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Hind leg/hip/neck weakness in dog
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Hind leg/hip/neck weakness in dog

My dog saw a holistic vet in January for a severe ear infection, before then he was able to walk  (40 min.) twice a day.  He took a whole course of Baytril right before his blood test was taken and a month ago he got some antibiotic eardrop efloxacin.  The vet suspected that he might have arthritis and Cushings because he was urinating more often in the evenings, had a ravenous appetite and his blood test indicated high potassium level.  She said he had yin deficiency, so she prescribed Rehmannia 6, he took that (3 teapills twice a day) and Cushex for 2 months, since then, he is back to normal except that he has to pee right when I'm preparing his dinner (probably from excitement).

He is missing his left rear leg and the right leg/hip/neck are weak.  He no longer holds up his tail, has trouble picking up his ball.  His balance is fine now but he can’t go up/down the stairs and walks only 20 min. AM and 10 min. PM. The vet wanted to prescribe Rimadyl, since I can’t afford acupuncture presently (I'm unemployed).  I refused the Rimadyl and asked for alternatives until I’m employed, but she hasn’t responded to my request.  He took Ascriptin (325 mg.) twice a day then I tried Tramadol, so I'm not sure whether he had any pain; he doesn't show any reaction when I feel down his spine or his right leg and I've also massaged him and he doesn't react in pain during that time.

He eats home cooked meals (potatoes/sweet potatoes/some veggies and bone meal), Acetylator for his sensitive stomach, he got severe diarrhea from taking Synflex.  He is also taking vitamins B/C, MSM, Forsythia 18 (for his ears), EPA/DHA cap daily and fish oil.

I am hoping that Dr. Cheng has some suggestions.  He is very thin, dislikes heat, has a weak digestive system, cataracts in both eyes.  I’d like him to gain weight but too much food causes diarrhea.

I considered Liquidambar 15 but I read something about Sin Miao for his possible arthritis. Would glucosamine help him?  I appreciate any input.

Type of Animal
Age of Animal
Sex of Animal
Breed of Animal
Border Collie
Last date your pet was examined by a vet?
January 19, 2010
Blood Test Results
Amylase: high (943); Lipase: high (740); Platelet count: high (674); Total protein: high (7.5)
Alkaline Phosphatase: high (137); Potassium: high(6.0);
Urinalysis: low specific gravity (1.007);Glucose: low (60); Na/K Ratio: low (23)
T4: normal (2.0)
X-Ray Results
No x-rays
Other pertinent test results
Recently urinalysis showed low specific gravity: 1.010
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234713 tn?1283530259
Hello there,

The protocol that your dog is currently on is excellent,  so please continue.

Glucosamine would be an excellent addition to the protocol. Due to your dog's digestive issues it may be best to use an injectable version such as: Adequan.  Adequan is available be prescription by your vet.  It can be given at home by injection with instruction by your vet.  Giving an injection is not difficult, for instance ; millions of pet owner give injections to their diabetic pets twice daily.  Adequan is given only once weekly for a month to six weeks,  than at lesser intervals, so it is much easier than having to give insulin.   Adequan is more expensive than oral glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, however.  To save some expense you could try giving your dog an oral version and if digestive issues result switch to Adequan.  Your dog's dose would be 750mg of glucosamine twice daily.

Si Miao San would also be a good addition.  It is a cooling and damp draining formula that can help with digestion and hind limb weakness.  It is a common Chinese herbal formula and is available from a variety of online sources.  Begin with 1/2 of a human adult dose twice to three times daily.  If there are no side effects it can be increased to 3/4 to a full human dose.

Other Chinese herbal formula's for degenerative joint disease with stiffness that may help are: Di Gu Pi San, and Shen Tong Zhu Yu Tang.  This combination works synergistically, so they should help more if used together.  They are available online from a variety of sources and should be given at approximately 1/2 of an adult human dose twice daily.

If spinal issues and weakness in the hind limb are also causing problems a good Chinese herbal formula is Bu Qi Zi Yin Tang.  This formula is also available online and the dose would be 1/2 human adult dose twice daily.

I would only introduce one formula at a time to minimize gastrointestinal side effects.

If the digestive issues preclude your dog from taking one or more of the herbal formula's than it would be best to include another stomach calming herbal formula such as Stomach Happy available by prescription from Dr. Xie's Jing Tang Herbal Company.

Please post again with any questions or comments and I would love to hear a progress report when you have time.  

Please also note that there are literally thousand of herbal formula's and,  if the above listed herbal formula's are ineffective there are others to try.
Avatar n tn
Dr. Cheng, I am so relieved to hear back from you, it breaks my heart to see my dog struggling everyday; he's a rescue and has been through a lot especially since he was found abandoned right after his amputation.

I was wondering whether he needed the glucosamine/chondroitin combination because he had no digestive issues when he took Myristin -- which is a CMO(cetyl myristoleate) +glucosamine -- but the only thing is that the glucosamine dosage is much lower, the loading amount only provides 600 mg a day.  Can I perhaps supplement it with additional glucosamine (no chondroitin)?  Maybe the chondroitin is upsetting his stomach.  

I've ordered Si Maio San to start with and will slowly introduce the other recommended Chinese medicines above one by one. Can he continue to take Forsythia 18 indefinitely? It seems to be normalizing his inner ear equilibrium and balance but he's only taking half the recommended dosage.

I'm not sure whether his spine is affected, the only sign is that he can't easily pick up his ball when standing.  Should he have x-rays taken, or can I wait and let him heal with Chinese herbs for now?

Many thanks!
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