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Ask the Veterinarian/hip problems in golden retriver....


QUESTION: hi!! i have a 12 yer old golden who is suffering from some type of hip problem...the vet expalined to me it was deteration of the spine...what happens is simply her hips come out from under her and she trips...she can no longer get in the truck . i have to lift her. she is taking etosgesic and tht is all...she is not in pain or at least does not display any at all   no crying ,when you press on it  she simply does not react...we have her on a diet of 1 cup of food a day..and cookies have become carrotts and apples...any thought on therapy or anything i can do... i understand at 12 she is getting up there.. but she is still happy strong heart  teeth in good shape..and loved and spoiled everyday...anythoughts at all....glenn

ANSWER: I think you are confusing a hip problem with what your vet said, which is a deterioration of the discs of the spine, and the spinal canal itself.

What happens as some dogs (and people) age, the little discs in between each vertebrae start to shrink and they collapse on each other. At the same time, the spinal canal, where the spinal cord runs through, becomes narrow and less elastic, causing compression on the spinal cord.

While this normally doesn't result in pain, it does result in paralysis. In other words, your sweet girl is going to one day go down and will not be able to get back up. At all.

Then you will be faced with a very tough decision. There is no therapy for this at her age, or any age for that matter. She isn't in pain because she doesn't FEEL anything back there.

She still feels some, she has sensation right now, or she wouldn't be able to walk at all. But slowly that will become less and less.

I really hate to bring the bad news but it's not a good long-term outlook. Now, having said that, some owners, quite a few actually, have had some great success with giving their dogs J/D formula food from Hills. It has given some older dogs a new lease on life, so to speak.

While it won't work for every dog, it might be worth a try for your girl.
You can read about it and see some videos on it here:
read the reviews at the bottom.

That is about all I can tell you Glenn. I know it's hard to face the fact that she is getting up there and that she faces a battle ahead, but maybe this food can help her out a lot.

I sure hope so. Let me know if you get it and how she does on it. It takes a good month to really see a change, so be patient with it. You can get it at the vets.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: first we will start it in the am.... second thank you for the time and the answer...i relize you hear this alot but she is everything to me...and when the time comes it will leave a void in my life  that few people will understand....we have spent 1 night apart in the last 12 years yeh were kinda bonded....thanks....

I totally understand Glenn. I lost my dog a year ago November and she was almost 14. She was a rescue I adopted at 9 weeks. We were bonded as well. I lost the dog that raised her, my beloved Cameo, in 2005 and that dog was my soul-mate. I miss her daily. I miss them both!

So I do understand, more than you know.. My prayers are with her.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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