Arthritis or Neurological Problems

Our 8.5 year old bulldog, Bruiser is having trouble with his legs, especially his back legs. We have known that he has arthritis and hip dysplasia and have been giving him glucosamine supplements for a few years but he has never had any serious issues walking around.

The problems began about a month ago when he started slipping on the hardwood floors…it is like he is walking on ice and his legs just slip out from under him.  Around the same time he stopped going up and down the stairs. 

 He walks significantly better on carpets and non-slip surfaces; however, he does slip and fall much easier than before.  The right rear leg appears weaker than the left and had times he might not lift it up all the way when he walks or may drag the nails a bit and other times he may cross it with other leg and trip. He also has more difficulty turning right than left.

 Last week we took him to the vet and had a full set of x-rays, which confirm he has hip dysplasia and arthritis in basically all of his joints…knees, elbows, front shoulders and some in his spine.  The vet says he is showing signs of both arthritis and possibly neurological issues (because of the issue with the right leg I previously stated). We decided to put him on arthritis medication (Metacam) for two weeks and see if he improves; if no improvement we will go back to discuss further testing for neurological problems. 

 He has been on the Metacam for one week but unfortunately shown no signs of improvements, so we will be heading back to the vet next week. Fortunately, he shows no signs of pain and is his normal self. 

 Has anyone experienced similar issues with their bully?  Any advice is welcome.



Kathy Chester Newman and Jessa's picture

I do have one on Metacam...

or meloxicam.  It is an anti inflammatory, so it can take a while to work. Our guy has hemivertibrae in his back and just had an acl repair, so he will continue to be on it.  Hope they can find out what is causing your guy's problems, it's so awful to not know what is wrong.

Similar experience... Sorry a little Lengthy

Just wanted to let you know about our similar experience. Our seven and a half year old bully was exhibiting symptoms such as yours. At first we thought it was due to aging/arthritis but it turned out it was due to a disease called degenerative mylopathy. I would ask your vet if this may be the cause.A big sign is when you turn the hind foot over the dog either does not right the foot or it is slow to right it. There are a lot of options to pursue if this is the case. Physical Therapy and medications have done wonders for our boy and his has not advanced since the onset of treatment. It has been almost fourteen months since diagnosis. I 'll be waiting to see what your vet says. Metacam had no effect on his condition. If I can help feel free to e mail me!