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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24468
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a small bread chihuahua maybe small terrier mix puppy

Customer Question

I have a small bread chihuahua maybe small terrier mix puppy around 5 1\2 weeks old. The momma is my daughters small bread dog, there is three total puppies from the litter. Boy and girl 1 are doing amazing and are fat and eating some dry food and drinking water out of the bowl. Little Minnie (which is girl 2) is small but has grown since birth. I noticed she wasn't getting around like the other two when they was little an was not growing like she should be. I purchase puppy formula to supplement, hoping it would help. She still is way far behind the other two on motor skills. She can't stand up or walk, due to her front limbs seem like they have a lot of weakness. They have improved a little, but she also seems like she don't have total control of her neck. She try's to stand up but her head automatically goes to the side an she don't have enough strength in front limbs to stand up so it make her flip over side ways. I have seen her take couple steps or kinda leaps when she finally worked hard enough to get up for a sec. I do exercises with her by holding her around the middle part of her body and helping her stand an try to take steps. I make it to where it's a little struggle to try and build strength in upper limbs and body in general. I know feed her hard puppy food softened with puppy formula, she eats it good but I have to hold her where she can eat due to the weakness in upper body. What could be wrong and what type of therapy can I do with her to get her on the right track? She has a cute personality and will play growl and bite your fingers while holding her. Please help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. You're first going to need to determine the cause of Minnie Mouse's motor difficulties to know how you might help her. It's just about time for her first exam and vaccinations and so her vet can perform a thorough physical and neurologic exam to see if Minnie's difficulties are originating in her brain - hydrocephalus ("water on the brain") is relatively common in Chihuahuas or Chihuahua mixes - or, instead, is due to a congenital deformity where her spinal cord connects to her skull (A Chiari-like malformation) or in the spine itself. X-rays and even MRI might be necessary in order to determine the etiology of her dysfunction and referral to a specialist veterinary neurologist might be recommended. Prepare yourself for considerable expense not only for the diagnostics necessary but also for any surgical correction that might be recommended. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ann,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Minnie Mouse. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin