Skip to content

Announcements

The Pet Health Community and Pet Health Center are NOT substitutes for a vet visit. Contact a vet in an emergency! | Dog Conditions A-Z | Dog Symptoms A-Z | Cat Conditions A-Z | Cat Symptoms A-Z

Remember Your Beloved Pet
Tremors in hind legs of older dog
avatar
beachedsiren posted:
I own an 11.5 year old working Malinois. Due to the K9 work she has done her spine has considerable osteo arthritis, but no HD which is not common to the breed. There is some loss of disc space in her cervical vert. and a bit of "lipping" in the front elbows. X-rays of nearly entire body were done a year ago, prior to pronounced tremors in both hind legs. About 5 years ago I notice her right hind leg trembling a bit and just thought it was excitement doing her work. But about 8 months ago I noticed both legs with tremors while standing and a couple months ago I believe I noticed loss of muscle mass too. Tremors are most pronounced when she defecates and if this progresses further I suspect she will fall over. I took her to the Vet a couple months ago and they did the neurological test where they turn her rear foot toe the rear to determine how fast she rights her foot. Vet said that was a slightly slow recovery. She has been on Metacam for a couple years about 3-4 times a week depending on her activity levels. Two years ago I have noticed her slightly groaning after any considerable activity (walking 2 miles). If she groans considerable I assume she is in pain and give her 50mg of Tramadol. Vet suggested trying using Metacam every day to see if it was pain related or an inflammatory issue. Did not help. Now we have had her on Steroids for two weeks and will begin tapering off. Has not helped. Tremors are both when resting and loaded. No tremors while she is sleeping or if I distract her they will also stop. If I lightly hold the leg, it will stop. I believe they stop when she is given Tramadol 50mg which I only use rarely. I have to test that a couple more times to validate that observation. This last month I am noticing some instability on slick surfaces. I have taken her occasionally to a Chiro for adjustments over that last two years. Last time her L4 was out. Vet and I are discussing use of anabolic steroids to rebuild her muscle mass or simply in an attempt to keep her from losing more muscle mass. Had complete x-rays done a year ago before the double sided tremors started. I did give her some injections of this horse medication Vet suggested to help rebuild joints for 8 weeks last year but saw no since of improvement. Muscle loss is in same area I was instructed to give the injections. Coincidental, I don't know.

Would appreciate insights, suggestions, recommendations from Vets.

Thank you in advance.
Reply
 
avatar
Home2strays responded:
My chow mix is 16 and her legs also tremble, I personally believe it is due to the muscle loss back there and hence they are weak and tremble when exerted (my paralyzed shihtzu does the same thing when I move her back legs and she has 0 feeling in them so i know its not pain.) I have also been on tramadol for a herniated disc in my back and for me, not sure if dogs are the same, i felt it worked better when I was taking it consistently instead of just when I was in pain. My chowgirl is up to 100mg twice, sometimes 3 times a day. I would be leary of leaving her on metacam or steroids for too long, they can cause serious side effects such as cushings disease. What I wish I had done with my old girl, knowing what I know now having a paralyzed shihtzu, is i wish I had gotten her a k9cart. It wouldve preserved her joints and back better and allowed her more excersice for longer. As it is my chow goes about 4 feet and then slowly lies down to rest a few minutes (with trembling legs) stuggles to get back up and at this point her legs sometimes get crossed and she tumbles back down. If I had, had her used to a cart Im sure we would still be going on walks, or I atleast would be able to put her in the backyard and let her roam. I am a huge advocate for carts for dogs now due to my experience with them with my little girl and my ignorance with my older dog.
The injection i think you were probably giving your dog was adequan, it takes awhile to build up in the system and works much like glucosamine and chondroitin supplements (which you can also give your dog to lube up joints) I tried adequan on my chow too but after a few months I dont believe it helped/ her muscle was too far gone.
Ive been a vet tech for 10 yrs. by the way.
 
avatar
beachedsiren replied to Home2strays's response:
Home2strays: Yes, that is the stuff - Adequan. Another Vet said it is good on other joints but does not work on the spine very well which is where her problem is located. She won't be on steroids much longer. We are already tapering off and will accelerate the taper as soon as we get the muscle building ones. I too have considered a chart but don't think she is there just yet. Sunday she wanted to chase deer and would have given it a try had a let her. When she alerts like that there is no tremor or shaking. I don't like the NSAIDs either but I hate to hear her in pain - she groans. I try to keep them to a minimum to just make life good for her. Another device I am considering to provide more stability is from www.orthodog.com - the Hip Hound Brace. Take a look as it could help your Chow possibly. Will take info to my Vet on Tuesday and ask about this. Sometimes such braces help, at least with humans, and sometimes they only make the muscles weaker so I'll have to play that one by ear and get Vet's recommendations. I am researching Neurological Vets and have found a few in Portland and San Francisco. Hope to video the tremors/shaking and send off to see if any think they may be able to help. However, MRIs for dogs run about $2000 from what I have heard which is very costly. But I may need to go that way, although at her age I would not subject her to surgery.
Occasionally, when she is almost asleep her foot will kick out every 15 seconds like someone with Restless Leg Syndrome. Did your dog do that too? When she is asleep there are no tremors.
 
avatar
Home2strays replied to beachedsiren's response:
actually I bought it a few months ago lol I think if my dog had more muscle it wouldve helped but because she has almost nothing back there and has cuchings disease her skin is very thin and it was causing bruises- plus she is so sore I got bit a few times putting it on her (my fault, not hers) I spent $90 getting it and shipped and now because it has her hair on it they'll only give me $45 back if i returned it. Oh well, live and learn. My chow used to like to sleep on her back, with all four feet in the air and she would do that, not so much now though.
 
avatar
beachedsiren replied to Home2strays's response:
What size was it? If the Vet suggests I go that way maybe we can work out a deal. Malinois are considered a large dog but I think they are really only medium. She is about 55 to 60 lbs depending on the time of year. Your Chow may be a larger dog.

Yes, when Laika is on her back the two back feet vibrate and "knock" together. When on her side she gets the foot jerks which I believe are mostly from the left leg but hard to tell. The foot jerks are more pronounced in the evenings. I feel sorry for her as she has no control over it. Like dog Parkinson. I wish I'd caught this sooner. I just thought she was cold all the time and shivering. But then realized even when I piled blankets on she still shivered.

I think we are going to try Equipose as the steroid to bulk up her muscles. All we can do is try before too much more muscle is lost. If that doesn't work then I'll have to buy one of those dog wheel chairs. Getting a second opinion on Thursday and looking into Neurological Vets in Portland. I watched a video for a Vet in Long Beach using VOM - kind of a mechanical Chiro machine. Supposedly helped a Dobe with Wobblers.
 
avatar
Home2strays replied to beachedsiren's response:
hey, we could do that- i believe I got the medium one and its still a little big on her, she's 56 pounds but I can check when I get back home tomorrow. I never tried the equipose with mine but I think my girl is just too far gone with her legs, I hope your girl has luck with it though- it sounds like she still has quite a bit of muscle mass back there still. If possible, it would probably be a good idea to get her into water therapy- really build up those muscles so her joints/back do less work and it low impact. We've done cold laser therapy in a wobblers great dane that tore up his foot dragging it and it healed pretty quickly.
 
avatar
beachedsiren replied to Home2strays's response:
Yes, water therapy would be ideal. I wish somebody had a pool or therapy tub but all we have is the river which is still very cold now. I've thought of taking her into the hot tub but don't know if it is deep enough for her strokes except in the middle but I may give it a try along with our walks. One of those water tread mill devices would be excellent too (Leerburg video). Vet suggested I run a DM DNA test on her so I've sent off for the test kit from OFA. We have also ordered the Equipose and I'll post how that works after the 8 weeks. I have tried cold laser on her before with another Vet and I'm seeing her for a second opinion on Thursday. Sent the information I've posted here to a Neuro Vet in Portland this morning. Hoping that if the DNA test shows DM I may be able to avoid a $2000 MRI and just begin Rx for it. With the leg jerks in the late after noon and evening the first Vet also suspects possible pinched nerve.... I've research carts and found a man here in Oregon that makes them if the degeneration progress that far. Cramping various vitamins and supplement for inflammation.
 
avatar
Home2strays replied to beachedsiren's response:
Yes that does present a problem. hopefully its not DM and just simple aging. You may be able to call around to some of the animal hospitals and see if they know of anyone doing water therapy. Also, as far as supplementals me and my chow both take Protandim and Im now working with the company. Ive been impressed with it (my chow has lived 2 yrs with untreated lymphoma which is unheard of, and I have lyme disease) go to www.lifevantage.com/bodyreboot to see the product or you can type it into the search engine of the governments published medical studies at www.pubmed.gov and it will tell you what studies have been done on it and the results. It has antinflammatory properties to it and no drug interactions.
 
avatar
beachedsiren replied to Home2strays's response:
I've never even heard of it and I thought I kept up to date. I'll take a look. Anything with antinflammatory properties, I'm interested in both for me and her since with both have osteo arth.

Neuro Vet actually called which really impressed me, responding to my email. Found his email on a Cavalier web site. He suspects not DM, but a pinched nerve at L7/S1. So I'll make an appt in 3 weeks to ensure the DNA results are in. He will perform a CT and that dye injection test to see if it is indeed a pinched nerve. If it is then I'll be faced with the decision on surgery. He said he performed surgery on dogs her age all the time. Suspect I'll have to mortgage my house to afford this :).

I also went on Leerburg's website as they have a Corgi with DM and they suggest about 20 supplements. I got ginger, mustard, Vit E and Vit C yesterday and started feeding three times a day. All for inflammation, I believe. She has lost 2 lbs in two weeks so began feed some higher fat hamburger too. Can't wait for the anabolic steroids to arrive.

If I failed to say thank you, then please know how much I appreciate your responses. It means so much.
 
avatar
Home2strays replied to beachedsiren's response:
aw no problem : ) antioxidants are highly ineffective though which is why I found this product. antioxidants work on a 1:1 ratio and the blend of protandim is 1:100,000,000 persecond and a normal human makes 300septillion free radicals a day- free radicals (or oxidative stress) is what damages a cell and when that cell proliferates it makes arthritis, or turn into cancer. on that pubmed site I gave you there are over 86,000 studies done on oxidative stressso if you are interested in a particular disease or symptom look it up on there. This is the only known effective treatment against it (proven as it is in pubmed) and they are fightin to stay out of FDA regulations, Pfizer actually tried to buy out the company awhile back lol lots of politics as to disease and money that i wont go into here : ) let me know if you need anything. my email is home2strays@aol.com
 
avatar
beachedsiren replied to Home2strays's response:
Went to the other Vet yesterday who is the one that took all the x-rays last year. She did a better job examining Laika than my local vet. She said Laika has lost muscle since she saw her last year and did some balancing tests which showed her unstable on the left hind, which jives with my observations that Laika was guarding that side a bit and sitting so as to relieve pressure on that side.

So we did some cold laser and started her on Pentosan injections which reportedly is having some amazing results with osteo and also high blood sugar levels. Probably not prevent surgery but it may make her more comfortable until/if we do have surgery. Frankly, if the Pentosan works on her very advanced Osteo, I'm going to try to find a Dr that will Rx for me and I'll have it compounded in the inhalant form. Comes from the beech wood tree in Australia.

Thanks again for all your help.


Featuring Experts from AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

Bernadine D. Cruz, DVM, is an associate veterinarian at Laguna Hills Animal Hospital, Laguna Hills, Calif. She specializes in companion animal medicin...More

Helpful Tips

Just feed them ?
I caught my dog frantically licking the floor in the middle of the night last night. I took her outside and she started eating dry leaves ... More
Was this Helpful?
1 of 1 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Learn more about the AVMA

WebMD Special Sections