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Old 09-22-2008, 07:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default weak hind legs

Hello all. Just joined today and I am worried about my 5 yr. old male shepherd. About 3 weeks ago, I noticed he was having trouble getting upwith rear legs.When I threw a ball, his knees buckled on him. I took to vet and they x-rayed and put on Rimadyl. no sign of hip dysplasia at all. Sent to radiologist and awaiting results. I've read horrible things on rimadyl but he's been fine on it, no side effects at all.Was on for a week then off and went back to not getting up well. Just had bloodwork done and everythings fine but back on rimadyl. Wondering if other meds are better or what kind of specialast to go to.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: weak hind legs

I would suspect a back problem. Could be spondylosis and it can be seen on x-rays but you will need to go to a Vet who is expereinced in taking and reading back x-rays. Many times anti-inflammatories will help, ( like what you have seen happen), but you need to keep the dog on them for a while.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: weak hind legs

http://www.animalhealthcare.com/hand...a%20equina.htm

http://www.siriusdog.com/articles/tv...pondylosis.htm
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: weak hind legs

Because of the nature of message boards, Talk to your vet and get answers from them and not a message board---
what did they xray besides hips? Stifle and back? Test the knee ligaments? Depending on where you live, your vet ought to be able to make a referral to orthopedic specialist to make a thorough assessment. Often times xrays and examination are done under anesthesia/sedation to ensure a full evaluation.

Lameness has many causes.

Are you resting him? Did the vet recommend strict rest?
Rimadyl has risks, (I think especially with labs and Rottweilers,) as does buffered aspirin and tramadol. Unless my dogs have been in severe pain, I let the pain naturally keep them from over-doing it. I have had good luck with buffered aspirin. But again ALL have risks and your vet can explain them.

Good luck
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: weak hind legs

thank you.. his back was x-rayed and looked good..thats why i thought about a specialist to check him out to see if my vets missing something.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ok, well, hopefully it is not the back but I will just tell you this. I have a dog who has an issue with her back. I first noticed the problem when she was running down the property and then spun around to run the other way. When she did this, she yelped and held up her rear leg. Immediately I thought, oh great she just tore her acl. I had one of the Vets I go to examine her knee and he said nope, not that.
During the time I was trying to figure out what the problem was, when she would jump up on my deck to come into the house, she would let out a small yelp and hold up her right rear leg for a few seconds and then she seemed fine. I took her to another Vet . She examined the knee and again, found no evidence of a problem there. Then we did a back x-ray. She didn't see anything in the x-ray either. So, I took her home and we put her on some pain meds and I noticed an improvement. After the meds were gone in about 10 days, the problem still seemed to be OK but then it came back again. Same thing with the rear leg.
So, I took her to an orthopedic specialist and described all the things I was seeing. He also looked at the knee but was pretty certain it was her back. He did another set of x-rays and this time you could see it clearly. The last vertebra, ( and I don't know the names but it is mentioned in those articles I posted), were fusing together. You could see the bone spurs in the x-rays. This looked to be the same view the other Vet took of the spine but we didn't see anything the first time. It was some time between the first x-ray and the one that showed the problem, so, maybe that is why we didn't see it and it had advanced by then. I'd have to look but I think it was a couple of months between x-rays. We put her on Metacam for about a month straight and then I started to back off on that. Now I do not give it to her at all and she is doing fine.
The Ortho Vet told me that many times when a dog has this issue, they will hold up one of their rear legs when they jump up onto things. They will land on one rear leg and then set the other one down after that.
Your dog's symptoms are different but GSDs are prone to back issues and most of the time, when you see problems in the rear legs, it is related to the back.
I would go to an ortho vet that has a good reputation in the area that you live. Call a couple of Vets and see who they recommend and if you know any breeders in your area, it might be a good idea to ask them as well.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: weak hind legs

thanks so much for the info and your story. He does not have any problems with running or walking or yelping in any way. As soon as he's up, you wouldn't even know. Just from his sitting position to getting up is his problem. Thank you
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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did the vet also check for tick borne diseases? my first two thought would be nerve damage in the spine area, which cannot be seen by x-rays, or tick borne issues.

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Old 09-25-2008, 12:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: weak hind legs

Tick diseases issues are a good call.

If it's the back, a chiropractor might be able to help. It must be chiropractor day.....there's been several posts like this today!!
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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could it be soft tissue ? a sprain , muscle spasms ? do you have a chiropractor that can test him
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