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Candy
Candy, Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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My dog is walking backwards, seems as if legs are trembling. Walks around the house and se

Customer Question

my dog is walking backwards, seems as if legs are trembling. Walks around the house and seems confused. head seems to be downward.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
dog is also licking a lot ... his mouth.
Expert:  Candy replied 2 years ago.
Hello. I am sorry to hear that Cho is not feeling well. My name is ***** ***** I have been a veterinary nurse for 26 years. I would be happy to help I just have a few questions.
Other then walking backwards if he having any trouble jumping, using the stairs etc?
Is his back hunched at all?
Is he eating and drinking normally?
Any trouble passing stool or urine?
What was the reason the one vet gave for neutering does he think the prostate is causing pain?
Have any of the vets you have seen been a specialist?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I would say he is hunched a bit.
I did notice that he doesn't like to jump up as much but he still will do it every so often.
he' a picky eater/he will wait until I give him meat. sometimes will starve himself until I give him meat/chicken.
one vet thought it was his prostate, suggested to get him neutered. His urine showed no signs of infection.
This all started in early March, took him in to get his shots and did a senior panel on him. no symptoms came up at the time, but showed 24,000 in white blood cell count. He was put on prednisone steroid and an anti biotic. All his tests came back clean for heart warm, his stool came back clean and recent urine test came back clean. They have cleaned out his anal glands as well. his white blood cell count did go down to 12,000 on the last blood chemistry.
only one vet suggested neurological problems.
Expert:  Candy replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.
From my experience I would agree with the vet that suggested this is neurological. One of the most common causes for a dog to walk backwards is spinal pain or even sever arthritis. When something is going on with a disc in the back or neck this causes them to walk backwards in an attempt to reduce the pain.The fact that his back is somewhat hunched and he does not like to jump further leads me to believe this is spinal and or joint related.
Now it does sound like he may have had some type of infection going on but the antibiotics seem to have resolved that so if this was due to something such as a prostate infection I would have expected to see this get better.
Other then spinal pain we would look for things like tick borne illnesses that can attack the joints.
I know you have already been to 3 vets and that must be frustrating, the first vet should have referred you to a specialist when they could not find the cause. I would ask for a referral to a veterinary neurologist asap so we can get him some relief.
The licking his lips is a sign of nausea or pain. I can not say for sure which one this is with him because he likely has both going on since he is not eating like he should as well. Lets try to treat for nausea and try to get him eating. Pepcid AC 1/4 of a 10 mg tablet every 12 hours will help with the nausea.
Offer him boiled chicken or hamburger with boiled rice. If needed you can add scrambled egg or a bit of plain yogurt. I would also try a food called Merrick. This is a canned food that is very very close to human foods and is something we always suggest for picky eaters since few refuse this food.
Try using a heating pad on the back and neck a few times per day and see if this helps at all. I would also pick up and get him started on an Omega fatty acid supplement. Not only is this good for lubricating the joints it has natural anti inflammatory properties.
I would try to get him in to see the neurologist as soon as possible.
I hope this helps give you some other options. Please reply back if you have additional questions and I will be happy to continue.
Candy..
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Friends and family keep telling me that there's nothing since all the blood tests came out fine. i don't think im over thinking. do you ?
Expert:  Candy replied 2 years ago.
No you are not over thinking a dog does not walk backwards and have trembling legs etc for no reason. Blood work being clear simple means that his organs are fine and this is not do to specific disease processes. A spinal problem is not going to show up on blood work. That said problems like tick borne illnesses will not show on blood work unless they test specifically for that, it is not something that shows on standard blood work.
He sounds miserable and very very uncomfortable so we have to figure out why. Your best option is a neurologist.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so much Candy! I appreciate all your expertise and i will call a neurologist as soon as they open. Thank so much again!
Expert:  Candy replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome. Please keep me posted on how things are going
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will! he is schedules for June 2nd... :)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks so much again Candy! Much appreciated! :)
Expert:  Candy replied 2 years ago.
Great. I know that is a few days away but actually much quicker then some I have seen ( it's is not always easy to get in) I really think they will help figure this out.
Lets try the Pepcid AC and Merrick food ( or bland diet I give above) and lets see if we can get his eating and the nausea under control while you are waiting to see the neurologist.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
sounds good ! thank you Candy! I will get him on that diet. :)
Expert:  Candy replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome. Please give him a good pet from me and tell him I promise we will figure this out.