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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 16 year old Lhasa had an ear infection took m to vet they

Customer Question

My 16 year old Lhasa had an ear infection took him to vet they also treated his foot beds which were matted. Now he can't walk. His back legs don't work. He can't stand. I'm not blaming the vet just worried.
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.

I am also concerned about Riley. I am not sure I can link inability to walk with clipping the mats off his toes or treating an ear infection. However, if he has inner ear disease (which is rare) then this could cause him to have balance issues -- he would seem wobbly, perhaps have a head tilt but still overall able to stand and walk. On the other hand, if he is entirely unable to use his hind limbs (they seem weak or are actually paralyzed), then this is a medical emergency. I worry, then, about a back problem (such as slipped intervertebral disk or even spinal tumor). The sooner we start on medication to reduce inflammation in the back, then better overall prognosis for return to function, if this is a slipped disk. As well, if he is actually paralyzed then this is an emergency which must go to a neurologist for evaluation for surgery or at least advanced imaging to identify what exactly is going on with the back. :(

If left untreated, the longer it remains untreated then the less chance we have of getting full recovery to use of the hind limbs.

So, I know there is a huge difference between wobbly and paralyzed, but you must make a determination today if he is actually able to walk and use his legs but just wobbly which may indicate an inner ear disease (vestibular nerve) problem which can wait until your vet opens tomorrow but really does need to be examined tomorrow, or if he is actually having progression to paralysis on his hind limbs. The paralysis and inability to use is an emergency situation that cannot wait. If you are not sure, then I must advocate have him seen today just to be sure. When it comes to the back and possible paralysis, it is always better to err on the side of caution. There is a chance medication can actually dramatically improve the situation, not to mention this is very painful for most dogs.

I am at a point I need to know what questions you have. We can continue our dialogue in this setting.

I hope that the information I provided has been helpful.

Please remember to select REPLY TO EXPERT if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer.

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Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I am just following up to find out how Riley is doing. If you have any further questions, please let me know.