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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 27415
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Weakness in hind legs, falls down while walking ( while

Customer Question

Weakness in hind legs, falls down while walking ( while using the bathroom ), falls on kitchen floor.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: He has sores on his front feet from scraping the ground.
JA: What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Parker / 6
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about parker?
Customer: He has an enlarged prostate.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months 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 4 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Parker. Which breed is he, please? When both front and hind limbs are affrected as you've described - ataxia ("drunken sailor"), paresis (weakness)/paralysis, and a loss of conscious proprioception (knowing where one's limbs are in space - which appears to exist in his front limbs because his feet are scraping the ground), a cervical (neck) myelopathy (spinal cord disorder) or anatomical anomaly involving his skull and vertebral column where it meets his skull, as well as encephalopathy (brain disorder) need to be considered. Parker's vet will want to perform a thorough physical and neurologic exam on Parker in an attempt to clarify where the primary pathology exists. X-rays and even MRI are likely to be recommended in such a patient.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

Thank you! Dobies are over-represented with cervical spondylomyelopathy - a common disease of the cervical spine of large and giant-breed dogs characterized by compression of the cervical spinal cord and nerve roots caused by vertebral malformation and/or intervertebral disk-associated lesions. Surgical treatment leads to imporvement in ~80% of patients. ~50% of patients improve with medical treatment (restricted activity +/- corticosteroids or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs) and 25% remain stable. Survival time is less than ideal. Many dogs deteriorate approximately 3 years after diagnosis, independent of treatments.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.