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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24396
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My bichon frise can't walk any more. He can't stand or

Customer Question

My bichon frise can't walk any more. He can't stand or weight bear and is just lying there. He has been given prednisolone 5 mg and candilate one tab at day of each. This sort of have a few months back but he recovered after two courses of antiinflammatories. It is worse this time as it has affected both his back and front legs. He is only 7 1/2 years old.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I want to know what he might be suffering from. I live in France and the local vet doesn't explain anything.
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Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with your Bichon. When both front and hind limbs are paretic (weak) or paralyzed both a cervical myelopathy (neck spinal cord disorder) and encephalopathy (brain disorder) need to be considered. The most common of the cervical myelopathies is degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk"). If that were the case, he would be a surgical case for spinal decompression at this time. The most common of the encephalopathies is granulomatous meningoencephalopathy (GME) - a steroid responsive inflammation of the brain thought to represent an autoimmune disease - his immune system would be attacking his own tissues.

If his vet can't follow up properly with your dog's testing and treatment - and it can be quite advanced in the form of cerebrospinal fluid analysis and MRI - your dog should be referred to a specialist veterinary neurologist who is better equipped to do so. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.