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Cocker Spaniels/12yo cocker falling


QUESTION: Hi Delores

I have a 12yo cocker spaniel, who is acting not herself. She will be standing or walking and she will fall down.  She is aware that she has fallen and struggles a bit to get up, like she is trying to get her rear legs to work.  She is also becoming more aggressive towards myself, Husband and 14yo daughter, if we walk up on her too quickly or if we give her a treat she snaps! Her eating habits have changed, diminished appetite, but she still drinks.  She is going to the bathroom in the house and don't want to go out side anymore, we walk her out to the yard to make her go, she will growl at us and sometimes snap.

Both my husband and I think she cant see very much, and also acts like she cant hear.  

This dog used to be so gentle,I used to be able to put a biscuit in my mouth and she would take it out so gentle, now I wouldn't even think of doing this!!  

we are afraid that she is going to bite us or worse...someone who comes to visit.  

we understand that this can be due to old age, but I don't want her to suffer if she cant stand and has to live her life laying around.   

This is all very concerning to us as she is our first family pet, both my husband and myself have grown up with dogs.  

we have asked our vet and she had no answers for us.

thank you

ANSWER: Angela, your vet should have run a total Wellness check (blood panel, urinalysis, etc)
and checked her eyesight and hearing.  Did she do that?

It would help if you could tell me exactly what has been done and/or ruled out.

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

QUESTION: we have had her to our vet several times, and yes blood work/urinalysis done.  she just looked in her ears and eyes and said that she didnt see anything out of the ordinary.  

she also said "well she is 12, I think its just that"  

any suggestions on this would be appreciated.


Very substandard vet you have there.

Your girl is obviously in pain and I'm stunned that your vet didn't even try a pain killer to see if it could make her more comfortable.  Some Tramadol at night and perhaps a dose of Metacam in the morning is something I'd try.

She needs to see a Neurologist to find out why she's falling over.  NO, that isn't "being 12".
It's a medical problem.  I don't know if you have an ER in your area but at the very least I'd get her to a more compassionate vet.

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Delores Beck


Health, nutrition, training. Please note: I used to highly recommend Innova products but, unfortunately, as with Canidae, they have sold out to Proctor & Gamble. This guarantees lower quality to a dangerous point so I will no longer be advising anyone to buy it.


20 years of owning this breed.

Psychology, MA

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