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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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My dog is a 15 yr old border collie mix. He suffered a bout

Customer Question

My dog is a 15 yr old border collie mix. He suffered a bout with vestibular disorder in October and had a relapse but has been ok. Last Friday he started limping, not putting any weight on his rear left leg. Took him to the vet yesterday, Xrays of the spine and leg are normal. Today he refuses to get up. Yelps in pain when I try to lift him, but not when I manipulate his leg/foot??? He hasn't really eaten anything since last Friday, maybe one meal. Doesn't look like vestibular again b/c no nystagmus, stumbling, like before, just can't balance on 3 legs.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.
Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.
this sounds very concerning for your dog.
My top worry is that this may be spinal pain that is referred down the leg. If there is an injury or problem with the actual spinal cord, then this will NOT show up on screening radiographs (X-rays) but would be potentially visible on an advanced imaging test such as MRI or CT scan. If he is truly uncoordinated then this would suggest more of a neurological problem. This type of spinal cord problem could be anything from a ruptured disk to infection to cancer/tumor.
There are other issues that could cause neurological issues of the hind end such as this that might include tick paralysis (so do a good once-over for ticks especially if you live in an area where ticks are a problem; and if not treated for ticks then a good treatment with something like NexGard or Frontline might be very useful; talk to your vet about this -- the paralysis from ticks is progressive which means it worsens over time; usually does not start as painful or limping but every dog is different), Coonhound paralysis, thromboembolic issue (throwing blood clots), vasculitis, and the list continues.
My recommendation would be to have him rechecked to see if he is truly having neurological deficits. If so, then your veterinarian should refer him to be seen by a neurologist today or tomorrow for evaluation.
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