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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10920
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My Labrador is 7 yeard old and has gone rapidly down hill

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hi, my Labrador is 7 yeard old and has gone rapidly down hill this week with what appear to be arthritis. he has suffered mildly with arthritis for around 4 months and has been taking a joint supplement arthri aid. I had changed her joint supplement earlier in the week though
Past couple of days she has managed short slow walks around the street. I changed her back to her usual joint supplement a yesterday. today she got out of bed ok but struggled rest of the day and tonight she cant even get on the couch. Not happy at all!
Earlier in the week we noticed her squatting a lot for small wee`s but this stopped after a couple of days. Im starting to wonder if that was a link to the start of all this??
Shes been eating and drinking ok.
do you think I need to take her to emergency vets as its weekend as not many vets open sunday?
thanks Mark
Hello Mark, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry that Roxy is having difficulties. I do have a few additional questions to ask about her if you don't mind:

1. Can you take her temperature?
2. Is she dragging her legs or keeping them turned under when she walks?
3. Is she limping on any one of her legs?
4. Is she still eating and drinking?
5. Is she currently taking any medication? Is so, can you tell what it is?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 2 years ago.


no I cant take her temp - im at work my wife is with Roxy, she has listened to her heart beat and it isn't excessive.

she is not dragging her legs just struggling to move and get up from lying position, doesn't even get up when you walk in the room and normally shes so pleased to see people. cant get in the car or on the couch today had to lift her!

not noticed her limping on one particular leg it just seems to be both back legs giving her pain.

shes been eating and drinking ok

no medication - just arthri aid tablets

thanks in advance


Thanks for the additional information.
That's good that she's still eating and drinking and that she's not dragging her legs.

I don't doubt that her arthritis may be bothering her but her rapid decline makes me question if this is all that might be going on. Her symptoms could be consistent with other possible issues

The possibilities which come to mind include:
1. Tick diseases even if you haven't seen any ticks on her recently. Some tick conditions don't show up for months after a tick has fed.
2. Spinal issues such as compression of her spinal cord by a disc or mass.
3. Fever so it would be good to double check if you can manage to find a thermometer. Normal is between 100 and 102.5.
4. Leptospirosis which is a bacterial infection and can mimic other conditions.
5. I have seen some dogs with urinary tract infections behave in some odd ways but her behavior strikes me as somewhat inconsistent with most of the ones I've seen...unless she's running a fever (which some dogs do).

I'm not absolutely certain if this is an ER type of situation at this point but since she's not taking any medication, you might consider giving her Aspirin at a dose of 10 mg per pound of body weight twice a day, with food to prevent stomach upset.
This drug has not only anti-inflammatory properties which might help if arthritis is her issue but also has anti-pain and anti-fever properties as well which might be of benefit.

My only hesitation about its use would be that it might interfere with what your vet would want to prescribe if she has to be seen; however, several doses should be fine.

I hope this helps and that she's feeling better soon. Deb

Dr. Deb and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I think I can take her temp in the morning when I get home - can I do it with one of the baby thermometers in her ear?

she was doing fine since putting her on arthri aid, running a chasing her ball stll. but this week shes gone right down hill.

I`ll give her some asprin till Monday and take her to the vets then.

ok thanks for your help.

You're more than welcome.

You can use just about any human thermometer to take her temperature except for the one that goes in the ear. The digital kind inserted about 1 inch rectally for about 1 minute would be preferable.

I do love and suggest joint supplements for dogs with arthritis issues but they typically work at preventing progression of the disease; they aren't too helpful if the condition has been exacerbated for whatever reason.

I've seem more dogs with arthritis than I can probably count; when they suffer an acute deterioration, then it makes me suspect that perhaps something else is going on (such as I previously mentioned).

I have seen some dogs respond really, really well to Aspirin so I hope that this is the case with her.

I hope you'll keep me posted since I'd like to know how she does. Even after you've rated, (if you do, of course), we can continue to communicate at no additional charge to you.

Best of luck with her. Deb

I just wanted to thank you for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

I'll look forward to hearing from you tomorrow with an update if you have the time.

Kind regards, Deb

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