Ask the Veterinarian/MUSCLE LOSS

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Question
I HAVE A 12&1/2 YEAR OLD CHIHUAHUA MALE, NOT NEUTERED. 2 YEARS AGO HE STARTED GETTING SICK- PANCREATITIS, HEART MURMUR, ENLARGED LIVER, HIGH LIVER ENZYMES, AND HERNIATED DISCS IN HIS LOWER SPINE. HE HAD X-RAYS, ULTRASOUND,AND BLOOD WORK WITH ACTH BLOOD TESTS DONE. HE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH CUSHINGS ALSO A YEAR AGO  - WE DECIDED NOT TO TREAT THE CUSHINGS DUE TO THE OTHER ISSUES AND AGE, ETC. HE HAS HAIR LOSS AND HE GETS YEAST INFECTIONS ON HIS EARS AND IS PRONE TO THE PANCREATITIS FROM THE CUSHINGS.  WE MANAGE THE OTHER SYMPTOMS OF ALL OF HIS CONDITIONS WITH DENEMARIN, PEPCID, TRAMADOL AND METATOPOROL AND AMOXIL WHEN NEEDED. TODAY HE COULDN'T GET UP, AFTER I HELPED HIM, HIS BACK IS CURVED DOWN AND HIS HIND LEGS STICK OUT,, KINDA LOOKS LIKE HE IS STUCK IN THE POOPING POSITION. HE CAN BARELY WALK AND FEEL OVER OUTSIDE USING THE BATHROOM. HE EATS, DRINKS, PEES, AND POOPS FINE BUT IS IN PAIN AND CAN'T GET UP AND WALK. I TOOK HIM TO THE VET - HE HAD LOST 1&1/2 POUNDS IN JUST A MONTH, NOW WEIGHTING 7 POUNDS AND SHE SAID HE HAS LOST THAT IN MUSCLE IN HIS HIND LEGS. SHE GAVE US GLUCOSAMINE TO TAKE TOO AND THAT IS ABOUT ALL WE CAN DO. I DON'T WANT TO LOOSE HIM, CAN YOU THINK OF ANYTHING ELSE WE CAN DO FOR HIM?

Answer
If this is arthritic pain (glucosamine) then your vet can try a series of shots of Adequan.  It is a prescription injectible medication that helps to make the cartilage in every joint more spongy.  That relieves the pain and makes the dog more limber.  It has no ill effects with all of his other problems.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf

Expertise

Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats

Experience

I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

Organizations
American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology

Publications
Veterinary Forum
Veterinary Medicine
Waltham Focus

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