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Dr. CW
Dr. CW, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 190
Experience:  Amost 10yrs of clinical experience in small animal and pocket pet medicine and surgery.
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My dachshund cannot move his back legs. He woke up this morning

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My dachshund cannot move his back legs. He woke up this morning and was unable to use his back legs. Should I go to the ER or wait til morning to see the Vet?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. CW replied 8 years ago.



I am very sorry to hear about your dachshund. It sounds as though he may have ruptured an intervertebral disc. It is very common in the long and low type breeds. If he has no movement of his rear limbs, I would recommend that you take him now. If he doesn't have mineralized discs, this will sometimes improve with time, anti-inflammatories +/- muscle relaxants. If there is mineralization within the disc and this material is now pressing against the spinal cord, surgery may be necessary. There is a nerve response in the foot called a deep pain response. If he has no deep pain and he has had none for greater than 24hrs, then even with surgery (if necessary), he'll have less chance of recovering function of his back legs. The other problem is that this could progress without you being aware of it.


Best of luck, and here is a link in case you should want more information:


I hope this has been helpful. If you have any further questions, just reply and I will get back to you as soon as possible.


Dr. CW

Dr. CW and 3 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

We tickled at his feet and he does show response, he seems to be feeling ok otherwise and I have been giving him tramadol. I have some prednisone here and was thinking of giving him some until I can ge him to our regular vet tomorrow. What do you think?

Expert:  Dr. CW replied 8 years ago.

Unfortunately, without examining him myself, it wouldn't be responsible for me to give you advice on medications, etc. And I can't tell you for certain that all will be well if you wait. If he isn't completely paralyzed, and his deep pain response is intact, you may be ok to wait until morning. Prednisone is one of the medications that is commonly prescribed but a lot of veterinarians would give a higher dose of an injectible steroid and possibly something to protect the stomach in the beginning, and then follow up with prednisone and possibly robaxin.


Was the tramadol prescribed for him? If so, back pain can be painful, so I think that is a great idea, and it won't interfere with any future treatment. Do not, however give any aspirin or nSaid type medication, as this could react with a steroid (if that is what your veterinarian chooses to use) and be more like to cause GI ulceration.


Best of luck, and if there are any other questions, again, just reply and I'll be happy to try to help.


Dr. CW

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you. The tramadol was prescribed for my other doxie when he had a pain in his neck/back area. I am so nervous for him. I would rather wait til he sees his regular vet tomorrow. i hope i am not doing the wrong thing. on my own i gave him 1/2 of a 20 mg prednisone. imagine this won't do much for him. he has not been able to urinate because he can't stand up. i was hoping to at least be able to get him on his feet enough to urinate. he was able to defecate this morning.
Expert:  Dr. CW replied 8 years ago.

Without seeing him, I can't tell you for certain, but if his deep pain is intact, and as long as it stays that way throughout the night, you will probably be ok. The general pred dosage for mid to lower back intervertebral disc disease is 0.5 to 1mg per kg twice daily for the first 3-5 days (So that you can check the dosage you've already given him). To find the correct dosage, in case you didn't already know this information, just divide his weight by 2.2 and then multiply by 0.5 (at the low end) or 1.0 (at the higher end). That will give you your mg dosage of pred needed.


Sometimes, along with the rear leg paralysis, they can end up with problems with the innervation of the muscles that control bladder function. He may be holding it, but if it turns out that he is unable to void on his own, he may need help, and it may be that more important to get him somewhere quicker.


Let me know how things work out, and best of luck to you.


Dr. CW