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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30377
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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I have a 12 year old Tibetan Mastiff. My vet cannot find

Customer Question

I have a 12 year old Tibetan Mastiff. My vet cannot find anything wrong with him other than that he is knuckling on his rear right foot and is weak on his left leg. No signs of bone cancer or arthritis so she thinks its neurological. Nothing shows in his x-rays. Does this sound like something that could be nerve related and if so, do you think it is treatable?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.
There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

1- Weak on the left hind leg, correct?

2- How long has this been going on?

3- Did the symptoms come on quickly?

4- Did your vet start him on any medications? If so, what is the name (s)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has been weak in his hips for the past several weeks. We thought it was arthritis. Then on Wednesday morning he basically collapsed and couldn't get up. When I got him to the vet, he didn't seem to be able to put weight on his back legs and he was definitely dragging his right back leg. They found that he had a fever of 104 so ran blood work and x-rays. White count was slightly elevated but nothing showed in his x-rays, not even arthritis. The started him on antibotics (clavamox) and anti-inflammatory (Rovera) and fluids. Kept him for 2 days and sent him home with a weeks worth of the above meds. He is moving around now but has very little mobility in his rear. This morning he's not really knuckling his back foot, but he is very shaky in his hips and basically has very little appetite. They also x-rayed his stomach and upper chest area and again, found nothing alarming for a 12 year old dog. They want me to take him to a neurologist but that is over an hour drive and I don't know how he would tolerate that. Does this sound like something a neurologist could help with? I noticed last night, he kind of walks like someone that had had a stroke.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Friend, they symptoms and history you are describing are consistent with a neurological disorder. You see, when there is no evidence of any abnormality in plain xrays or blood work and the patient is showing motor dysfunction (knuckling over), this a nerve impairment problem. There are many possible causes; given the quick onset this could be related to: ***** ***** disc that is placing pressure on the spinal cord, thromboembolic (stroke like), neoplasia of the central nervous system, etc. to name a few causes. For a definitive diagnosis he would need advance imaging like an MRI or CTScan. Plain xrays are great and often tell us all that we need to know. But, they do a poor job when evaluating lesions affecting the central nervous system. For this reason, I would strongly recommend having him checked by a neurologist as your family vet has recommended. Depending on the underlying cause will depend on the treatment options.

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