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Rottweiler can't stand.

Species: Dog
Breed: ROTT
Age: 11-15 years
Hello,

We have a 13 year old Rott who was diagnosed with arthritis of the spine. For the last 2 years we have given him about 2000mg of glucosemine/condroitin and, occassionally, an aspirin. Tonight, he can't seem stand, or rise on his own, on his back legs. The left one is the weaker one. We can stand him up, but, his back legs just weaken and then he's down. When I pick up his lower body, to help him up, he yelps sometimes. And, tonight, for the first time in 13 years, he growled and barked at me. He then licked my hand as if to say he was sorry. I'm assuming the pain is so great, he doesn't want me to touch him. I have read that mobic is good for pain as well as vicodin, demerol and dilaudid. So, which one will work the best or what would you recommend? And, what dosage? I am torn about having him euthanized as I just had to do that to my other dog on Monday, who was 12. I know it is selfish on my part, but, I want to do all I can to prolong his life.....without pain and suffering. His mind is sharp and as of yesterday, he still wanted me to throw his toy and he catch it in his mouth.
Please, I'm open to suggestions. I'm just so weary and don't know what to do. Thank you so much for your time.
Sincerely,
Lynda


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm so sorry to hear that Diesel is having these problems. I have seen a number of Rotties who have serious mobility problems as they get older. 13 is very old for a rottweiler!

It does indeed sound like Diesel is in a lot of pain. Unfortunately you are unlikely to get good pain relief with an over the counter pain medication. The occasional aspirin can help with minor pain but if he is having trouble standing then he needs something stronger. Also, aspirin can cause stomach or kidney problems in some dogs.

If Diesel was my patient I would likely be prescribing an anti-inflammatory medication such as Metacam, Rimadyl or Previcox and potentially adding a medication called Tramadol to help with pain.

Are you able to have your vet take a look at him? Your vet can help you to decide whether he is likely to respond to pain medication or if we are nearing the time to make a hard decision. I'm so sorry that you have just gone through this with your other dog. I often will see families that lose two pets in a short time and this is very difficult. In my own family we are likely going to have to put to sleep two of our elderly cats in the next couple of months.

I wish I could give you more specific advise on what you can do at home to help your poor boy, but unfortunately it sounds like he really needs to see the vet. Legally, I can't give dosing information or prescribe meds online, but even if I could, none of the ones you mentioned are ones that we commonly use in dogs. Stay away from the mobicox for sure as this is often very hard on a dog's kidneys.

When you do see your vet, they will be able to do some neurological tests to determine if there is damage to the spinal cord. If so, this can cause quite severe pain. Sometimes animals with spinal pain can be helped with steroids, but if it is really severe then it may be time to consider euthanasia.

I'm so sorry for the bad news.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you so much for your quick response. I'm sure we will have to take him to the vet for meds. It's just so hard on him having to get into a vehicle, and, he weighs about 140 lbs. Thank you again and I'll keep you posted on his prognosis.

Many, many thanks,
Lynda


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.