Ask a Dog Vet and Get Answers to Your Dog Health Questions
Hello my name is***** and I am a licensed veterinarian with over 9 years of experience. I am hoping to help you with your pet today. I just have a few questions to ask to gather some more information if you don’t mind? What type of dog is he? Does he seem painful at all? Is he still wagging his tail?
Any history of trauma? Is he an outdoor dog? There are a few things I worry about in a dog that has become paralyzed in the back legs. One thing I worry about is a ruptured disc in the back. A ruptured disc can cause inflammation and pressure on the spinal cord leading to loss of function with the hindlimbs. Sometimes x-rays can determine this but a specialized test called a myelogram can give a definitive diagnosis. This involves placing a dye around the spinal cord so it can show up on x-rays. Treatment of this may require surgery. But there are some dogs that can respond to muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatories like a steroid or Rimadyl. But the recovery process can take up to 6 weeks. The other condition I would be concerned about would be a stroke. This can cause a loss of blood supply to the part of the spinal cord responsible for the hindlegs. This condition typically improves over a period of a month it that is the cause.
Either way getting a diagnosis quickly is imperative to improve the chances of recovery.
Well in regards ***** ***** of stroke affecting the back leg, when it initially occurs it can be very painful for the dog. Also since there is a loss of blood, sometimes the limbs feel cold compared to the rest of the body. If he is an active dog with free range, there is a possibility that he could have injured his back when chasing deer.
You can use a towel under his hips to help support him to walk. But it is most important to get him to a veterinarian so he can be treated to see if they can get him mobile. Even if you can't do the diagnostics, you minimally want to get him on some type of medication to see if the inflammation of the spine can be relieved. It can be difficult to provide support for him if he is a large dog. Also you want to make sure he can urinate normal as well.