New sudden symptom

1.75K viewsArthritis

Our border collie boy Laddie (aged 13) has hip dysplasia. Pain relief has mainly been Metacam but now withdrawn as he had raised BUN at last health check. Using natural pain relief in the meantime (CBD, Golden paste, Devil’s claw tincture, Yumove Advance).
He has been shaky on his back legs for a while. 4 weeks ago friends stopped by our garden. I nipped indoors to get something and came out to see the male playing football with Laddie. Asked him to stop explaining that Laddie is prone to topple if he corners quickly. He replied that he had seen him fall 3 times whilst playing & struggled to get up. An hour or so later we went a short walk and stopped to talk to another friend in the village, standing for 10 minutes or so. Laddie collapsed on his rear end and was very wobbly until he got back into his stride.
Nothing further until last week when same thing happened again after we had stood talking to someone for around 10 minutes.
He began hydrotherapy this week. The day after he had a wobble and then the following day another collapse on his back end. He did recover again but remains prone to this problem (which appears to have been brought on by the ‘rough’ game of football.

We are terrified that all our efforts to extend our boys life have been spoiled and that he may never recover his strength enough to enjoy his walks (only a few weeks ago he was going up a local hill (small mountain) twice a week with relative ease.
He is booked in for more hydro and K laser in the coming weeks and we are hoping that won’t lead to further deterioration.

We also realise that at his age there may be other factors at play but this does seem to correspond with the game of football that night 4 weeks ago.

Looking for support and advice please.

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Thank you so much Kathryn. The high BUN is concerning and we are using the new nsaid for 3 weeks after which further testing will be done by our vet (her suggestion which we are more than happy with). Thank you for naming other painkillers which I will discuss with the vet when we next meet. She did suggest Paracetamol if I really couldn’t bring myself to use the nsaid she prescribed, but for now we are going with her advice to use the prescribed meds short term and retest. He does appear in less pain already but time will tell.
I have followed CAM for a while now and have made some of the adaptations already. Unfortunately we live in a cottage with steep stairs and our boy has always slept upstairs beside us on his own bed. He won’t settle if separated from us so we are having to carry him up at night. There may come a time when we have to sleep downstairs to be near him unless we find a bungalow to suit before then – yes we would move house for his sake.
We are hoping the therapies will help and that we are able to continue with them after the initial batch of appointments is done.
I really appreciate CAM people taking the time to respond with such reassuring advice. Thank you

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Hi shebbie.

Sorry to hear your boy is struggling.

Using the various complimentary therapies is great especially if there is worry about his kidney function (I would request a new blood test and take in a urine sample in a few weeks, make sure he is starved for the blood test too. Things can change quickly so it’s good to know if that high BUN is clinically relevant or not) but there are other things you can try too – there are a lot of other pain killers that could be tried.. maybe pardale, amantadine, gabapentin.. only you and your vet can really make the decision as you have his full history. Definitely worth discussing though.

Take a look at our home assessment tool too as you might be able to make some changes to the environment to help reduce further traumas –

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Oh I’m sorry you have been here too. What seems so innocent to others can do so much harm. In our case the person isn’t a dog owner and imagined Laddie was having fun (although I would have expected him to stop after the first sideways fall). It has really undone a lot of the progress we have been making and landed our boy back on his nsaid medication (which we had hoped to avoid). He seems more comfortable today but he hates the total contrast with his life only a few weeks ago. We really hope he will make it up his favourite hill again sometime but if not we will keep him occupied with shorter walks. Thankfully we live right next to fields where he can wander off lead and sniff to his heart’s content.
I’m glad to hear Fly is better following her exertion. Your dad must have felt awful once he realised. It helps to know that others have come through this kind of thing so thank you for sharing Fly’s story with us.

I tried doing the exercise with canes in our garden earlier. Our boy was good at following me over them a couple of times but then decided to grab one and run round the garden with it. Collies!!!

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I feel your pain!  My arthritic collie was left with my dad, who knows all the rules about NOT throwing anything for Fly, and yet still he took her out to the park with a ball when he was looking after her!  This was 3 or 4 days after her massage therapy session so all that was undone.  I went to pick her up and she was very unsteady and clearly in a lot of pain after the “just a couple of times” of chasing after the ball.  It wasn’t until after her next massage appointment (around 6 weeks later) that she started to recover from that.

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Carly thank you for your reassurance and advice. He was in the pool for quite a while on his first swim (his assessment swim) so perhaps it was too long for him at this stage. I have messaged the therapist in advance of his visit on Wednesday to let her know how he was.
Sometimes doing what we can, as owners, even with the best will in the world, is not the very best we can do. His football, which he now only carries around the garden (has been his all his life so I want him to keep it)  but I now know to hide it away if we have any visitors. I am kicking myself for allowing that to happen.
He is in good hands with our vet and the hydro centre and we are hoping he responds well. It’s encouraging to have your input – thank you x

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