Dear VetBabble, What Can Cause Mobility Issues in an Older Dog That Was Previously Injured?
I have a 7-year-old Jack Russel mix, and about four years ago, she was hit by a car. Recently, her two back legs seem to be giving her problems. It could be related to the car accident, but I’m not sure. Did she have any injuries or fractures from it? If so, could it be becoming arthritic or something completely different? Can I rule out Lyme disease without an examination? What should I do to help my dog with this issue?
Understanding the Roots of Mobility Problems
It’s always concerning when our furry friends start experiencing mobility issues, especially when it could be related to a past injury. In your Jack Russel’s case, it’s possible that lingering effects from the car accident could be contributing to her current difficulties. However, there could also be other factors at play. To help your dog, it’s essential to understand the potential issues she may be facing and consult with your veterinarian for a thorough examination and treatment plan.
Arthritis in Dogs and Cats
Arthritis is a common cause of pain and mobility problems in both dogs and cats. If your Jack Russel mix had injuries or fractures from the car accident, arthritis could be developing in those joints. As the joint cartilage degrades over time, it can cause pain and inflammation, leading to difficulties in walking or even standing.
There are many causes of arthritis, including age, previous injuries or fractures, obesity, and even certain breeds being predisposed to the condition. You’ll need to consult your veterinarian to determine if arthritis is the cause of your dog’s mobility issues. They can diagnose and recommend suitable treatments to manage the condition and alleviate your dog’s pain.
Hip Dysplasia and Other Joint Issues
Beyond arthritis, other joint issues like hip dysplasia could also be contributing factors to your dog’s mobility problems. Hip dysplasia, a genetic condition where the hip joint fails to develop correctly, is more common in certain breeds but can affect any dog. Symptoms may include stiffness, lameness, or reluctance to exercise.
If your dog’s mobility issues are focused on her back legs, it’s worth considering hip dysplasia and other joint issues as potential causes. Consult with your veterinarian, who can diagnose the issue and recommend appropriate management, including weight management, medication, and lifestyle modifications.
Lyme Disease and Other Underlying Illnesses
Though the car accident may be a contributing factor, it’s crucial not to rule out other potential causes – such as Lyme disease. This bacterial infection transmitted by ticks can cause mobility problems, stiffness, and pain in dogs. It’s essential to have your veterinarian conduct an examination and diagnostic tests to diagnose Lyme disease definitively or rule it out as a factor.
Considering any underlying illnesses or conditions is crucial in identifying the root of your dog’s mobility issues. Once the true cause is determined, your veterinarian can recommend the best course of action, including treatments, medications, and holistic approaches to manage pain and improve her quality of life.
Next Steps: Choose Evaluation and Treatment
The right course of action involves a thorough examination by your veterinarian, who can assess your dog’s mobility and conditioning and offer diagnoses and treatments. From arthritis in dogs and cats to potential hip dysplasia and other joint concerns or underlying infections like Lyme disease, an accurate diagnosis is key to developing the best treatment plan for your pet.
Helping your animal cope with mobility issues starts with understanding the cause and addressing it with veterinary care. While it could be related to your dog’s past accident, it’s essential to explore all possibilities to provide her the best support possible and ensure she continues to live a happy, pain-free life.