My German shepherd/Akita mix is collapsing spontaneously

by Michelle Wood
(The Dalles, OR USA)

our 10 year old akita german shepard mix dog has for the last couple of weeks been having her back legs give out while she is stretching for a treat.

"collapse" is a strong word but she reaches tenderly for a treat that we are handing her she seems to have a jolt/shock run through her body, then she kind of "gives out" she is standing on hard wood floors when she completely has had her back end sink to the floor, on the carpet she doesn't collapse all the way, she yips and then seem afraid of taking the treat she was trying to take in the beginning...

she doesn't seem to have any other symptoms, her appetite seems normal, water intake normal, activity normal, bathroom habits normal, sleeping habits normal.

Last year we had a medical scare, she is a very big dog, 110lbs and has always seemed to have joint issues, even as a puppy sometimes she would just seem to have get up slowly sometimes, she have progressively gotten worse as far as having difficulty going up the stairs, no trouble going down, anyway took her to the vet for routine shots and check up, we had them look at her joints and they put her on meticam which almost killed her had a terrible reaction and was in the hospital for 2 days with liver failure.

I dont think she ever really regained all her weight from that episode but been normal since then, now we are having this issue. everything i look at online seems to point to a liver issue but she has no other symptoms. we love our dogs, she has a sister from the same litter.

thank you so much for ur time:) it seems like maybe the act of reaching her head forward causes issues with her back hips and legs...the vet said her hip joints are fine her "knees" are the problem. thank you again.

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May 13, 2010
Spinal Issues
by: Anonymous

My German shepherd/Akita starting having the same sort of problems with his back legs when he turned 10. The vet said it was something to do with his discs tweaking his spinal cord. There was nothing that could be done about it. Unfortunately, these big dogs just don't live nearly as long as we would like. I still miss my sweet boy like crazy, and he's been gone for 11 years.

May 02, 2010
familiar with the problem
by: Anonymous

I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this. We had a pure bred akita that this happened to about age 11. It was down hill from there. He finally lost the use of his back legs and hips. It seemed so mysterios.

After sharing our story, we realized that this is a common problem in the akita breed late in their life. It was so sad. We just love that breed. We want to get another one, but don't want to ever go through that again.

Although the breed is so gentle, loving, protective and loyal that it is almost worth it. I am sorry and know your pain. Possibly this is not what is going on with your dog, but if it is the problem will gradually get worse until he can no longer walk.

Jan 25, 2010
Cut back on the food
by: Anonymous

Your dog is very obviously overweight and if she's been overfed her whole life that's why she's had joint problems just like obese people.

Jan 05, 2010
German Shepherd/Akita mix joint issues
by: Debbie

I would definitely suggest that you start giving your big baby some good quality Glucosamine. For it's age and weight it may also be having issues with arthritis too.

I give Glucosamine to my 2 GSD girls (both are 9 1/2 yrs old) and it really helps them - in fact I can really tell a difference if I ever run out or if I forget to give it to them in the way that they act. Also, keep exercise to a lower level, slower pace. Good luck.

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