Ask a Vet and Get Your Veterinary Questions Answered.
My dog is having problems getting up on his back legs, once he is up and about he is able to run walk and so on as he normally does. He eats ok and he's regularly using the bathroom. We have taken him to the vet and has had blood test ( for addisons disease) he tested negative, as well as x-rays and the vet states everything looks normal. He has gotten worse over the last few days he whines because he cant get up and i have to pick his back legs off the ground. he's about 5 years old 25 lbs rescue looks like a poodle mix. he has been seen by two different vets within the same company cities apart and we are now awaiting a specialist review of the X-rays. this has been going on for a month and he has slowly gotten worse. we are thinking it has something to do with his spine and are getting tired of coming home with no answers. When he was prescribed remidol , dog aspirin or whatever it is , he was able to run around and move as normal for him. At first we thought his legs were falling asleep , but now we are thinking its more of a pain, or pinched nerve ( if that is even possible ) . he doesnt even want to get out of his kennel in the morning to go potty, and doesnt get excited about treats. We would just appreciate some other possible diagnoses of what this may be, or would like to see if this is just a pain that will go away over time with medication?
Please let us know,
Hello, this is Dr. Bruce and I would like to help you with Sebastian.
I'm sorry to hear that he is having these issues.
There are two major causes to hind leg issues in dogs. The first and most common would be arthritis. The second common cause would be some sort of spinal cord issue (such as a disc that has degenerated and is pressing on the spinal cord).
With arthritis, the most common symptom that owners see is that the dog will have problems getting up, but after a few minutes is acting normal again. Also, there tends to be a good response to anti-inflammatories such as the Rimadyl. This certainly sounds consistent with what you describe for Sebastian. In most cases of arthritis, there is some evidence of changes on the x-ray. It is possible to have subtle changes that are not easily seen on the x-ray, so it may be possible that the vet missed any of these changes. You should have more information once the radiologist review comes back.
With neurologic disease, there will be losses of some reflexes, which should be detectable on physical exam. In addition. anti-inflammatories would NOT have any effect on the clinical signs. That would make this less likely to be the diagnosis for Sebastian.
You don't mention whether or not Sebastian is still on the Rimadyl. If not, then I would put him back on the medication until you can figure out what is going on with him. Since it helped him be normal, there is no reason not to keep him on it. Until a definitive diagnosis can be reached, at the very least, we need to keep him comfortable.
There are other less common causes of hind end lameness. Tick borne diseases, autoimmune diseases, and neuromuscular diseases could all be possibilities. They are not as common as arthritis, so you need to rule that out first, especially with the response to rimadyl being so positive.
I hope this helps, and that Sebastian is feeling better very soon. If you wish to ask any follow up questions, please reply to this post and I will get back to you as soon as possible. You can still follow up with me even after you "Accept" my answer.
We just noticed after cutting away some of sebastians hair on his front leg where he had been biting and licking for about one month now that it looks as though it is a bite of some sort , mosquito, spider? we do not know. Can this have anything to do with his back leg pain , we have an appointment with the vet tomorrow. Could you help us with some questions we can as our vet or give us some advice as to anything we could do immedietly , or any action we need to take right away. Can it cause any permanent damage ?
I would not expect that the bites you are seeing on the front legs should have any correlation to the hind leg issues. There are rare occurences of tick bites causing weakness and paralysis, but it would be ongoing and would not be intermittent.
I would definitely ask your vet about keeping Sebastian on some sort of NSAID (such as the rimadyl) for the long term as needed for lameness and discomfort. I would also ask about using some sort of glucosamine supplement to help with joint issues. Some vets (including myself) will also give adequan injections as another type of joint supplement. Adequan will help dogs with arthritis by supplying building blocks to restore cartilage in the joint.
In the mean time, you could give Sebastian benadryl to help reduce the itching and biting until you can get to the vet. The benadryl is dosed at 1 mg per pound every 8-12 hours. So you could give him 1 tablet (adult human tablets are 25mg) 2-3 times per day. It may make him sleepy, but it is very safe and should help reduce itchiness.
I hope this helps. Let me know what the vet says about the x-ray review and the plan for Sebastian. I would be more than happy to weigh in with my opinion.