Luc...dragging rear feet - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-12-2016, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Question Luc...dragging rear feet

Hi all,

It's been awhile.

I think the last time I was on (we used to be regulars) I was asking about Luc's laryngeal paralysis, which he has been diagnosed with - the left side of his larynx is paralyzed.

LP is thought to be part of a generalized polyneuropathy - meaning it can lead to wider spread paralysis.

For a year now at least, possibly longer (my husband says Luc has done this as long as he's known him, which is about 8 years, but I don't agree) Luc will sometimes drag his rear legs on walks.

He's now 13 years old, healthy, though has the LP and hypothyroid. He probably has some Border Collie as well though we can't be sure. Sometimes his tummy gets upset, but we seem to have got it under control. He is thin, about 47lbs - very defined tuck, my husband thinks he is too thin, but it's just that people are used to seeing overweight dogs. He has lost weight recently but we've got it under control - we were giving him Neb's low fat food (Neb had liver issues years ago) and he was having diarrhea all the time. He's back on the full fat Wellness Core (grain free) and is fine, his weight is stable.

He's still active - we just got in from a 5.4k evening walk, on which, he dragged his rear legs a bit. But he still does backpacking trips, up to 20k/day. Hikes, etc. No more running. He probably has arthritis, just based on his age, he no longer likes to run (that could also be the LP) and so we give him glucosamine and wild salmon oil.

So a bit of disorganized background. Overall he doesn't show his age - someone mistook him for a puppy tonight!!!!!!

But - how concerned should I be about his rear legs? The chiropractor says it's not a joint thing. It's so minor, I'm probably being a hypochondriac - could this be LP? I thought of DM, being a GSD thing, but it's my understanding it progresses faster and is more extreme.

Thoughts?

Teagan RIP
Luc 15.5 yo GSD
Neb, husky/terrier/lab? X, DOB 18.4.2008
Xerxes, beagle, ~3yo
Cats Mitch RIP; Lear RIP; Esme RIP; Timothy and Cordelia
Nikolai & Eco the bunny couple extraordinaire RIP
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-12-2016, 10:05 PM
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Congrats to taking such excellent care of Luc. He is sure doing great for 13! Since Luc is only dragging is rear legs sometimes on walks, I think it could be fatigue. Perhaps to shorten the walk a bit or to add rest periods.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-12-2016, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Do you think? He does it on short walks sometimes too.

I forgot to mention as well that he rarely cocks his leg when peeing but instead leans forward, and sometimes his rear leg trembles while doing so.

Teagan RIP
Luc 15.5 yo GSD
Neb, husky/terrier/lab? X, DOB 18.4.2008
Xerxes, beagle, ~3yo
Cats Mitch RIP; Lear RIP; Esme RIP; Timothy and Cordelia
Nikolai & Eco the bunny couple extraordinaire RIP
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 09:13 AM
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If it were me I would probably drop back all the long exercise some. My old girl improved a lot once I modified her exercise program to be a little more age appropriate. She still wants to do everthing she always did but she just can't.

She walks between 1-2 miles a day and we train for rally most days which usually involves some tug. I no longer throw toys for her but I do hide them and let her find them which is good exercise for her but no crashing. I try to take her swimming as much as I can.

I can tell at the end of a 2 mile walk she is done.

She is about to turn 10. She is a mostly retired service dog and still goes with me on a few easy jobs per week. Mostly to see "her" friends, which are people who always wanted to pet her and I have started letting her break the rules now that she is basically done. So she has a fan club that ahe gets to go and visit which she LOVES.

Some days she sleeps a lot and doesn't pester me to take her to do stuff. Some days she acts like she is still 2 years old. I try to let her set the pace except in times when her judgment is impaired. When her ulcers were not yet controlled she was often sick and she would literally barf all over the house and then report for her harness at the front door ready to work. She has such a desire to work and help me she will do it at her own detriment and that is when I have to say no. It has been hard for both of us to transition to her not being by my side every waking minute of every day.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Some days he only walks 1.5k, so I don't think it's how much exercise he's getting, but I'm not sure...I'll give it a whirl as it's two thoughts for tired. But he can do this on 1k walks!

My husband thinks he just shuffles his feet, so to speak. Dragging might make this sound more dire than it is, I'm not sure how to describe it. There's no visual drag, but you can hear it.

Teagan RIP
Luc 15.5 yo GSD
Neb, husky/terrier/lab? X, DOB 18.4.2008
Xerxes, beagle, ~3yo
Cats Mitch RIP; Lear RIP; Esme RIP; Timothy and Cordelia
Nikolai & Eco the bunny couple extraordinaire RIP
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 02:15 PM
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Has his low back ever been X rayed? Could be a disc problem. Sometimes anti inflammatories can really help.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 03:28 PM
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Have your vet do that neurological test where they flip the feet over
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zetti View Post
Has his low back ever been X rayed? Could be a disc problem. Sometimes anti inflammatories can really help.
He hasn't had x-rays recently but I have brought him to the chiropractor for this and his spine is fine.

@Thecowboysgirl, I will ask the vet next time we're in. I think - think - that's been done before and nothing but we just switched vets so when we take him in I'll have it looked at.

Teagan RIP
Luc 15.5 yo GSD
Neb, husky/terrier/lab? X, DOB 18.4.2008
Xerxes, beagle, ~3yo
Cats Mitch RIP; Lear RIP; Esme RIP; Timothy and Cordelia
Nikolai & Eco the bunny couple extraordinaire RIP
jarn is offline  
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