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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24467
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog's back legs aren't working. He can bear some weight

Customer Question

My dog's back legs aren't working. He can bear some weight on them but only for two minutes or so. No cuts on paws, rocks in between toe pads, etc, and he doesn't appear to be in pain when I manipulate his limbs. My vet can't see him today (Sunday), and I'm trying to decide on whether it's OK to wait until tomorrow to take him or if I should find an emergency vet, knowing that might be quite expensive. I don't want him to suffer, but he seems tranquil.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Is your dog bleeding a lot?
Customer: No blood. Three year old lab/golden retriever mix BTW.
JA: What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Chunk, 3 years old.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Chunk?
Customer: no. healthy otherwise
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Chunk. In most cases you've described a myelopathy (spinal cord disorder) such as degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk") or perhaps fibrocartilaginous embolism - an interruption in the blood supply to his spinal cord. Less commonly, such paresis (weakness) can arise due to tick paralysis or an ascending paralysis called polyradiculoneuritis - probably the most common polyneuropathy in dogs. Because some of these myelopathies benefit from prompt administration of a potent antiinflammatory drug it would be prudent to have an on-call vet take a look at Chunk at your earliest convenience. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.