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My poor dog, what do we do next?

(34 Posts)
Pokeroot Thu 27-Jun-13 15:06:55

I have a 4 1/2 year old male neutered border collie, who has mobility issues. The exact cause is still unknown but one vet thinks it is likely to be caused by an old injury of some sort near his left hip. Due to compensating for his weak/painful back left leg he has damaged his spine causing occasional urinary incontinence (last time was an hour ago) and has put extra pressure on his other joints, he randomly limps on any or all of his legs.

He has daily physiotherapy which has meant he can now sit and up until last month stopped most of the limping and the incontinence. Now his limping is getting worse and he is showing signs of been in pain though this is hard to tell.

Every vet we have spoken to has no clue, his x-rays are fine and all his joints move normally and fully without him reacting in pain.

We are going to take him to the vets again but I don't know what to do next. My dog is allergic to NSAIDs so the only painkiller we know he can take is tramadol but the vet wont prescribe it long term and offers no other solution. My dog will not allow the vet to touch him because the vet hurt him badly once.

So what would you do? My poor dog has no life, is in pain and wets himself which he hates. What can I do to make it better?

MedicalWriter Fri 28-Jun-13 14:20:13

I think it's difficult to balance the needs of the owner (not wanting to lose a beloved dog) and the needs of the dog. All the dog knows is that it is in pain.

By all means try a specialist, but I would not let the situation drag on, I believe earlier you said the dog had been in pain for a year. That is too long surely?

Pokeroot Fri 28-Jun-13 14:46:08

MedicalWriter I don't think he has been in pain for a year, I meant that it has been a year since the vet stopped giving him tramadol. The physio and joint supplements have made a dramatic improvement in his quality of life. I had hoped that he would continue to get better but in the last month he has very slowly gotten worse.

Although it will break my heart the moment my dog stops enjoying life he will be pts, until then I will do everything I possibly can to keep him happy and pain free.

Booboostoo Fri 28-Jun-13 16:51:40

Remain hopeful Poketroot, there are so many things a specialist can do for you. At the very least I would expect them to manage the dog's pain, but it may be that they even have a complete solution for you, e.g. if the cause of the problem is a slipped disc an operation has a good outcome.

Local vets are usually committed, caring professionals but with all the good will in the world they cannot know all the details of specialist problems in all the animals they see. To give you one small example, our local vet diagnosed my bitch with an inoperable lung tumour and recommended PTS there and then. Luckily we asked for a second opinion because Liverpool found the bitch had an enlarged heart not a tumour and while she did have heart problems and was on medication she lived another 6.5 years from that diagnosis - a full, pain free life. So there is hope!

Let us know how you get on!

Pokeroot Fri 28-Jun-13 17:17:56

Thanks Boo. I kind of wish I hadn't started this thread as it's made me so sad.

I'll see the vet next week to argue about pain relief and a referral to liverpool. I miss the days when I could take my dog to the park everyday and I hope I can get them back. I really really hope his allergies don't effect treatment options too much.

Booboostoo Fri 28-Jun-13 17:28:59

Good luck!

If your local vet is still being odd, why not call Liverpool directly and see if they won't see you anyway? Or try another local vet, most of them are much more accommodating about referring.

Pokeroot Fri 28-Jun-13 17:45:42


My local vet will refer us. He mostly does whatever I say as long as I appear to know what I am talking about.

bellasuewow Sat 29-Jun-13 13:59:49

Sure am MRI will show the problem and could well be a disc would explain the pain and incontinence as well. Vets will try to get you to have as much treatment as possible they are not the NHS so please make the decision for your dog and press for pts if you feel he will always be in pain.

Pokeroot Thu 11-Jul-13 09:05:47

An Update. We have an appointment with an orthopaedic vet in just over a week and some painkillers that my dog thinks are wonderful. He is playing again, ragging his blanket whenever we eat to ensure maximum dog hair consumption, and stealing shoes hmm grin

The vet thinks my dog has signs of polyarthritis as he has some swollen joints but doesn't know if that's a result of walking badly for years or the cause. After some prompting the vet also said that an autoimmune disease could be the cause of all my dogs many problems. I'll try to remember to give an update when we know more.
Thank you for all your help.

Booboostoo Thu 11-Jul-13 15:41:20

I am so glad that you are getting some answers and more importantly that your dog is getting appropriate pain relief! I hope there is a lot the specialist vet can do for him and he can have a long and happy life.

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