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9yo groaning while lying down

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Hello community.  We have a ~9yo male bc that for the last 4-6 months I notice he groans when he lies down or changes position while lying down.  He has also lost a step and occasionally seems to get soft tissue injuries after a day of high speed activity.  

Our concern is something is wrong, beyond him just transitioning from an 8 year old that acted and played like an 8 month old....  to a 9+ year old mature dog.  He's a rescue from northern virginia; we adopted from a foster when he was about 6 months old. He's big for a border collie at 52 lbs and we've been told was likely bred for stock work as he's got a hard temperament, and is quite stubborn and driven. I say this because vet appointments are not easy. He's also a fear aggressive biter.  So not a lot of palpating going on during his wellness exams.

His non-genetic sister died last September from transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder.  She was 10, also a border collie rescue adopted around 6 months old. Her cancer did not appear on an abdomen ultrasound in May, was diagnosed in early August, and did not respond to pharma or chemo therapies. 

We had an ultrasound of his abdomen 3 weeks ago and everything looked normal. Appetite is normal. normal stools. no interruption in urine or overly frequent urination like the initial symptoms we saw with his sister.  Diet has been high quality kibble, mostly salmon based, for years.  

If her cancer was somehow environmental, then obviously he's at risk. But part me also wonders if our 8 year old puppy is just now slowing down.  We all took a deep hit when his sister died.  She was the light of our lives. And I think it has affected him as well.  

Many of you have or have had older companions. Should I be worried about this mild groaning when he flops down or repositions himself?

  Hoping my boy is slowing down with age and not something worse.  



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I wouldn’t worry terribly about the occasional groaning while repositioning. If he acts sore at other times or has difficulty getting up then you may want to revisit the possibility of a problem. For now I’d just observe and not worry overly much about the occasional bit of groaning. 


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