Lameness in the hind legs is not an uncommon problem in older, large breed dogs. Males of some breeds tend to get “front-heavy” as they age while the muscles in the rear atrophy. Many of us with big, old dogs around the house understand the challenges and heartbreak involved with seeing a once vibrant dog struggling to make the stairs or even get up off the floor. Likewise, many of us are thankful for the variety of veterinary treatments available to ease the pain of old age in our dogs and help them to live as comfortably as possible with a good quality of life.
The causes for rear lameness can include such factors as obesity, hip dysplasia and arthritis. Depending on the diagnosis, restricted diet, joint supplements and/or pain relievers may be recommended by the vet. Of course there could be other causes and treatments as well which is why a veterinary exam is needed.
Knowing first hand how much love senior dogs have to give, even if they require some extra care, it makes me sad to see the dog in these photos surrendered and taken away by MAS apparently without having a veterinary exam to determine if his lameness is treatable. Could something as simple as diet, pain meds and TLC have helped this dog regain his mobility? Was he otherwise medically hopeless and suffering? I don’t know and I guess none of us ever will.