I'm sure this is more than likely not only painful but something you ought to have your veterinarian check out. It could be his cruciate ligament - not something that will mend on its own. At least get a diagnosis and then you can decide whether this is something that can or that you want to pursue with a natural course of care.
I did have my vet check it out...it is a complete tear of his acl. He also has epilepsy, allergies, and chronic ear infections. We have been treating him as best as we can trying to improve his quality of life. I just wondered how painful it is for dogs. We are not going to do the surgery because he has so many complex problems. I just don't want him to suffer.
You're in a difficult situation. Older animals can be a real challenge as we try to ensure a quality life for them while dealing with our own issues about losing them. As far as pain perception goes, as in humans different animals have different levels of tolerance for it. Also, because dogs are fortunate enough to have 4 legs and only need 3 to have a solid base most of the time, they can avoid using a painful one most of the time. However, if he turns in a certain direction, goes up and down stairs, or feels threated and automatically shifts his weight to his rear legs in an offensive/defensive posture, this will put pressure on the bad leg.
Consequently, I'd keep notes of those circumstances that cause him discomfort and do what you can to avoid them. For example, sometimes these animals enjoy having access to a crate or other haven that frees them from any protective responsibilities in the household. Also, make sure your tone of voice communicates your confidence in him and yourself. There's a tendency among some to get into pitying tones that unfortunately communicate human submission at a time the dog least needs it.
And finally, after you eliminate those circumstances most likely to cause him to fall, one measure of how well your pet is coping is whether or not he's eating normally and appears engaged in what's going on around him. If he's not interested in eating and doesn't want to engage in what's going on around him, then physical and/or behavioral pain could be an issue.
He is only 6 years old. He doesn't really act interested in whats going on around him because of the phenobarb he is on for his seizures. I was mostly concerned about how uncomfortable his acl injury might make him. He has been on Rimadyl...although I don't know how much that helps. What is the popping I hear when he is on the stairs?
Have you considered switching to a natural raw diet and also using other healing modalities in place of all the drugs such as homeopathy? If not, then a good veterinarian to help you with homeopathy is
Dr. Jill Elliot.
And for help with a natural species appropriate raw diet that can help a lot, as it will properly support the immune system of your carnivore (dog):
www.rawfed.com Over time drugs like Rimadyl can really wreck havoc on the liver so that eventually dog's immune system has nothing left to fight with. Six is not old, you are right. A proper diet and natural support can turn your dog around. It happens all the time. No guarantees but it's what I would do for my dog. And have done in fact.
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