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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My pitbull is suddenly having trouble walking on s back

Customer Question

hi my pitbull is suddenly having trouble walking on his back legs. He was fine yesterday then this morning he was limping a bit on one leg now he can barely get up
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Hi there - I'm sorry that Dozer isn't feeling well - I know that it can be scary when they are ill and you're not sure what's going on.

In older pets we can see all sorts of conditions that can cause what you're describing. The first one that pops into my mind is intervertebral disc disease. With IVDD we can see a progressive loss of sensation and motor function (the ability to move) in both back legs (if the disc problem is in the middle of the back) or sometimes in the front and/or rear if the problem is in the neck. These guys seem drunk or "stumbly" at first and can progress to full paralysis. Sometimes they stop progression and other times things continue to get worse. The speed at which these things happens can be variable as well, sometimes it's sudden, sometimes it's gradual. Sometimes they will be sore when touched over their back or react to our manipulations when we are trying to help them stand by lifting under their bellies - arching their back hurts.

Depending on what types of ticks you have in the area, he could also be having troubles with lyme disease (we see a lot of this where I live in western PA). Sometimes lyme causes pain in one or multiple joints or the spine. Tick paralysis is significantly less common but it can cause weakness or paralysis starting in the back legs and working forward.

The only way to know for sure what's happening is to have him seen by your vet - please keep in mind that I'm tossing out ideas based on your description and my experience, but sometimes things jump out at us on physical exam that can easily explain the situation.

Please let me know if I can answer any other specific questions for you!

~Dr. Sara

Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
Hi Allie,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Dozer. How is everything going?
Doc Sara