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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30772
Experience:  Veterinarian, UC Davis graduate, emphasis in Dermatology, Internal Medicine, and Pain Control
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My German Shepherd in ten years old and over the past four/five

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My German Shepherd in ten years old and over the past four/five months he has become very weak in his back-end -his legs keep getting tangled up. He is losing weight and we have noticed in the past few days we keep seeing small splashes of blood stained urine? on the floor. There is not a lot but definitely signs of blood.

He is taking steroid medication for a condition on his nose; the black shiney outersking keeps peeling off -a bit of a mystery really.
Welcome! I would be happy to assist you. I am a 2003 graduate from UC Davis and a Medical Director of a veterinarian practice.

Hello,
Don't forget, I will do everything possible to provide a timely and detailed response, but sometimes it can be difficult to fully answer all questions. You can always select "reply to expert" if you need further clarification or more information, prior to providing a rating.

I am sorry to hear about this concern for Jasper.
A few issues to address.

1. The blood in the urine needs to be addressed immediately. It is strongly suggestive of a possible urinary tract infection or cystitis (bladder wall inflammation). Both of these problems can be quite uncomfortable, and can't rule0out a complication like a polyp or tumor in the bladder.

2. The persistent peeling nose could be a bit age related, but there are autoimmune disorders that can cause problems over the bridge of the nose or on the paws. Treatment is usually higher dose steroids or immunosuppressive topical medications.

3. The weakness is very serious as well. I never like giving this part of the answer, but it is important to discuss.
Certainly, for Jasper's age and breed, we can't ignore like likelihood he has some advanced arthritis.

But, what I am more concerned about is called a degenerative myelopathy, which this breed is most common to have.

http://petsurgery.com/degenerativemyelopathy.html

http://www.iaamb.org/acwt/water-therapy/degenerative-myelopathy.html

http://www.michvet.com/library/neurology_degenerative_myelopathy.asp

Although I can't personally support this following link, it is definitely worth a review:

http://www.degenerative-myelopathy.com/

I wanted to provide as much information I could aby the myelopathy, JUST IN CASE, your vet is concerned that the diagnosis is this condiion and not arthritis.

Definitely, got to get back into the vet for further testing to include a urine test. Your vet may want to start some antibiotics as a precaution.

Veyr sorry to hear Jasper is having some problems. Hope that information has been helpful.
Please remember to select REPLY TO EXPERT if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or need assistance. My goal is to provide the best answer possible prior to you leaving a feedback rating. Please remember a rating before leaving.
Dr. Andy
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