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Dr. Matt
Dr. Matt, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  DVM - 11 years experience in canine medicine and surgery.
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Can a penicillin injection cause our dog to walk with a dropped

Resolved Question:

Can a penicillin injection cause our dog to walk with a dropped paw on the side of the injection? If so what caused it and will he be OK??
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 9 months ago.
Hello - I am Dr. Matt - I would be glad to help you with your question.

Is Bubba Jay dragging his leg on the ground?

Did the vet give the penicillin injection into the muscle in the leg or under his skin?

What leg is he having trouble with?

Does he seem painful in this leg?



Customer: replied 9 months ago.

He isn't dragging it, he is moving the leg but his paw keeps bending under as he is walking. Its his back left. The shot was given IM, and he doesn't seem to be in pain.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

He is a Great Dane/St Bernard is 4months old and has been sick with oarvo

Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

I am very sorry to hear that Bubba Jay has been having trouble with his leg since getting the penicillin injection. An injection that is given IM can cause nerve damage to some dogs in their leg if the needle accidentally hits the sciatic nerve in their leg. This is a commonly reported problem unfortunately in dogs. The sciatic nerve is behind/near the thigh muscles and an injection that is given in this location could definitely cause him to lose complete control over his hind leg.

Other possible causes would be trauma to his leg from a fall or running into something and bumping the nerve in his leg really hard. Trauma to his spinal cord or back would also be a possibility though more then likely the nerve problem is in the upper part of the left hind leg.

Since he is not painful, he could have had damage from the needle as this is not usually painful after the initial damage occurs. The nerve will eventually heal but it can take a couple of weeks to a month for the inflammation to go down and the nerve to resume its normal function.

At this time, I would talk to your vet about what you are seeing with his leg as they most likely would want to know. Your vet may also want to recheck the neurologic function of his leg to determine exactly where the nerve problem exists. An anti-inflammatory medication could also be given to help speed up the recovery time for Bubba Jay.

Hope this helps to answer your question - if not or if you have any more questions please feel free to reply by clicking on the "reply to" button. Thank you for your question!
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

He is moving the leg however, it seems "numb". I tried to pinch that left leg and he had no response but does respond to a slight pinch on the other legs.

Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for the reply.

This would suggest that he does have some nerve damage in his leg. If the entire leg is numb then he could have sustained an injury in his back instead of in the leg, though with a history of an injection in the muscle of the left hind leg I would be suspicious that the injection could have caused some nerve damage.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

He has had no injury, just the injection. So, if it from the injection, will that more than likely heal that nerve damage on his own? I know you cant tell me 100% but i had to ask

Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 9 months ago.
Injections that injure a nerve usually will heal completely though nerves take much longer to heal then other parts of the body therefore he could have some neurologic deficits with his leg for another couple of weeks up to a month or two. A needle hardly ever would cause permanent nerve damage therefore he really should heal. The fact that he is young is also a good sign that the nerve should heal.
Dr. Matt, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5204
Experience: DVM - 11 years experience in canine medicine and surgery.
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