Diabetes in dogs is a chronic metabolic disorder that occurs when the body is unable to properly regulate blood sugar (glucose) levels. It is similar to diabetes in humans and can lead to various health complications if not managed effectively. There are two main types of diabetes that can affect dogs:
The exact cause of diabetes in dogs is not always known, but certain factors can contribute to its development:
Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs: Symptoms of diabetes in dogs can be gradual and may include:
If you observe any of these symptoms in your dog, it’s crucial to seek veterinary attention promptly.
Diagnosis and Treatment: A veterinarian will diagnose diabetes through blood and urine tests that measure glucose levels. Once diagnosed, the primary treatment for diabetes in dogs is insulin therapy. Most diabetic dogs require regular insulin injections to manage their blood sugar levels.
In addition to insulin therapy, managing diabetes in dogs involves:
Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for monitoring the dog’s condition and adjusting the treatment plan as needed.
With proper management and care, many dogs with diabetes can lead happy and fulfilling lives. Early detection and intervention are vital for improving the prognosis and quality of life for diabetic dogs.
The main difference between a cold pack and a hot pack for arthritic dogs lies in their application and the therapeutic effects they provide. Both cold and hot packs are used to manage arthritic pain and inflammation, but they serve different purposes and are applied at different stages of the condition. Here’s a breakdown of the differences:
It’s essential to consult with your veterinarian before using either cold or hot packs on your arthritic dog to ensure that it is appropriate for their specific condition and to determine the proper application and duration of therapy. Additionally, other complementary therapies and medications may be recommended to provide comprehensive pain management and improve your dog’s overall comfort and mobility.
Acupuncture for dogs is a form of alternative or complementary therapy that involves the insertion of thin, sterile needles into specific points on the dog’s body. The practice of acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles, which believe in the flow of energy or “qi” (pronounced “chee”) along specific pathways called meridians. When the flow of qi is disrupted, it can lead to imbalances and health issues.
The goal of acupuncture for dogs is to restore the balance of qi and promote the body’s natural healing abilities. The insertion of needles into the acupuncture points is believed to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissues, which can trigger various physiological responses. These responses may include the release of endorphins (natural painkillers), improved blood circulation, and the reduction of inflammation.
It’s important to note that while acupuncture for dogs can be beneficial for many dogs, it is not a replacement for traditional veterinary care. Always consult with a qualified veterinarian before pursuing acupuncture for your dog. A veterinarian who is trained in veterinary acupuncture or a certified veterinary acupuncturist (CVA) will be able to assess your dog’s condition and determine whether acupuncture is a suitable treatment option.
During an acupuncture session, the dog typically experiences minimal discomfort, and many dogs tolerate the procedure well. The number of sessions required will depend on the dog’s condition and response to treatment. If you are interested in trying acupuncture for your dog, seek a qualified professional who has experience in providing acupuncture for animals and who can ensure the safety and well-being of your pet during the treatment.
Rehabilitation therapy, also known as physical therapy or physiotherapy for dogs, offers a wide range of benefits that can significantly improve their overall health, mobility, and quality of life. It is especially beneficial for dogs recovering from injuries, surgeries, or managing chronic conditions.
Rehabilitation therapy for dogs is typically provided by licensed veterinary professionals, such as certified canine rehabilitation therapists (CCRT) or veterinarians with specialized training in physical therapy. If you believe your dog could benefit from rehabilitation therapy, consult with your veterinarian to discuss the best options for your dog’s specific condition and needs.
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Stretching your dog can indeed help reduce the chance of muscle tears and improve their overall flexibility and mobility. Just like humans, dogs can benefit from regular stretching exercises to keep their muscles and joints supple and healthy. Here are some important points to consider when stretching your dog:
Stretching is just one component of overall canine fitness and injury prevention. Regular exercise, appropriate nutrition, and routine veterinary check-ups are essential for maintaining your dog’s overall health and well-being.
If you need any more information about what exercises you can be se to help your dog with their muscle tears you can contact us via our contact form, or visit our Facebook Page. If you would like to purchase a Posh Dog Knee Brace you can place your order on our store page.
Finding relief for arthritis in dogs involves a combination of veterinary care, lifestyle adjustments, and supportive therapies. Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain and inflammation in the joints, and it is common in senior dogs and large breeds. Here are some ways to help relieve arthritis in dogs:
Remember that arthritis is a chronic condition, and while these measures can provide relief and improve your dog’s comfort, there is no cure for arthritis. Regular veterinary check-ups and ongoing management are essential to support your dog’s well-being and manage the progression of the disease. If you would like more information about our Posh Dog Knee Brace contact us via are contact page or visit our Facebook page.
Dog kibble has an average shelf life of 12 to 18 months, but once it’s been opened, you must employ proper storage to prevent the dog food from spoiling.
Although dry dog food, also referred to as “kibble,” is recognized for having a lengthy shelf life, how long does it actually last? If a bag is opened, it should be consumed within four to six weeks, provided it is stored properly.
Unopened kibble bags typically have a shelf life of 12 to 18 months. Based on the date the product was made, the “best by” or “use by” date printed on the original box was chosen. Although dry dog food doesn’t legally expire, the “use by” or “best by” date could be seen as an expiration date.
Some nutrients, such as vitamins, begin to naturally deteriorate over time. Nutritionists are fortunately well aware of this. Nutritionists make sure that essential nutrients are added in amounts high enough to offset these natural losses while creating a food. By doing this, even as the food nears the end of its shelf life, it will continue to be balanced and complete for your dog. The kibble should, however, be consumed within four to six weeks of being opened.
The manner you keep your dog’s kibble can affect how quickly their dry food spoils. Conditions that speed up deterioration include:
After opening a bag of kibble, keep it tightly wrapped in the original bag it came in or within an airtight container to ensure maximum freshness. Food’s fats oxidize more quickly when exposed to air and oxygen, which causes the food to become rancid. Kibble must always be kept in a cold, dark place because exposure to light and heat speeds up this process.
Of course, the dry food for your dog needs to be kept dry. Food that has been exposed to moisture or is very humid may develop mold, which your dog may eat and consume hazardous poisons. While freezing your dog’s dry food will help prevent fat rancidification, it is not advised because it might cause condensation and moisture buildup inside the bag when defrosted.
Although dry dog food has a fairly lengthy shelf life, it is your responsibility to guarantee its freshness after it has been opened. When selecting a bag size, use correct storage techniques and take your dog’s food consumption into account. Choose a size that will be completed four to six weeks after it is opened. These procedures will make it easier to guarantee that your dog constantly gets fresh food each day.
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Hey guys, this is Nikki the lead veterinary technician with Posh Dog Knee Braces. Today, let’s talk about how being overweight can affect our joints. As you know, the more weight we have, the more pressure we put on our joints and internal organs. This can put the body in a state of inflammation, as well as predispose us to many ailments and orthopedic issues. We are making our joints work much harder, which starts a vicious cycle on inactivity. The more the joints are sore, the less your dog will want to walk, which can cause the muscles to atrophy. Pretty soon we have a pup with less muscle, and much more prone to physical injuries like CCL tearing.
Not only does weight gain affect the organs and joints, but it also can shorten life expectancy by quite a bit. Unfortunately, this is not going to be a quick fix situation. It is much easier to get the weight off a younger dog than one that is aging. Prevention is much easier than treatment, especially if your dog is spayed or neutered, which can increase the chances of becoming overweight.
If your dog is in the top weight percentile, and does not yet have any limping issues, it’s time to get serious about weight loss. Things you can do first is check everything that you are feeding your dog every day. I want a list of each and every treat, kibble, and snack. Small things like swapping daily treats for a carrot or sweet potato stick, ect can help, as well as increasing exercise. If you have a dog that does not like to exercise, starting slow is key. Maybe 15 minutes a few times daily will really help. It is important not to skip exercise. Walking and swimming is great.
Second, changing diet is next. If you are feeding a diet that has a lot of carbohydrates, and less protein, it may be time to switch. I like diets with a good quality protein source, not by products. Make sure you are not feeding grocery store foods, unless you absolutely have to. There are many good quality foods out there. If you are already feeding a good quality food, make sure you are not feeding too much.
If you are not sure what to be feeding your dog to help, please consult with your veterinarian, maybe schedule a time to go over the nutritional needs of your dog with your Dr. or a veterinary technician. They may have a specific diet they recommend.
If you have an overweight dog that already has a limp or headed for a CCL tear, but not there yet, then I would strongly suggest finding a physical therapy clinic, one with hydrotherapy. This will help strengthen the leg, and loose weight.
Can dogs drink apple cider vinegar? Folk remedies for a wide range of human maladies have long used this affordable liquid. It provides exactly as many advantages for dogs when used topically or taken as a supplement.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is touted by proponents as one of the least priced, most adaptable, and most powerful canine health remedies.
It’s a well-liked treatment when applied topically for:
When ingested, apple cider vinegar is alleged to:
In the beginning, cider vinegar is a mixture of water and apples or apple pectin, a soluble fiber. All vinegars are made from liquids containing sugar. The natural sugars in apples undergo fermentation and turn into alcohol when they are exposed to air, which enables yeasts to flourish. Acetic acid bacteria convert the alcohol over the course of fermentation into acetic acid, the primary constituent of vinegar. Vinegar’s characteristic flavor, aroma, and qualities are all due to acetic acid.
Given its culinary use, most supermarkets have a range of vinegars, including balsamic (a thick, extremely flavorful grape vinegar), white or red wine vinegar, and vinegars derived from malt, rice, champagne, sherry, beer, and various fruits.
In the US, distilled white vinegar is commonly available. It is a common ingredient in salad dressings, pickles, catsup, and barbecue sauces and is made from grains. It is also used as a home cleaning agent.
Apple cider vinegar, on the other hand, is sometimes offered as a raw (unpasteurized) product that also includes the vinegar’s “mother,” a hazy liquid that contains acetic acid bacteria that have not been filtered. Some who view vinegar as a health supplement favor unpasteurized, unfiltered vinegar.
While no clinical research examining cider vinegar’s impact on dogs have been published in the medical literature, reports regarding its health advantages are anecdotal. This doesn’t mean that the claims regarding its applications have been refuted; rather, they haven’t been put to the test, mostly because apple cider vinegar is cheap, generally accessible, and unpatentable.
A few of the assertions are overstated. For instance, cider vinegar is sometimes referred to as a nutritious powerhouse that is packed with vitamins and minerals, but this is untrue. The sole important nutrient in raw cider vinegar, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is 11 milligrams (mg) of potassium per tablespoon.
While it might help avoid urinary tract infections, apple cider vinegar is not a treatment for that ailment. It also won’t cure the cancer that your dog has.
The usual dosage of apple cider vinegar for dogs is as follows:
The following techniques can be utilized to use apple cider vinegar as a gentle cleanser and disinfectant:
To enhance the coat, digestion, or general health of your dog:
The majority of herbal tinctures contain alcohol, however cider vinegar is the recommended solvent for canine tinctures. Rosemary Gladstar, a herbalist and dog lover, suggests putting chopped fresh or dried herbs in a glass jar (if using dried herbs, fill the jar only halfway to allow for expansion), gently heating raw organic cider vinegar, covering the herbs with warm (not hot) vinegar, leaving a 2- to 3-inch margin, covering the herbs with vinegar, closing the lid, and letting the herbs soak for four to six weeks. Each day, shake the jar. Put the tincture through a strainer, bottle it in amber or cobalt glass with a label, and keep it away from heat and light.
A garlic/dandelion vinegar tincture is suggested as a general tonic and to aid dogs in parasite prevention in addition to the plants described in her books and in canine herbal literature. Use equal amounts of fresh or dried dandelion leaves, roots, and blossoms together with equal amounts of garlic and proceed as directed above.
Tinctures should be progressively increased to 1/4 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight per day and added to your dog’s diet.
For the majority of canine uses, cider vinegar needs to be diluted due to its acidity. Although vinegar will sting if applied to broken skin, keep it away from the eyes, mucous membranes, and open cuts or abrasions.
Anywhere wood floors, cabinets, or granite countertops could be stained or damaged, vinegar should not be used. Because cider vinegar is orange-brown in color, it should not be used topically to dogs with white or light-colored coats or in areas where it might discolor white or light-colored carpets or fabrics.
Test a small patch of exposed skin with diluted cider vinegar before to applying it to a dog with sensitive skin, and after 24 hours, look for any signs of irritation, itching, or scratching. Use mild doses like those mentioned above if your dog doesn’t respond negatively. Too much cider vinegar consumption can cause mouth discomfort, vomiting, and tooth enamel erosion.
When traveling in your car with your dog, restrain him with a safety harness and seat belt, or confine him to a properly secured crate. Also, avoid letting your dog sit on your lap or drive with his head out the window.
Most of us enjoy traveling with our dogs. And in most cases, this entails transporting them in our car, truck, or SUV. Yet, poor driving habits can turn a simple journey into a trip that changes your life. Both canine and human passengers must adhere to good driving safety. Dogs injured in cars due to poor safety precautions are a common occurrence among emergency veterinarians. This applies to situations where passengers are not properly restrained, such as sitting on the driver’s lap or sticking their heads out the window.
It is really alluring to drive with your small dog on your lap. They are adorable and enjoy cuddling. And what possible harm might your six-pound Maltese or Chihuahua cause by riding in your lap?
Your airbag is likely to deploy if you are in an accident. The airbag is designed to keep you safe in a collision. As the airbag inflates, if your small dog is sitting on your lap, the force of the airbag could seriously hurt it. Little dogs hit by an airbag frequently sustain fractures and spinal cord trauma that causes paralysis.
In a car accident, unrestrained dogs can potentially become projectiles. Being catapulted into the windshield and suffering a head injury is typical. Little dogs being catapulted out of the driver’s side window during an accident is another frequent occurrence seen by emergency vets. This occurs when the tiny dog is seated in the driver’s lap with their paws on the door and the driver’s window is down. In the event of an accident, the small dog may fly out the window and strike the pavement below, landing on its head. Traumatic brain injury or sudden deaths are frequent outcomes of this kind of injury.
The best way to transport a dog safely in a car is in a secured travel container made specifically for use in cars or airplanes, or harnessed into a dog car safety belt or harness. Tiny dogs can travel in a car seat made for dogs as long as they are restrained with a safety harness.
Big dogs frequently ride in the rear seat, away from air bags, but they still run the risk of getting hurt if a window is left open. As a result of flying objects, dogs who ride with their heads out the window are more likely to sustain eye and/or ear problems. Unrestrained dogs jumping out the window of a moving car are another frequent injury. When they fall on the pavement, these canines could break a limb. Also, owners have been known to mistakenly run their own dogs over after the animal jumped out the back window, according to emergency vets!
When the windows are rolled down in your automobile, installing a dog window guard or screen on each rear window can assist safeguard your dog. There are wire mesh panels made of welded steel that are specifically manufactured to fit your car’s rear windows. There are available screens made of polyester mesh cloth. When installed, each of these screens and panels enables regular window functioning in your car.
Accidents can occur when we least anticipate them. Don’t allow poor driving practices disrupt your outing!
Hey guys, this is Nikki Lead Veterinary Technician with Posh Dog knee Braces. This is one of my most common questions asked will my dog need a knee brace forever for a CCL/ACL tear?, and I would like to dive deeper to answer this question, as there is more to the answer than simply No.
First off, the majority of my patients will use the posh dog knee brace for about 9 months, sometimes up to 12 months if they are a larger breed or have a minor meniscal tear. We know that scar tissue is mature by the 9-12 month point, and at the juvenile stage around month 2-3. If someone tells you that your dog will be permanently using the knee brace, they are simply misinformed. There are actually quite a few studies in both humans and animals, proving the timeline of scar tissue formation.
In surgical sites, or areas of soft tissue, scar tissue can form much faster, forming a thickened scar within weeks. This is different from the fibrous tissue that forms in a joint, and gives us regained stability. Let me ask you this, have you ever sprained your ankle or injured a joint?
Did you use a splint or a knee brace to help that joint recover? I know I have. Depending on the joint, and amount of muscle you were able to keep with physical therapy, also plays a key role in the longevity of using the brace. We do not want to keep the brace on forever, however, in some severe arthritis cases, or luxating patella issues, bracing longer term as needed may be necessary.
How do you know when it is time to take your dog out of the knee brace? Time will tell on this one. Most dogs are ready to go, and fully weight bearing by 9-12 months. However, if you were unable to complete the physical therapy recommendations during the recovery times, your dog may need longer in the brace while they acclimate slowly to walking without the brace on.
This needs to be a slow weaning process, so as not to cause a re-injury. Take your dog for a nice leash walk, without the brace. If you dog does great, and has no sign of a limp or gait that is off, then you can continue to leash walk without the brace for a bit longer until you feel comfortable letting your dog resume activites.
Some dogs may need a little longer than 12 months, such as patients with meniscal tears or arthritis, or if there was a re-injury during the healing process. This is still not forever, I would take things month by month until you are successful at walks without the brace on. Our service technicians are happy to answer any questions you may have about this process, and there is really not a wrong answer. If you feel more comfortable having your dog wear the brace longer, and your dog is doing great, that’s ok!
I would suggest our Posh led support group on Facebook, where you can talk with thousands of other clients who have all used the posh brace to recover. This is a great place to learn more about what to expect, and get great advice from both our technicians and previous customers.
To sum everything up, we do need to make sure to use the brace as directed for at least 9 months, but that is usually adequate for the majority of our clients. Please check out our website, poshdogkneebrace.com, for further tips and information that may also be very helpful, you can also reach out to our facebook page as well for information.
Hey guys, Nikki with posh dog knee braces here. So, first of all I can’t stress enough the need to do some form of physical therapy. We send every patient home with a 12 week recovery calendar and exercises, however, we need you to keep those up for the full 9 months. Whether you find a holistic or physical therapy clinic to help you with water treadmill or PT, you need to keep you dog active in some way.
Lack of activity will cause a joint to “lock up” after the scar tissue has formed, meaning there is not going to be the same amount of range of motion there. There also can be loss of muscle. The brace alone is not enough to build muscle, you will need to keep walking your dog, and doing some form of exercise program. This is needed whether you do surgery, Conservative management, or bracing. Doing nothing will result in loss of muscle, loss of range of motion, and most likely arthritis and pain down the road.
We have a lovely list of holistic veterinarians and rehab clinics around the US and in Canada, so reach out if you are struggling to find a clinic. The clinics on our list are partners with posh, and know how to treat our patients, as well as measure and fit the brace if needed. We do have some things we can have you do from home as well, if PT is just not in the budget. I am happy with walks, simple exercises, and passive range of motion.
What is PROM? This is you gently bending and flexing the knee, as well as the hip. I have videos we send to you on how to do this stretching, but this is key to keep flexibility in the joint, and not end up with lack of movement there.
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Dr Yukiko Kuwahara, (also known as Dr. Youkey) received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University. She has a vast 45 years of experience in the pet industry including a Hospital Administrator of a busy 24 Hour Emergency & Referral hospital, President of a pet toy manufacturing firm, operating a humane animal breeding facility providing pets for the pet stores, starting a non-profit charity to help the pets of the homeless, and a radio talk show host of the “The Wild & Wacky World of Pets & Animals” on two syndicated radio stations.
She has also been an On-Set-Vet ensuring that the animals used on movie sets & commercial shoots are not harmed but treated humanely. Currently, she is a mobile laser acupuncturist helping patients in 7 states. She also sells over 33 lasers from 13 companies and distributes many other select veterinary equipment.
She continues to lecture worldwide teaching other vets how to select their lasers and to use them properly. She has authored 4 books and created an app that helps to use their laser to its optimum level. If you catch her at one of her live lectures, she will entertain you & you won’t be bored when you sit in one of her joyous lectures. She enjoys WATCHING others hike while she participates in the more relaxing world of books and movies.
Although fish oil has been shown to have many health benefits for dogs with arthritis, it can also aid your dog’s skin irritation, brain function, and other conditions.
Veterinarians frequently suggest fish oil for canine arthritis. This is due to the fact that this oil is a natural anti-inflammatory that has been shown to relieve sore joints.
When supplementation began, arthritis-ridden dogs “had a considerably increased ability to rise from a resting position and play at six weeks and enhanced ability to walk at 12 and 24 weeks, compared with control dogs.” But that’s the problem. You must allow the fish oil time to function. Clinical progress might not be seen for at least a few months.
This supplement can help with the following in addition to arthritis:
Salmon, sardines, and anchovies, which are cold water fish, are the typical sources of this oil.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid are two of the omega-3 fatty acids that are abundant in fish oils (DHA). The anti-inflammatory effects of EPA and DHA provide advantages for the skin, heart, kidney, brain, and joints.
You can begin taking fish oil supplements at any age, but if your dog is still a puppy or taking medication, talk to your physician first. For an energetic, athletic dog, sooner is preferable to later.
Depending on the ailment being treated, the recommended dosage of combined EPA and DHA (omega-3 fatty acids; see sidebar) ranges from 70 to 310 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of body weight, or 1 mg per 2.2 pounds of your dog’s body weight. The National Research Council (NRC) states that 370 mg/kg is the maximum safe level.
Introduce your dog to fish oil gradually to ensure that it is tolerated because some dogs can be sensitive to them, particularly if they have a history of pancreatic or gastrointestinal problems. Dogs who consume too much may get vomiting, pancreatitis, and greasy diarrhea.
Make sure to include the fat content of fish oil in your dog’s calorie budget if your dog is overweight. The veterinarian of your dog should be consulted if you are unclear of the recommended dosage for your dog.
What Benefits Does Fish Oil Provide Dogs?
The quality of supplements like fish oil is not regulated by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To ensure that you are giving your dog is safe and devoid of toxins like heavy metals or polychlorinated biphenyls, please make sure you buy it from a reliable supplier (PCBs).
We advise selecting a fish oil dietary supplement that bears the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) seal. The NASC is an independent organization that makes certain that its member businesses follow the high requirements for ingredient quality and advertising techniques.
If you would like to know more about supplements for your dogs ormore information on our Posh Dog Knee Brace, you can contact us via our form, click here, if you would like to check out our Facebook Community click here.
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Our Custom Dog Knee Brace Is Much More Effective Than A Ready To Wear, Or A Soft Dog CCL Brace. The No-Casting Posh Dog Knee Brace: We Made The Cast, An “Ordeal” Of The Past.
Any number of ailments might result in a dog’s hind-legs losing strength. The following hints will help your veterinarian identify the problem’s root cause.
Regardless of the source, a dog’s weakness normally manifests itself first in the hind limbs. This seems obvious given how much work the dog’s hind-legs perform. They are in charge of pushing the body upward from a seated or lying position as well as driving the body forward when moving. You will be made aware of a weakness-related issue if you experience difficulty with these routine daily tasks.
What does a weak set of back legs on your dog look like? Hind-limb weakness is indicated by a variety of behaviors, including slow rising, sinking on the back limbs, dragging the tops of the toes, swaying of the hind end, occasionally crossing of the limbs, intolerance to physical exertion, slipping, sliding, and collapse of the hind end. The ability to stand on its hind-legs may also suddenly disappear in your dog.
If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, you should pay attention to a few details that can aid your vet in identifying the problem:
Some problems are more likely than others depending on your dog’s age and size. This is applied to the diagnostic procedure as well.
The four primary categories of causes of hind-leg weakness are orthopedic, neurologic, metabolic, and cardiac.
Chronic joint inflammation/pain is the primary orthopedic cause of canine hind-leg paralysis (osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease). Although arthritis is obviously painful, it is frequently accompanied by compensatory pains, which are muscle aches and pains. The dog finds it difficult to stand up and move as a result. He might become more sedentary as a result, which would worsen the condition by causing him to lose muscle mass and fitness.
Due to the wear and tear on the joints over time, arthritis most frequently affects older dogs; overweight dogs endure an additional burden because of the increased tension those extra pounds place on the joints. Hip arthritis may appear in puppies of dogs with hip dysplasia, which results in improperly shaped hip joints. These arthritic disorders typically present with a delayed, sneaky onset of hind-leg weakening. It won’t appear to have occurred overnight.
Immune-mediated arthritis and Lyme arthritis are two acute types of arthritis that can cause a dog’s hind end to suddenly weaken. In addition to fractures and intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), overweight dogs frequently suffer from bilateral anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, which are additional orthopedic reasons of hind-leg paralysis. Your veterinarian will be able to identify these diseases and recommend the proper treatment with the use of blood tests and x-rays.
IVDD: When an unhealthy disc (or discs) puts strain on the spinal cord and causes neurologic weakness, IVDD transitions from an orthopedic problem to a neurologic one. The majority of these instances are treatable medically, but surgery is necessary if paralysis develops or medical treatment is ineffective.
Spinal tumors: Similar symptoms are brought on by neurologic disorders such as spinal tumors. For a diagnosis, sophisticated imaging techniques like computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as well as occasionally cerebrospinal fluid examination, are needed.
Diskospondylitis: An infection of the intervertebral disc and the ends of the surrounding vertebrae is known as diskospondylitis. It can be challenging to diagnose, produces hind-limb paralysis regularly, and is excruciatingly painful. Long-term antibiotic use is the course of treatment (six to 12 months). Your dog may need more x-rays and/or more sophisticated testing, such as CT or MRI, to make a certain diagnosis because this ailment can be challenging to diagnose in its early stages. These canines can fully recover if they are diagnosed and treated appropriately.
Lumbosacral stenosis: Cauda equina syndrome, or lumbrosacral stenosis, is a degenerative disorder that affects only the lumbosacral joint and is related to IVDD. This joint joins the last vertebra to the pelvic region. It differs from the other intervertebral joints in that the spinal cord sends all of the peripheral nerves that travel to the hind end to this joint. In addition to being extremely painful, this type of disease typically results in neurologic impairments and weak hind limbs.
Degenerative myelopathy: Weakness in the hind-legs is a symptom of degenerative myelopathy (DM), a slow but progressive deterioration of the spinal cord. Although it affects various breeds, the German Shepherd Dog serves as the disease’s mascot. Typically, older and middle-aged canines are affected. There is just supportive care available as a treatment for DM right now.
Myasthenia gravis: An autoimmune neuromuscular condition called myasthenia gravis (MG) causes muscle weakness that worsens with exertion. It may begin with weakness in the back limbs but quickly progresses to total body weakness and collapse.
Here’s a situation that is typical of Myasthenia gravis: Your dog wakes up after a nap and acts normally. As soon as you start walking, he begins to sink, slip, and stumble until he is unable to stand or walk. He can resume short-term function after a period of rest that enables the replacement of damaged neuromuscular transmitters. A blood test is required for diagnosis. Long-term therapy is required (six months or longer). Some canines will have remission and resume their regular lives. Others will require care and support throughout their lives.
Exercise-induced collapse: Labrador Retrievers and a few other breeds are susceptible to the genetic illness known as exercise-induced collapse (EIC). It usually manifests itself between the ages of 6 months and 2 years. It takes place following several minutes of intense exercise. The dog quickly starts to weaken and lose coordination in his hind limbs, eventually collapsing. For this, there is no cure. Avoiding vigorous exercise is one method of prevention. It is crucial that you get your puppy from a breeder who has tested the parents for this gene for the aforementioned reasons. Have your adoptive dog’s EIC gene checked if he exhibits these symptoms.
Idiopathic vestibular syndrome: In elderly dogs, idiopathic vestibular dysfunction is a frequent cause of weakness in the rear limbs and lack of coordination. It appears abruptly and may give you the impression that your dog is having a stroke. This disorder’s origin is uncertain. It typically comes with a head tilt and balance problems. With supportive care, the majority of dogs will recover in time.
Numerous illnesses transmitted by ticks can result in generalized neuromuscular weakness, which may first show in the rear limbs. If you notice ticks on your dog, let your vet know.
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), anemia (few red blood cells), and hypokalemia (low potassium) are a few examples of metabolic conditions that might weaken the hind-legs. Blood testing can quickly diagnose this. For these problems to be solved, identifying their underlying causes, which necessitates more diagnostic testing, is crucial.
Weakness can result from endocrine conditions such as insufficient thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) and underactive adrenal glands (Addison’s disease). Blood tests are used to diagnose both conditions, and there is no cure.
Hepatic encephalopathy, a metabolic disorder that causes sporadic weakness and confusion and is most noticeable after eating, can be brought on by certain liver disorders.
All of the body’s tissues must receive sufficient blood flow and oxygen, which depends on healthy heart function. Weakness happens when heart function is compromised, regardless of the underlying cause. Again, for the reasons already mentioned, weakness in dogs typically manifests itself in the hind-legs first.
Heart illnesses that affect dogs include heartworm disease, congestive heart failure, heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy), cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac or pericardial tumors, and fluid in the sac surrounding the heart (pericardial effusion).
Your veterinarian will discover a cardiac explanation for the hind-leg weakness you’ve noticed during your dog’s physical examination, and treatment and diagnosis will proceed from there.
As you can see, there are many different possible reasons why dogs’ hind limbs get weak. Because of this, it’s crucial to have your dog inspected if you notice this problem; never just brush it off as a “old dog” problem. Many of the underlying causes can be ruled out by your veterinarian, who can then hopefully provide a conclusive diagnosis. Even if your dog is quite old, diagnosing and treating some of these disorders can completely transform his life!
There is no cure for some chronic illnesses, such as osteoarthritis. However, there is a lot you can do to enhance and preserve your dog’s quality of life for a very, very long period. Your sensitive loving care and dedication to supportive measures are the first step.
Support for Mobility Issues Caused by Arthritis
If you are interested in more information about our Posh Dog Knee Brace you can contact us on our form or if you would like to purchase our brace you can click here, you can also join our Facebook Group page to hear how other dog parents help their dog with their pain management and therapies.