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Dr. Johnson
Dr. Johnson, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
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Experience:  Small animals, special interest in orthopedics and neurology
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My dogs back legs are not working an she panting non stop

Customer Question

My dogs back legs are not working an she panting non stop
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Johnson replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Johnson :

Hello there,

Dr. Johnson :

Did this happen suddenly?

Dr. Johnson :

Can she move her back legs at all or is she dragging them?

Customer :

IT DID HAPPEN SUDDENLY THIS MORNING, AND SHE DRAGGING THE BACK LEGS. ITS ALMOST LIKE SHE CANT PUT PRESSURE ON THEM ( her legs)

Dr. Johnson :

It sounds like your dog is having a problem with her back.

Dr. Johnson :

The most likely explanation in a cocker spaniel is intervertebral disc disease. It is likely that an intervertebral disc in her back (the shock absorbers between adjacent vertebrae) has burst, and the material has entered the spinal canal and is now putting pressure on the spinal cord. This causes swelling and bruising of the spinal cord and leads to neurologic dysfunction (often dragging of the hindlimbs, inabilty to urinate and lack of pain sensation).

Dr. Johnson :

It is important that you get your dog to a vet as soon as possible (if not to an emergency vet tonight then to your vet as soon as they open). They need to assess whether your dog can urinate (and if she can't they need to manually express her bladder) and whether or not she can still feel pain in her legs.

Dr. Johnson :

Depending on the finding, she may recover (either partial or full recovery) with appropriate medication and cage rest, but this would be over a very extended period (up to months) of your caring for her and physical therapy. The other option, which is frequently best, would be surgical decompression of the spinal canal. The sooner this is done that better the chances for recovery.

Dr. Johnson :

I hope this helps

Customer :

she is urinating , but acts like she cant control it , she is urinating in the house

Dr. Johnson :

It is good that she is urinating, but you still need to take her in as soon as possible. It is very important to assess her neurological function and see how severely she is affected

Dr. Johnson :

Your vet will need to determine if she's urinating voluntarily, or if its overflow because the bladder is too full. They also need to determine if she is a case that may recover with medical management or if surgery would be the best option

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Dr. Johnson
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Small animals, special interest in orthopedics and neurology