hind leg weakness
My cat (20 years old) has been having problems with her right hind leg for a while (arthritis). Suddenly, a couple of days ago, she couldn't stand up or walk. Both of her hind legs were too weak to support her. My usual vet says arthitis has encased her spinal cord. I want to try acupuncture before I even consider the FINAL SOLUTION. I cry when she tries to tell me what she wants. I always carry her to the litter box first, then try to give her water, then try food. Her appetite is good - she is very alert- but I don't know how long we can go on with a 24/7 watch on her.
I guess, I don't know what I am asking except for others who have gone thru this. I cannot bring myself to to make that final decision.
Reply To: jmwinner
What a tough situation. I am sorry to hear about what you two are going through. Here are a few opitons that you may want to consider:
Therapeutic massage can help detect, alleviate, and prevent conditions that can keep your pet from enjoying the freedom of movement they're supposed to have. It can help restore and improve range of motion, agility and comfort, increasing quality of life. It can help your pet live and age well, and move through their life with the ease and joy they deserve.
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate supplements, and omega fatty acids supplements, not only can support joint health but also can help repair damaged joint tissues. You should speak with your veterinarian about using these supplements if your dog has arthritis. Normally, for affected dogs, these are given daily for life. It can take several weeks for the results of these supplements to be seen. Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and omega fatty acid supplements are very easy on a dog’s stomach, and they cause little to no side effects. These supplements currently are not regulated, so pet owners should consult with their veterinarian about which, if any, of these supplements are appropriate for their dog.
Weight management is also an important component of non-surgical treatment for arthritis in dogs. Overweight dogs suffer more consequences of arthritis than do more fit dogs. Maintaining a dog at its ideal weight will help to reduce the severity of signs of arthritis, and can slow the progression of the disease.
Acupuncture has been used for many years to relive the symptoms of arthritis in dogs, but it has only recently become accessible in the United States. Many veterinarians now offer, or can recommend, acupuncture therapies. The number of treatments needed depend upon the severity of the underlying disease. Mild cases can be treated with bi-weekly or weekly therapy, whereas severe cases may require treatments every two to three days.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are available in liquid or tasty tablet forms for our companion animals. Dogs with extremely severe arthritis may be helped by a daily dosage of NSAIDs, although these drugs can have side effects which include vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in appetite. Dogs that are on continual NSAID therapy should have their kidneys and liver levels monitored at least once a year, and preferably more frequently.
Steroid therapies also are used to manage arthritis in dogs. These include oral and injectable medications that can reduce the swelling and inflammation caused by arthritis. These drugs are usually only used as a last resort, because they can cause severe side effects and can contribute to diabetes, liver failure and kidney failure.
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