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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23850
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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14 years 15 lb lost most walking ability in nd legs

Customer Question

14 years 15 lb lost most walking ability in hind legs
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear this with your 14 year old. Hind leg paresis (weakness)/paralysis can result from overall weakness but more commonly due to myelopathy (spinal cord disorder) such as degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk"), degenerative myelopathy (a Lou Gehrig-type of neuromuscular disease) or perhaps a tumor in or around the spinal cord. Some breeds are prone to specific myelopathies. Which breed is your dog, please?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
14 pound terrier
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

Thank you. These smaller dogs are more likely to have advanced degenerative disk disease. We're necessarily constrained by how much we can do at your dog's age. Spinal cord decompression is likely to be indicated but surgical intervention at 14 years of age isn't reasonable. There is a chance, however, of improvement if your dog can respond to conservative decompression by a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxican - both of which would need to be prescribed by your vet. The most important prognostic indicator is the presence or absence of nociception (deep pain perception). This assessment is always subjective but apparent loss of sensation suggests the possibility for permanent paralysis regardless of treatment. Your vet can test your terrier's nociception and then advise as to your dog's prognosis for a reasonable return to function.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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