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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24439
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a sheltie who is 10 years old and suddenly she can't

Customer Question

I have a sheltie who is 10 years old and suddenly she can't stand on hind legs doesn't seem to be in any pain
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: Yes they are both fine she try's to stand but can't I picked her hind part up to see if she'd walk fell right diwn
JA: The veterinarian will know what to do. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Her name is cCoCo
JA: Is there anything else the veterinarian should be aware of about cCoCo?
Customer: No
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Coco. You appear to be describing the paresis (weakness)/paralysis of a myelopathy (spinal cord disorder). The most common of the myelopathies is degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk"). We also see fibrocartilainous embolism - an interruption of the blood supply to the spinal cord. Tumors in or around the spinal cord are a consideration but not expected to cause peracute (sudden) symptoms.

Supportive evidence of a disk may include vocalizing when approached or lifted, having trouble jumping up or down and navigating steps, ataxia (“drunken sailor”), trembling/shaking (pain responses), a change in posture such as the neck held rigidly and head lower to the ground or a"hunch" in his back, and a change in behavior - a normally social dog becoming aloof or, conversely, a normally aloof dog becoming "clingy". Coco's vet will want to carefully palpate (feel) about Coco's spine looking for areas of hyperpathia (increased sensitivity) suggestive of a disk. Conservative care involves the use of a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam, a narcotic analgesic such as tramadol, and a skeletal muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol or diazepam. These drugs are usually administered for at least ten days. Most simple disks will remiss within a few weeks. It's important to keep these dogs as quiet as possible lest they hurt themselves further.

Should paresis (weakness) or paralysis arise in any limb(s) - and it has - she'll need the attention of her vet at your earliest convenience. Such dogs are then surgical candidates for spinal cord decompression. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin