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Back leg shaking.

Species: Dog
Breed: Pit Bull terrier
Age: 8-11 years
My aging Pit bull terrier's back leg shakes like he has Parkinson's disease. Back R leg doesn't have much strength. His back end has been bothering him for over a year, probably from him being a high energy dog and not knowing that he's getting old. Shaking leg developed in the last 6 months.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Rudy is having problems with his back leg shaking.

A lot of the time when I have a patient who has a shaking leg, I can't find a cause. However, in a senior dog, a shaking leg is often a sign of some pain somewhere in the leg. The most common area for there to be pain is the stifle (knee), but it could be anywhere.

Ideally it would be good to have your vet examine Rudy and take some xrays of the hind legs if they feel that that is a good plan. You may find that he has arthritis or there could be another cause.

If this is arthritis then there are a number of medicines that can be helpful. The only ones that I have found to be effective are prescription medications that you get from your vet.

There are other possibilities for shaking legs. Hypoadrenocorticism (Addison's disease) can cause legs to shake, but it would be unusual for just one leg to be affected.

If this were my case, and if your budget allowed for it, I would likely be taking some xrays and doing some senior blood testing. If nothing obvious was found, or if I saw signs of arthritis then I would do a trial of a few weeks of a medication such as Previcox, Rimadyl, Daramaxx or Metacam to see if it makes a difference.

I hope that helps, but let me know if you have more questions.

Dr. Marie.


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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.
A friend's vet recommended baby aspirin so I have tried that for a few days and he seems to be doing better. Still has shaking but the leg is stronger.
Thanks again.



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm glad he is feeling better. I'm cautious about using aspirin regularly though as it can be hard on a dog's kidneys and stomach. If there is improvement with aspirin then you would find significant improvement with a prescription strength product. It's definitely a good idea to talk to your vet about this.



Customer reply:

Thanks for the info on the side effects of continued aspirin use. We'll play it by how he feels.
Thanks again.


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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.