My dog is having trouble standing up

Question:
Yesterday morning, my dog got up to go out for a pee, and I noticed he was limping on his front leg. He seemed to be a little slower throughout the day, but still was eating and drinking. By evening, he was having trouble getting both back legs off the ground. This morning he is the same. The longer he stays down, the harder it is for him to get up. He is a 5 year old 90lb indoor Malamute/Black lab cross and is usually very active. The vets are closed here until tomorrow, but I wondered if anyone has ever seen this kind of thing before. (He is never outside without one of us).
Answer:
Can you see any swelling? Will he let you handle the leg? Is he biting at the leg (which would be a sign of pain)? Also try massaging his hips. Is his nose warm?

Are there no emergency vets around that you could phone? They might be able to give some suggestion to hold you over until the regular vet opens in the morning.
Answer:
Oh gosh, could be a number of things....slipped disc, pinched nerve, spondylosis, spider bite, degenerative myelopathy, a tumor....could be something easily fixable, or not.
Aspirin reduces swelling and pain, but call a vet to double check. It's generally totally safe for dogs.
I had a dog who had spondylosis (sort of spinal arthritis) and came home one day to find he could barely get up. Scared me! I took him straight to my vet, who did a quick x-ray...he gave the dog a prednisone shot in his lower back, and the dog was perfectly fine therafter. Seems some inflammation was pinching a nerve.
But these things are just impossible to diagnose without a veterinarian examining your dog hands-on. If you find any swelling you could try an ice pack, or bag of frozen peas.
Bottom line, you should get him to a vet as soon as you can. Hope it's nothing serious! Please post back & let us know how he is doing.
Answer:
Thanks for the advice. We are taking him to the vet today. This morning it took him 10 minutes to get up, and he is really limping now. Will keep you posted.
Adrienne
Answer:
Turns out the vet doesn't know what's wrong. They are keeping him in for observation. His joints are all swollen and he is running a fever of 104 degrees which only came down one degree overnight with medication. They suggested maybe Lupus - we will see.
Adrienne
Answer:
Keep us posted on what happens to your dog. I hope he feels better soon
Answer:
O.K. The vet said the blood work and urine sample showed nothing unusual, so he took samples from three of his ankles which he sent away for analysis. As far as the Dr. could tell, he thinks it is arthritis, but it came on so fast that he is uncertain. He went from a very active healthy dog last week to a dog that limps and has a hard time getting up, like he went from 5 years old to 15 years old overnight. The Dr. said if it is arthritis, we are looking at him being this way permanently. All we can do is meds to lower the pain and inflamation. :( My poor Dog!! We are still waiting for further results from the fluid off his joints.
Adrienne
Answer:
Have they done an x-ray or even an ultrasound?

Arthritis actually starts gradually.My previous GSD had it for the last 5 years of his life.He actually had Rhumatoid(sp) Arthritis,which actually is the worse kind.He was still his bubbly self.He was slow at getting up,couldn't get up the stairs.And carrying a 100lb dog was a chore.He was a bit slower with his walking,but not much.He lost most of his muscle in his back leg.He never had a fever either.

Tron,my GSD has a bit of arthritis.So this is what's getting me to think it may not be arthritis.

I hope your furbaby will be ok.
Answer:
It came on suddenly...he trembles and stays in bed all day (today is his 3rd)...he is a 7 yr old Jack Russell...the longer he is in bed, the harder it is for him to get up. His back legs are very weak...he is eating and drinkng, urinating and pooping.
We pulled a twig out of his butt a couple days ago...maybe it injured his intestines on the way through?? Showing signs of improvement...but very slow. I hesitate to have him tested and prodded...also can not afford it. Any suggestions??
Answer:
Based on my experience with arthritic dogs...I agree with Mona, this sure doesn't sound typical. And I would think xrays of the affected joints would be a good diagnostic.
A spider bite? Some neurotoxins would cause this sort of reaction.
Not a blockage or intestinal problem, his symptoms are not consistent with that...but I am wondering about poisoning, bites, like that. Especially in light of the twig.
Here's what I would do if he were my dog...I would get another opinion. Ask your vet. If vet A can't figure something out right away, find a vet B. Sometimes a vet just misses something, or another vet might have seen a similar case that gives him/her an idea. Your own vet shouldn't be offended if you ask who to go to for a second opinion.
Do you have a veterinary teaching hospital you could get to? Vet hospitals are usually top-notch for diagnostics, and not expensive. I understand finances being a concern, but if he doesn't keep improving, it would be worth looking into.
How is he doing this morning?

Oh...wait, I just noticed two different posters, different dogs! How are they both doing?
Answer:
joneen,can you post yours in a new thread please.It just gets so confusing when someone posts and we are trying to answer the first persons post..
Answer:
Dr. phoned yesterday and is now looking at e-coli poisoning. (I guess from sneeking sips out of the toiled --I have kids, so it is not always flushed, but he is not a poop-eater). Anyway, he is better after his morning medicine, but by evening is still the same. The Dr. said it will wear off, but still wants to give him Prednezone (spelling?) to ease the inflamation in his joints. This diagnosis makes the most sense out of all so far.
Answer:
Originally Posted by adrienne
Dr. phoned yesterday and is now looking at e-coli poisoning. (I guess from sneeking sips out of the toiled --I have kids, so it is not always flushed, but he is not a poop-eater). Anyway, he is better after his morning medicine, but by evening is still the same. The Dr. said it will wear off, but still wants to give him Prednezone (spelling?) to ease the inflamation in his joints. This diagnosis makes the most sense out of all so far.

My dog has had e coli urinary infections, she is now clear. E coli can live in the intestinal tract normally....and in the ground and water supply. Suppressed immune systems in a pet or human, or direct infection can cause an infection of e coli but I can't buy the toilet water hole as an excuse. And prednisone for swollen joints? Prescribing Prednisone for swollen joints will mean long term use of the steroid. Not good.

Anybody and everybody..correct me if I'm wrong here, I just jumped in on this thread...maybe another vet and other options?
Answer:
I don't know a whole lot about coli, except that there are a number of different strains of it, and it can be very resistant to antibiotics...it's everywhere, and I've had dogs that eat wild animal and farm poop and drink out of the toilet daily, so maybe it's just a luck of the draw thing? Did the vet identify which strain of e coli, or is he just saying this is the best guess?

Prednisone is awesome for reducing swelling, and short term use probably will give the fastest relief from pain for the dog. I know a little about prednisone...my ex husband was on it all the time for rheumatoid arthritis. It may make your dog very hungry and irritable, these are common side effects. I also know that since it acts systemically (on the entire body & organs) it can be dangerous to stop taking it suddenly, you need to taper it off.

Steroids have nasty side effects, including death - but so does aspirin! Just use as low a dose, and for as short a time as necessary. Just curious, what's the vet prescribing for treating the e coli?
A second opinion is always a good idea if there's any doubt.
Answer:
E coli lives in our enviroment, it's a given. Long term use of steroids can weaken an immune system to the point of not being able to fight off the infection from e coli or other organisms. Predisone is a wonderful drug for many reasons, bowel inflamation is one, but on a short term use only.

Something is iffy on this poster's vets diagnosis....maybe a different vet should be checked into?

Maybe I'm just shell shocked from what I went through before with Ciara, steroids and all...but it is a live and learn situation.

Looking forward to any ideas too.
Answer:
Yeah, long term steroid use should only be a last resort...it can cause diabetes, affect the entire adrenal system, damage heart and kidneys, suppress immune system, all sorts of nasty side effects! But for >2 weeks or so, it's pretty effective.
I haven't a clue what the standard care for systemic bacterial infection is; I know they can be really nasty to deal with.
Answer:
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