Chase's Back Legs Are Giving In.

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by southerngirl, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. southerngirl Honored Member

    So Chase is my family dog who turned 16 in May. In the past few months is back legs have not been holding up good. His back side wobbles as he walks like he is going to fall over any second and he has lately.He'll just be walking around in the kitchen and fall over.:( We've tried getting him to lie down and stop pacing the floors all the time, but he won't. I know one of his legs are bad from being hit my a car when he was younger. Does he have arthritis?:( Is their anything I can do to help make his back legs stronger? My mom suggested making sure he gets a walk every day. Any other idea's?

  2. TiflovesBCs Experienced Member

    I'm not sure myself and would love to know because my older dog we think had arthritis and if she exercises to much her back legs can give out and she usually us stiff getting up the next couple of days. But Jenny still thinks shes a 2 year old and wants to do what the youngsters do. Infact she has more energy and play drive than both of them lol.
    I tend to keep an eye on her now to try to make sure she doesn't do too much. Walking is good for her but really long walks can have the same effect as running.
  3. Anneke Honored Member

    Aw poor guy.
    The wobbling and falling over leads me to believe that it is in his hips. I bet he has problems getting up as well? Being very stiff after lying for a while?
    There are foodsupplements you can add to his food, that might help a little bit, but with the old timers, unfortunately, it is wear and tear that causes the cartilage in the joints to disappear.
    My vet told me that supplements containing glucosamine could help a little for dogs with arthritis, so I added this to his food. And it did help. I don't know the brands available over there, so I can't give you any.
    And taking him for a short walk regularly is good too.

    Also, the pacing, might be a sign that he is becoming a little senile. I remember my Shane walking around the salontable a million times, untill I told him to lie down. He would lie down for a few minutes and then get up and do it again.

    We had Shane on one painkiller a day for the last few months of his life, just so he wouldn't hurt so much.

    Don't you wish our pups would never grow old? Gosh Shane was with me for 17 years, feels like he has been with me all my life...:(
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member


    i don't know about trying to walk this dog a lot, or how far you mean. You might find it's easier for Chase to walk in the evening or afternoon,
    as opposed to mornings.
    Achy joints tend to be worse and stiffer after a dog or a human has been lying still for a long time.
    If you DO try adding in walks (not sure this is going to help or hurt)
    i'd keep walks super short and
    try hard to evaluate if Chase is moving better next day,
    or seems even stiffer.
    I'm thinking short walks are okay, and probably helpful, i am not sure about long walks.

    SWIMMING is often much much easier for dogs than walking,
    cuz the cool water eases the painful joints,
    and the dog does not have to bear as much weight on their aching joints.
    Of course, for an older dog, he might find a life jacket helpful to prevent exhaustion,
    and he might not be able to be real active,
    but, he might enjoy getting to be in water even more than a walk, if that is an option you have.

    AT ANY RATE, i DO know how heartbreaking it is to see a once powerful dog losing his strength, and i am sending you big hugs.
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  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    At my house, my old dog could not do steps.
    He had to walk down about 4 steps to get off the deck to go out to pee in the grass.

    We used to take a sheet,
    and slip it under his belly,
    and both of us used to hold the sheet, one on each side,
    to help him get down the steps....his paws and legs and hips only had to bear only a small amount of weight that way.

    towards the end, we even had his whole body on the sheet to get down the steps.:( and just lay him down on the grass, til he got up to go pee.

    another thing that my dog in pain loved
    was COLD stuff to lie on.
    Probably all dogs are unique, and the problems my dog had, which did include arthritis, might not be same as your dog,
    but woah, did my dog LOVE lying on COLD a marble floor, a cold but smooth cement floor,
    or anything cold. If you can find any cold surfaces for Chase to try out....or if you see any types of cooling things for dogs to lie on.

    I always wondered if that cold might have soothed his pain a bit in some way.
    lol, i also tried holding ice packs briefly on his hips and back now and then, but, Toby did not seem to enjoy that so much after about 5 minutes or so, so i'd rotate the ice pack around, from joint to joint.....

    I made my own ice packs for Toby,
    i froze liquid soap in ziplock bag, and double bag it, to prevent leaks. (I stayed by him, moving it from hip to hip, see, not just put it on him and leave.)
    another nice soft ice pack for dog hips, is bag of frozen peas.

    BE SURE TO MARK such bags 'for dog'
    so no one gets sick from eating peas which have been frozen/thawed/frozen/thawed,
  6. southerngirl Honored Member

    We do think Chase is going a bit crazy cause he will bark and growl at my dad and other people when they come in and where like "Chase it's just dad or Brian(my brother." He also has tried biting my little brother because he got near some food sure he has always been like "it's my food stay away" but he has never ever tried biting us. I don't think he would bite more like nip. He really seems to not like my little brother for some reason he growls when he hugs me or my mom. We don't know how much he can see or hear. His eyes have some cloudy blue in them for the past couple of years it has gotten worse his eyes are brown. I'll look into some supplements. Yes he does have trouble getting up and down. Of course when he does lie down he picks to lay down in the middle of the kitchen and I hate it but I make him move because we trip all over him trying to cook.
    Yes Anneke I wish they never got old it's sad and hard to watch. Chase has been around since I was two so he's basically been around all my life I've grown up with him and hate seeing him like this.
    @ Tiff I wish Chase could still played but at 16 playing means barking and running around for a few seconds with Missy every once in a blue moon. He can barley go on a 15min walk without collapsing.:(
  7. southerngirl Honored Member

    When I say walk I mean 15min. no longer than that I couldn't do longer than that if I wanted to he would collapse. I want to bring him to the lake cause I have heard swimming is good for the joints. He loves going on walks sometimes I will take him with me and Missy on our trail(Missy on leash Chase off leash) he really likes it. Whenever he sees a leash he bounces around like a puppy
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  8. Amateur Experienced Member

    I lived this ! with my boy Raleigh for over a year. But first off 16 is a great age for that mix of dog - you've taken great care of him so far. With Raleigh we put him on Science Diet J/D ( joint disease) and did see some improvement for a while. He also paced constantly -- we just let him. Be sure to remove hazzards in the house like access to stairs or getting trapped behind furniture ( it does happen). We put down inexpensive runner rugs on slippy tile and wood floors to help provide some grip. Avoid stairs. Allow exercise but again not too much as he will be much more sore the next day. We also carried him upstairs to sleep at night but eventually he was much happier to camp out in the cloak room on his doggy bed where it was quiet and warm.

    I don't want to put more of a downer on this but Be prepared for accidents in the future. Raleigh needed assistance out the door to pee -- But my philosophy was that if he was making an effort to go outside I would help in any way possible. I would provide some stability to his back end ( i.e. just supported his hind end on either side to prevent swinging to the side -- then later I would hold up his back end to support it while he trotted on his front legs out the door.

    I wish I knew he would happily live another year and a half when this all started and I would have just gone with the flow and not worried so much about his aging.

    Please Dont fret so much -- Enjoy this time - more time for cuddles and telling him what a good boy he is
  9. southerngirl Honored Member

    Thankfully the only steps we have are outside, he doesn't use them. My dad is suppose to make a ramp for him cause our back porch doesn't have steps the dogs have to jump to get up and Chase has a hard time. Their is no helping him he doesn't like being picked up, he will bite. We have cement floor in my brothers room where he sleeps he prefers it to his soft bed.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  10. Amateur Experienced Member

    can you Try finding him a central spot ( near or in the kitchen) for his bed where he can lie down, still see you but be out of the way. hopefully he will find this a better place and go ther first
  11. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    yeah, SouthernGirl, you might find your dog is way less tolerant at this stage. My dog went from "Joe Cool"
    to "Grumpy Old Man"
    when he was in pain....
    at that stage, we just all agreed, "Whatever the Old Man wants, the Old Man gets"
    and that was that. You should probably warn the younger brother to pretty much avoid Chase now, (IF Chase is not fond of that brother i mean)
    and warn the brother, and all kid visitors,
    that there is now an increased risk that Chase might bite, cuz Chase is now in pain,
    and protect Chase from kids now.
  12. southerngirl Honored Member

    Hehe tigerlily we call Chase grumpy old man and grumpy butt.
    We do tell my brother and other little kids that come over to watch for Chase and if they keep running over him and stuff we put him up for his safety and theirs. My lil brother does pretty much avoid Chase now, I feel so bad for Aaron(my lil bro) he cried cause Chase doesn't like him we tried explaining to him that Chase is just old but it still hurts Aaron.
    We've all agreed just leave Chase alone if he wants to misbehave and be a pain in the butt than let him.
    Amateur I wish there was somewhere for Chase to be that is out of the way but there really isn't my house is small and has 6 people in it so when we're cooking he is suppose to be in my brothers room, he can still see everyone from there but wants to be under our feet. So my brother room is the central part he can see and hear everyone.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  13. Dogster Honored Member

    Awwwww:cry: I'm soo sorry:(

    Be sure to cherish every moment you two spend together. :)
  14. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    I'm sorry to hear that Chase isn't feeling well :( When was his last vet visit? It sounds like he would benefit from pain medication (an NSAID type like Rimadyl or Metacam). He's gotten 'grouchy' and stiff because he's in pain, and pain of any type deserves to be treated. One of my only regrets with my late dog was that I did not properly treat his back pain. He had chronic liver disease (hepatitis) so the vet was afraid of giving an NSAID, but I should have insisted because in the end I'd rather that an elderly dog has good, quality, pain-free (or at least much reduced pain) time than that a dog squeaks out a few more weeks of life, but in pain.

    If you've seen the vet with him recently, it's possible the vet will just prescribe the medication and you won't need to bring him in.

    As far as the back steps, if you can get those sticky treads (or even those sticky carpet treads, though they'll eventually fall off) for the steps that would help. You can also get him used to having the sensation of a sling around his lower belly, and then eventually you'll be able to use it to help him. I also found this harness to be a godsend with my late dog. It fits well (you can adjust it in a lot of places) and is very comfortable, so the dog can always wear it. You can help the dog to his feet, and also you can use the handle in emergencies to keep the dog from falling on the stairs. My dog was very big, and not used to be picked up or "helped" so this was a way to help him without making a fuss over it. It was originally designed for SAR dogs working in rough terrain.
  15. southerngirl Honored Member

    Our dogs don't have regular check ups cause we don't have the money. They do go to the Vet if they are sick and for rabies shot. I've talked to my mom about taking him to the vet and she said she just wants to leave him be, and that the vets would just stress him out. We are going to look into getting him food supplements.
    Getting him used to a sling under him sounds like a great idea, I'll start doing that. Chase weighs 60 pounds so that could come handy for when he gets weaker.
    Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I really appreciate it.:D
    Dogster likes this.
  16. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    SouthernGirl, i knew from previous posts that you are on budget and i can understand about not having money. I know you and your mom are helping out multiple dogs there, too. Almost all the vets i know did not go into the field as an attempt to get rich, but to help animals...........and most vets i know are generally kind loving ppl, imo.

    It might be worth asking vet if there is any way he could give you a reduced price to see about Chase, or if he can give some samples of Rimadyl to try on Chase. I imagine you are proud family, but, i could swallow my pride to help my dog. Heck, i'd eat poop if it'd help my dog.
    Might be worth asking anyway, sometimes vets do give a loving dog owner on a tight budget a break now and then. They did become vets cuz they love animals.

    ONe other option, is, call Human Society and ask if they know of any free or low price animal clinics in your area. Lots of places have a day where local vets get together and do volunteer work to help out pets owned by ppl like us, who do not have tons of cash.
    Or you can google your town's name, or your county's name, + word "free animal care" or "free animal clinic".
    Another option is search for local veterinary schools, sometimes one can get free medical care for their dogs there, from the students.

    //"and that the vets would just stress him out."//
    our vet would come out to our house now and then, when we could no longer get Toby into the car. Toby was a giant sized dog, and didn't mind being handled, at all, but, it was jsut physically impossible to get him into the SUV at some point in time, which ws the only vehicle he'd fit in.

    Our vet also came out to put Toby down in our own yard,
    Toby was lying on his own favorite blankie, surrounded by his favorite toys, in his own familiar favorite spot in the shade, while held by us, safe in our arms, relaxed as could be, it was all very peaceful...for the dog, anyway...:cry: We bawled nonstop for days, and days.
    and days. but we tried our level best, to not shed one tear, til after Toby was gone, so he'd have peaceful day.

    and the vet did not charge extra at all to come to the house to do this. it was not that expensive at all, either.
    Sooner or later---not NOW, but sooner or later, further on down the road------ the day might come where you have to make a tough choice about Chase,
    and one can ask the vet to come out to the house. Vets can and do come out to your house now and then.
    a lot of ppl don't know that.

    at any rate, hugs coming your way from me and Buddy. I know you are all doing the best you can.
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  17. Anneke Honored Member

    Maybe a herbal painkiller would help? I think you can get these online(over here in Holland you can)
    You just put a few drops on a treat and give it to your dog.
    When Cooper was young he had severe growing pains and the specialist we saw, gave us a homeopathic painkiller. That worked very well!
    I found this page with a few suggestions
    It has a lot of different suggestions.
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  18. southerngirl Honored Member

    Thanks tigerlily and Anneke I'm going to look into both. If I find a Low cost clinic or free vet care clinic my brother will be able to pay for it.:D
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  19. southerngirl Honored Member

    So Chase is now going on short 10min walks everyday off leash on my trail. He loves it he bounces around like a pup when it's time for his walk. I'm looking at some Joint stuff at my store trying to figure out which one to get. And I have found a place that does free first time check ups but I have to look more into it.
    Also Chase's eyes are blue but as he aged they have become cloudy blue it used to be only a little but now his eyes just cloudy blue maybe a little brown. Why? I wanted to clicker train him but I don't know if he can hear very well so I was going to use a light but I wonder if he can see it. So for now I've been using a loud "Yes" to teach him Shake.
  20. Anneke Honored Member

    Old dog often get a blue haze in their eyes. That is probably Nuclear sclerosis, when the lens of the eye is getting blurred, and it will case his eyesight to deteriorate. There is not much you can do about it. When you go see the vet, have him check this.
    He can determin if it needs treatment. The other thing it could be is cataract, that is when the lens becomes rigid(hard) and that might cause pain.
    Here is a site that explains it:
    My last dog had cataract due to diabetes and he went blind in 6 months. But he coped with it just fine. We had to be his eyes though, because he would run into things in unfamiliar places. He learned pretty quick that, us yelling STOP, meant that he should freeze:D

    You can try the clicker, maybe you can get one that is loud. Just see if he responds to it.
    Often the lower tones are the first thing that fades, but loud sharp sounds can still be heard.
    You can test his hearing, by having him in a quiet place and calling him. Start with a whisper and raise the sound level untill he responds.

    Sounds like Chase is really becoming an old man, with everything that comes with old age:(

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