• My B girl is 13 years old and has developed osteoarthritis in her front leg for which she is being treated successfully. However, in the last two months her back legs seem to have lost their spring. She finds it difficult jumping up on the couch or the bed and sometimes she falls backwards when trying. She also finds it difficult walking upstairs. Her gate is affected and she slopes from the back when standing - even her tail unravels! The vet does not seem overly concerned. But I was wondering if you might know of this condition and might be able to recommend something.
    Best wishes from Australia

  • This is often something an acupuncturist Veterinarian can help you with. If your vet doesn't offer this treatment, he might be able to recommend you to one who does. Once a week or so to start with and decreasing quite soon to monthly and then, just boosters from time to time.

    I am a great believer in this alternative for old folks.

  • It would be worth checking thyroid levels. Our 12.5yo basenji was having similar, but not as severe sounding, issues going up stairs or jumping up on the chair. A diagnosis of hypothyroidism and medicine for a few months solved all those issues. We too thought it was just old age but then noticed some bald spots on his tail and ear tips and got his thyroid levels checked. The vet said he was likely deficient for long enough that it started affecting his neuromuscular system.

  • One thing that might help is to buy / build ramps. My vet told me that going up and down stairs, along with jumping on and off furniture is not good for an older dog. So whatever you can do to minimize that should help.

  • Has a complete set of blood work been done? Electrolytes may be off. Ionized calcium (which is not often checked) may be out of range. Tick diseases may lead to neural issues. Previous ‘old’ damage or minor defects of the vertebrae, discs or spinal cord may become more significant with age. A good chiropractor or, as previously mentioned, acupuncturist may be able to help. If you feel that it really is not due to aging, a visit with a neurologist might help.

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