I have a 13 year old Pug, Orson. Last month it seemed his hind legs were bothering him so I took him to the Vet who thought it was most likely old age and arthritis. He recommended giving him treats with glucosamine to see if that worked. A couple weeks later, his front legs began to give him trouble as well and he began walking with a sway (almost as if he was a little drunk). Orson and I went back to the local Vet and this time the prognosis was not good: possible brain tumor. They referred us to Dr. Sean Saunders of Seattle Veterinary Specialist in Kirkland who specializes in neurology. An MRI revealed that Orson does not have a brain tumor; he has Hansen's Type II invertebral disk disease–as bad as this sounds, I'm relieved since this is probably can be managed with doggy drugs.
What's the probable cause (or at least an aggregator)?
- Stairs. His compact body is jarred going up and down stairs.
- Being walked with a traditional collar. Orson now sports a nice harness for his walks.
- Jumping can also cause injury to the disks in their spine. Orson's not a jumper.
So this weekend, we're cleaning out our home office area. Orson's "movin' on up" from the basement to a kennel in the office. No more stairs for this fellow and I'm happy to share my home office with him.