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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10449
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My 13 year old Labrador dog has become very wobbly on his rear

Resolved Question:

My 13 year old Labrador dog has become very wobbly on his rear legs. He stumbles and collapses some times. He is on Metacam medication. Is there anything else that could help him?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb.
I recently came online and see that your question hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response, but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.
I wouldn't be surprised if a Lab this age has arthritis in his hips/joints although it's also possible that some of his balance issues may be related to problems with his spine.
Either one could cause the problems that you're seeing with him.
If a spinal issue, then there may not be much more which can be done for him other than steroids (which wouldn't be the best choice of drug if he has arthritis issues and shouldn't be given concurrently with Metacam).
But if he has arthritis issues, I do have some suggestions.
When it comes to options for arthritis, we primarily have proactive supplements (which are intended to prevent progression of disease) and reactive drugs (which can treat the pain/discomfort and inflammation associated with this condition).
Some patients will benefit from pain medication in addition to nsaids (the Metacam he's taking). Tramadol or Gabapentin are two such drugs which I often dispense for my patients so this may be something to discuss with your vet.
1. I’m a huge fan of joint supplements such as Dasaquin or Cosequin which are veterinary products specifically formulated for dogs. Quality control is a big problem with these products since what’s on the label is not necessarily what’s in the bottle which is why I mentioned specific brands. These are available on the internet.
2. Also, fish oil supplements can be helpful since they have anti-inflammatory properties. Welactin and 3V Derm Caps are good veterinary products and are also available on the internet.
It takes several weeks for these products to build up in the system, so you might not see immediate results. But once started, these supplements should be continued for them to be effective; you wouldn't stop and start them, in other words, like you would drugs...but you may already know this.
3. Another option would be Zeel which is a human combination homeopathic that can be used in conjunction with other NSAID medications and has a very low incidence of adverse effects Dose would be one tablet two to three times a day....I'd go with three times a day for the first 2 weeks, then drop back to twice a day for maintenance.
4. Alternative therapies such as hydrotherapy, laser therapy, massage therapy and even acupuncture have been shown to be very useful for joint and spine problems.
I hope this helps although, again, my apologies for the delayed reply. Deb
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your in depth response. I have noted your suggestions and will try some of them. He has been a dear friend and companion to us for many years and I want to do the very best for him.Thank you again.
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.
You're more than welcome although I'm sorry I was off my computer when you responded back.I can appreciate the love and devotion you have for him and your desire to improve his quality of life as he ages. Best of luck in your pursuit of that goal:) Regards, Deb
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