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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9144
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Deb I have a 11 month old bullmastiff puppy who

Customer Question

Hi deb I have a 11 month old bullmastiff puppy who for the last week has been having trouble getting up and he also drags his back legs so his toes drag along the ground any idears why?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb. Thanks for requesting me although I'm sorry I was off my computer when you did so; I'll do my best to help you today.
I'm sorry for this concern about Tex.
I could perhaps understand why he might have trouble getting up since even hip dysplasia can occur in pups this young. However, the fact that he also is dragging his back legs makes me suspect that there may be something else going on, primarily with this spine.
Wobbler syndrome would be one condition which I'd want to rule out if this were my case. This condition goes by several different names including cervical spondylomyelopathy (which means a disease of the neck vertebrae affecting the spinal cord) or cervical vertebral instability CVI), cervical vertebral malformation (CVM), cervical vertebral malformation-malarticulation (CVMM), and cervical spondylopathy.
But regardless of the name used, there's compression of the spinal cord which can cause the signs that you're seeing.
The exact cause is unknown although a link to fast growth and genetics is suspected.
Lumbosacral stenosis might be another possible explanation for his behavior which is caused by a narrowing of the spinal column that may be secondary to a birth defect, which, in turn, puts pressure on the spinal cord.
In most cases, advanced diagnostic imaging such as an MRI or CT scan will be needed to definitely diagnose the problem although x-rays may be suggestive of it.
If at all possible, I'd have him examined by your vet who may suggest a referral to a surgeon and/or neurologist for further evaluation.
I know that this may not be what you wanted to hear and I can't tell you how sorry I am to be the bearer of potential bad news but I would be doing a disservice to both you and Tex if I were less than honest and truthful in my response to you.
I hope you understand; I also hope that this provides some possible explanations for to consider. Deb
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Tex. How is everything going?

Dr. Deb