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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17054
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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dog is unable to walk because toes are curling under what is

Resolved Question:

dog is unable to walk because toes are curling under what is the cause
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 3 years ago.
Hello.

What kind of dog is this and how old is he/ she?

Is it the rear or front legs?

Any problems jumping up or doing stairs?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Britney rotwilder mix 12 years old. He is not able to walk this morning. If I get him to his feet he attempts to walk but toes curl under and balence is off. Almost as if the he is drunk.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 3 years ago.
Ok thanks.

Is it all 4 legs or just the rear legs?

Also, check his eyes- are they moving back and forth rapidly?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Front pals mainly but seeing it reflected in the rear too. He has does have Hip dyspepsia. We know sometimes his hips are stiff and has a hard time getting them going from time to time. Currently cant determine if it is his hips or something else.

His eyes don't seem to be moving any different then normal.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 3 years ago.
Ok thanks.

Given the signs, this is most likely IVDD (intervertebral disc disease). This is where a disc ruptures or herniates in the back pressing on the spinal cord which causes weakness and nerve roots which causes pain. Signs can be as mild as reluctance to walk/ climb stairs to as severe as full paralysis.

Diagnosis is made on neuro exam and then can be confirmed with advanced imaging like MRI, CT or myelogram.

Treatment is based on the stage of the disease:
> Mild weakness/ pain can be treated with strict exercise restriction and anti-inflammatory meds (Rimadyl, Deramaxx) + other pain meds (Gabapentin, Tramadol). Crate confinement for the majority of the day with only short leash walks outside is key, and I like to do this for 1-3 weeks.
> Severe neurologic deficits and paralysis require back decompressive surgery to correct.

It sounds like your dog will do fine with the more conservative management, although he's getting close to needing surgery if he loses his ability to stand.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17054
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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