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ER Vet
ER Vet, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1771
Experience:  I have been a veterinarian for 21 years caring for dogs in general and emergency practice.
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My dog is crossing her back legs, having trouble getting up

Resolved Question:

My dog is crossing her back legs, having trouble getting up when lying down, breathing heavily, wining and won't go up or down the stairs anymore. Also her spine seems to be more prominent when petting her and she has lost about 7 pounds. I took her to the vet and $400 later they have told me nothing. Every test they did came back normal. They tested all of her internal organs and did a CBC. Can you tell me what might be wrong with her?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  ER Vet replied 5 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. XXXXX XXXXX and I'd like to help! I just need to ask you a few questions to be well informed and give you the best advice.

I'm sorry Odo is having so much trouble.

When did this start?

What were the first symptoms?

Does she have any appetite?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It started a couple weeks ago. My 3 year old son had let my daughter's cat upstairs where Odo was and they don't really get along because the cat doesn't like dogs. I realized it and tried to find the cat. I found her at the top of the other flight of stairs and Odo was at the bottom. I went about half way up and the cat started to come down and I went to grab her when Odo came up behind me and tried to bite the cat. It scared me so I pushed Odo away. When I did she fell against the wall and kind of let out a whine and looked at me funny. I got the cat put away and Odo just stayed there and stared at me. I couldn't understand what she was doing because I didn't think she could have possibly gotten hurt. She had just scared me because I didn't know she was there and all of a sudden her mouth was open in front of me heading right towards the cat. She came down after a few seconds and everything seemed to be fine but then all these other things that I explained started happening and she progressively got worse. I told the vet all of this and she didn't think it was the cause of her problems. Her first symptoms were that her back legs just seemed to be a little off. She has left food in her bowl for the last couple of days and when she does eat we have to bring it to her. She did refuse to eat tonight all together though.
Expert:  ER Vet replied 5 years ago.
With the symptoms of crossing her legs and whining, it sounds as though she is having a type of spinal disease that is causing pressure on her spinal cord. This is causing weakness in the hind legs due to poor neurological function.

There can be several causes and I think x rays would be your next step in terms of diagnostics. I would take x rays of the spine.

An MRI would also be helpful.

The possible causes include: intervertebral disk disease, fibrocartilagenous embolism (stroke to the spinal cord), tumor or even meningitis.

Unfortunately without more advanced diagnostics, you probably won't know the exact cause.

Please keep her quiet and confined to a cage until you can take her back to your vet or get a second opinion.

If you have further questions, please call.
Expert:  ER Vet replied 5 years ago.
At this point, I would recommend offering a variety of foods just to get nutrition into her. This can include chicken or hamburger and rice.

Exercise restriction is the key as well. Cage rest is best.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Is a temp. of 102.4 high for a dog? She actually did get bitten by our other dog (which has been removed from the home) maybe about a week before her symptoms started. I completely forgot about it. The bite broke the skin on her chest but it seemed to heal right away. Could it have gotten infected and caused meningitis and if so should I have her treated with an antibiotic? I can't afford anymore tests at this point.
Expert:  ER Vet replied 5 years ago.
That is a normal teperature.
When did she have the dexamethasone?

Is she drinking ok?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She received the dexamethasone on Friday at about 5 p.m.

She is drinking ok. We just have to put the water in front of her because she can't really get up to get it on her own.
Expert:  ER Vet replied 5 years ago.
Meningitis in that case isn't real likely but is possible.

You could call your veterinarian and see if they will dispense antibiotics as well as pain medication for you.

To take her outside, use a towel under her abdomen as a sling to assist her. If this is a spinal injury, keeping her quiet and giving anti inflammatory medications may be helpful.

Bring her food and water and see if starting the above mentioned medications can help bring her appetite back.
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