containing the omega-3 essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (link: http://www.drugs.com/npp/new-zealand-green-lipped-mussel.html scroll down to "chemistry")

Ty's symptoms don't suggest back injury or arthritis. He continues to curl to sleep, then do the Basenji sprawl in the middle of the night to take up the entire bed (sheesh nothing ever changes!!! :). He still does a complete nose over back to inspect and lick the offending orifice after an especially offensive doggie fart. Raises the awkward leg high to clean his daddy bits (was gonna say penis but thought I'd get censored)

All fingers and paws crossed that this is nothing more than just old age and not neurological. Thank you again for all your posts/suggestions

Dawn

Oh, hahahahahah, not censored!! Now I know "penis" is safe. Oh wait, that doesn't sound right…better quit while I'm ahead 🙂

Hello all,

I read the posts in this thread as I've started to keep a watchful eye on my 13-year-old, Ziggy. He's amazingly healthy for his age. He does sleep more than he used to, but then again, so do I! His eating/drinking and elimination habits are all regular and normal, and he takes no medications. The only unusual sign of aging that I've seen (I think) is that one of his back legs quivers on occasion–it lasts a few seconds and stops when he continues walking.

We've been enjoying three 30-minute walks a day for several years, but I am starting to see that during the noon walk, he tires more quickly than he used to.

In general, what are some of the signs of aging that I will see in this guy? This is the first senior B that I've owned so I'm learning as I go.
All comments are much appreciated. 🙂

Lori
Ziggy & Zhara

In my experience, the back leg quivering is normal for older/elderly dogs. I have found that it will get worse as the dog get older. If more neurological symptoms appear or if they are affecting his gait/movement, I suggest taking him to a neurologist for a thorough exam.

Jennifer

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