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Hi I was wondering if anybody can help.

Amber has just turned 13 this January and on the whole is a very active dog. However last summer she woke in the night and did a poo upstairs and was scared to go downstairs. She was panting heavily as well. I managed to get her down and outside where she went to the toilet again. She was stumbling as if drunk. She came in and settled. Within the hour she was back to normal. Then in November she started having accidents in the house and couldn't get to the door quick enough. She was sometimes scared to go down steps. I took her to the vet and he said she had arthritis in her spine. Her joints are excellent for a dog years younger than herself. She seemed to make a good recovery and was fine until Christmas when she collapsed again this time on a walk. She didn't like steps and panted again. She has problems with uneven paths too.

I took her again back to the vet and this time they said neurological and arthritis. She had a tummy upset which was treated first and then put on Metacam. All seemed fine and she was back to normal. We bought rugs so she didn't have to walk on the wooden floors anymore. Then 3 weeks later she started stumbling again during the stormy weather. (didn't take her out). Back to the vet and was told it was the weather pressure and arthritis gets worse in the bad weather. She was given AB's for sore throat and after a week went back. Still stumbling but she never shows how bad she is when at the vets. As soon as we are out she goes lame again! They now say she isn't in pain but its neurological. They want to put her on steroids but I really don't want that if I can help it. I took her to a doggie chiropractor last Friday and he believes its musclier and in her neck and spinal area. He did some work on her and she seemed to walk better afterwards. Once she gets going on a walk she seems much better but will go lame for the odd moment then recover. She goes back to the chiropractor tomorrow.

I was wondering if nobody else has a dog with the same symptoms. They won't do X rays. Her bloods are fine. I just don't think she should be written off yet.

Sorry for the long winded post.
 

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I just don't think she should be written off yet.
Completely agree. But you have to accept that she is a very old lady and just like with humans bits start to wear out and other bits simply don't function as well as they did when she was younger.

When it comes to messing indoors, unless she is getting a little senile, and of course that can and does happen, then it's likely to be a muscle control problem. She wont know it's happening until it's happened, but all her life she has done it outside because she knows that's what we want, so doing it indoors upsets her.

You say she was stumbling as if dunk. It's possible that she is going mildly epileptic. Again this can happen when various parts of the body are no longer working at peak efficiency. Of it could be arthritis as your vet said. Your vet has said no to ex-rays, and this I can understand. If the ex-ray showed anything there would be little they could do, and even the anaesthetic at that age could kill her, so as this is not a life or death situation to take the chance would really not be the sensible course of action.

I'm sorry if what I've said sounds hard. All of us who have had a number of dogs through to old age have gone through this. I always make light of it to my dogs, "Don't worry sweetheart, it's not important!" And to me it's not. I'm quite happy to clean up after the puppies, and just as happy to clean up after the oldies. And instead of all day out in the field working, "If you only feel like 10 minutes down the road and back today that's fine with me."

Regards, John
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your reply.


I guess I'm finding it difficult to accept as she is our first dog and has always been so bouncy and healthy. I don't mind cleaning up after her at all although sometimes its because she doesn't want to spend too long outside in the cold. Also she can't wait to get back in for a treat :lol:

She still runs to the door if the doorbell rings and she still jumps up to greet you even though we have tried so hard to stop her doing that all her life!

When she is on the scent of something, she forgets how lame she is and is off. Its just weird that she is fine one day then off the next.
 

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Look after her, but don't baby her. Take care of her but don't wrap her up in cotton wool. You might be able to prolong her life slightly, but at what cost? She is a dog, she thinks for today, not tomorrow, and she would not understand that preventing her doing what she would like to do could prolong her life.

I note she is on Metacam, what dose? I used to use Metacam when my old Anna started to get stiff, just dosing her as and when needed. But chatting it over with my vet, he suggested using it daily. Metacam builds up in the body so often it's possible to reduce the dose after a few days and I found that with my Anna who was 34kg that dosed daily just using a dose for a 10kg dog kept her relatively pain free, and a regular small dose is easier on the system than an occasional higher dose.

Regards, John
 

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Amber is an old lady (but don't tell her that!! :wink: ) she is still "young at heart"!!!

It is now time to "go with the flow" - - - do whatever she wants to do :D

Our Cassie was so similar, our puppy girl was still there, but, her body was getting old and sometimes she just wanted to rest

For her last few months her cateracts got bad and she couldn't attempt the stairs, so we got a guest bed and took it in turns to sleep downstairs with her!! BUT, the little sod could still smell a fox :roll: and demand to play football in the garden!!! :roll:

Don't write her off yet, enjoy your time together but please be aware that she is now an old lady and needs your care and also your respect to monitor her old body

Chel and Dilys xxx

:D :D
 

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Christ these dogs get under our skin dont they?!

Amber sounds like she's been well looked after for 13 years and I'd hope for a few years more yet.
If I've learnt anything about dogs it's NEVER write them off.

Good luck Amber!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you everybody!

I know its me that has to come to terms with her age.

I took her back to the chiropractor today and she has been much improved this week. Up and down the stair. My husband said she jumped from the third step this morning in a hurry to get her breakfast :lol:

She has that walking on air feel about her again. I'm such a softy John but my husband isn't and he won't wrap her in cotton wool :)

If we get another couple of years out of her I would be over the moon :)

Tricia x
 

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I took Amber for her second appointment at the Chiropractor on Friday. She has seemed much better over the last few days and today we went on a longer walk through local woods.

She was happy to splash in puddles and walk on uneven surfaces. She was much lighter on her feet and her overall movement was excellent. She kept up with the younger Lab and was very adventurous.

I told her not to jump into the boot of the car but it was too late :)

After a rest at home she is not showing any signs of stiffness or pain. In fact she is following me around the house. No wobbling or collapsing since last Monday.

I really hope this improvement continues. :)
 

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Good on you Amber!

Keep that tail wagging young lady.

Big thumbs up to you
 

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Go Amber!!!!! :D

"Keep on rockin' Girl" 8) :p :p



Chel and Dilys xxx
 
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