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How Can I Help My Dog with Walking, Incontinence, and Possible Spinal Issues?

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Dear VetBabble: Troubles with Walking, Incontinence, and Spinal Issues in Dogs

Question: “I have a 10-year-old dog who has trouble walking on his back legs and recently became incontinent. He has had issues with his liver and kidneys, and the vet thought it might be his spine but hasn’t reached a diagnosis. He has been taking supplements for arthritis and anti-inflammatory medicine. Today, he walked for a bit, then couldn’t stand, although he’s still alert and eating. How can I help my dog with this issue?”

Introduction

It’s always concerning to see your pet struggling with mobility issues, and it’s essential to determine the cause to provide the best possible care. Several possible issues could be causing your dog’s difficulties with walking and incontinence, such as hip dysplasia, spinal issues, or even a neurological problem. This article aims to provide a friendly and informative overview of these potential issues and offer some advice on how you can help your dog.

Hip Dysplasia and Arthritis

Your dog’s inability to walk on his hind legs and his age suggest that he might be suffering from hip dysplasia or arthritis. In both cases, joint inflammation causes pain and mobility issues. As your dog is already on supplements for arthritis and taking anti-inflammatory medicine, it is essential to keep in close contact with your veterinarian to determine if these treatments are working or if further intervention is needed.

Spinal Issues and Neurological Concerns

Since your veterinarian mentioned your dog’s spine, it is crucial to consider the impact of spinal issues on your dog’s mobility and incontinence. An intervertebral disc problem, such as a bulging disc, can compress nerves and cause paralysis while leading to incontinence. In such a situation, your dog needs immediate medical attention to prevent further complications, such as permanent paralysis or pain and subsequent sores from an inability to stand.

When visiting the vet, they often perform a thorough neurological exam and may take X-rays to determine whether your dog’s problems are due to spinal issues or pain from arthritis. Upon reaching a diagnosis, the veterinarian can prescribe appropriate medications to help control pain, reduce inflammation, and relax the muscles.

Incontinence Issues

The incontinence your dog is experiencing can be caused by several factors, such as a consequence of spinal problems or an inability to stand for bathroom breaks. Addressing the underlying issues behind the mobility struggles will thus likely resolve the incontinence as well.

Another potential cause for incontinence in dogs is spay urinary incontinence, a condition that affects some spayed dogs and worsens with age. In this case, the veterinarian may prescribe additional medication to help manage the incontinence.

Practical Advice for Caring for Your Dog

While approaching your veterinarian for a diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan, you can also take some practical steps to help your dog at home. Limit his movements by keeping him in a smaller space to prevent injuries. Make him as comfortable as possible with ample padding and assistance when he needs to move around.

Also, ensure that you monitor his condition closely, keeping track of any changes for better or worse. This information can prove invaluable when working with your veterinarian to determine the most effective treatment plan. Your diligence in caring for your dog during this difficult time demonstrates your concern for his well-being and will ensure he receives the best possible care.

Remember, when dealing with any health issue in your pet, maintaining open communication with your veterinarian and seeking their guidance is crucial. We wish you the best of luck, and thank you for using VetBabble to help care for your dear canine companion.

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