I have a six-year-old male Golden Retriever. He is suffering from pain in both hind legs since his early age. It may be due to some unknown injury he had during his young age, which was unnoticed by us. At present he cannot stand for a longer time and his hind legs are not supportive. Please advise me.

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Weakness or pain in hind legs results from a number of causes and your vet may help to rule out common orthopaedic or neurological problems affecting the hind legs. For example, hip dysplasia and Osteoarthritis (OA) – most common in dogs can be a progressive problem in which pain and disuse lead to further deterioration of joint movement and function. Therapeutic exercise and physical modalities (laser, cryotherapy, thermotherapy, therapeutic ultrasound, electrical stimulation) may be indicated to enhance motion or reduce pain, allowing improved function. Massage may be beneficial in reducing muscle spasms. Lifestyle changes, such as the use of ramps may also be considered. A physical therapy involves suitable exercise, avoiding obesity and, least important, medication. Low impact exercise is preferable, such as swimming or leashed walks. Many nutraceuticals and diets are promoted for management of joint problems. Please consult your vet before you make any change in the management.

Question by – Lakshmi Kant Roy, Hooghly

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