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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16202
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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I have a 7 year old male boxer who suddenly began dragging

Customer Question

I have a 7 year old male boxer who suddenly began dragging his right rear leg. Can you advise me?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
When did this start?
Can he use his leg at all?
Can he place the foot on the floor? Is he able to hold it up at all?
If you pinch his toes, does he appear to feel it?
If you palpate the leg (be careful of course), are there any sore regions, bruises, swellings, bony crunching, bone instability or wounds?
Can you comfortably flex and extend all his joints?
Any history of trauma?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Seemed to happen last night. There is no pain. Can use the leg some. No history of trauma. Just appears to have very little control over his leg.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
So, do you think he can feel his foot if you pinch his toes?
Or since there is no pain, do you think he cannot even feel that?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Appears to be numb. He's approximately 95 lbs. Not a pure bred. Seems to be mixed with blood hound.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Looks like a big boxer with a longer snout and droopy eyes.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you again,
Now as I am sure you can appreciate lameness in the leg can be due to a range of issues since the leg contains nerves, bones, muscles, tendons, and blood vessels. Furthermore, we can see spinal and hip issues contribute to the loss of proper use of the leg in our dogs.
Based on what you have told me, I would be less concerned about bone based issues (ie hip dislocation, fractures, etc). As well, his signs are less suspicious of tendon ruptures, muscle trauma and strains. As well, while leg paresis due to clots lodging in the blood vessels that supply the affected leg can cause these kinds of signs, we usually will see the leg being colder then the others and the animals are usually in pain with this.
Those all aside, if his leg is numb, then we have to be very concerned about dysfunction of the nerve impulses to the leg either due to a nerve damage or a spinal problem. And I must warn you that if he has no feeling, this is an emergency situation and we'd want him seen urgently. This is because if the spinal cord is being compressed asymmetrically by a protruding disc, abscess, tumor, or if he has thrown a blood clot in the spine; treatment success depends on how fast it is started. Therefore, while he isn't painful, we need to appreciate that this is a serious signs that we need to act quickly on to give him the best chance of recovery from this.
In this situation, it would be prudent to get your wee one to the emergency vet. To find your local ER veterinary clinic, you can check @ http://www.vetlocator.com/.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome,
Please take care & all the best for your lad,
Dr. B.