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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16249
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Dog is not himself. Hind end weak- stand him up and he just

Customer Question

Dog is not himself. Hind end weak- stand him up and he just stands there. Won't eat or drink. Carried him outside- he just stood there. Does not appear to be in any pain- cant get him into vet until noon tomorrow
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 month ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

How long ago did Noah's signs start?

Where they sudden? Any chance of a slip or fall?

Is he dragging his back legs? Does he appear to have feeling in them?

What is his weight?

Did his appetite loss start before or after the ASA?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
He was perfectly fine when I left for work at 6am- when I got home he was in his bed just looking at me pitifully. Went to put my stuff down and when I went back into the room he was standing but hind legs wobbly. For the remainder of the evening I held him and he pretty much stayed in one position- he is usually very restless on my lap he weighs about 24 lbs. I took him out and he finally peed a few times for me- was walking a bit unsteadywith hind legs crossing at times. Brought him in and he drank water like he was very thirsty. I put him in his bed and he stayed in the same position until I just went to check on him. I carried him outside and put him down- he seemed a bit unsure of what to do but finally did pee a few times. He tried to poop but seemed to have difficulty- very small poop ( not diarrhea). He took a treat for me easily which I had stuffed another ASA. I took him to see if he wanted to drink or eat but he did not. I should also mention that he is a very vocal dog and has not barked once since I got home.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 month ago.

Thank you,

Now first I have to note that if he isn't eating since the ASA, there is a risk that is causing stomach upset. It is only a mild pain relief at best but it unfortunately (as all non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) can affect the stomach causing GI upset but also stomach ulcers. So, we do need to try to get him eating (even if its a few more treats every few hours or a light meal like rice with boiled chicken, scrambled egg, or cottage cheese). That way we are just giving his stomach acid something to chew on besides the stomach wall. And this would be something to mention to his vet when he is seen since we may need gastroprotectants with any further NSAID treatments or may need them to use an alternative (ie Gabapentin, Tramadol, etc).

Now that aside, his sudden weakness and leg crossing concerns me. We can see general weakness in dogs that have been off food for a while, but that doesn't sound the case with Noah. As well, arthritis can often rear its head if they have a strain/sprain but often they are as you report but the leg crossing just makes me suspicious of other potential issues. Notably nerve, spinal, or brain issues can cause all of the above signs along with the leg crossing. This is due to the miscommunication between the brain and the hind legs. And some of these (especially if an inflammation, infection, or disc issues in the spine has suddenly developed) can come on quite suddenly and would struggle to respond to the ASA alone.

With all this in mind, as long as he has voluntary movement of the back legs, we can monitor until his vet is open. If that was lost, then we'd have an emergency issue (and likely spinal based one). In the meantime, we want to focus on getting him eating, resting him, and you can start an OTC cat hairball treatment or add fiber to the light diet if we can get him to eat to help ease his passing stool. As well, if he is struggling to walk when you take him out, you can make a sling (example HERE) to help you support his back end. But again for the moment, we need to use supportive care but will need him seen since we have these serious concerns for wee Noah.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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