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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28574
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My dog had some trouble walking today. I took a video as it

Customer Question

my dog had some trouble walking today. I took a video as it happened last weekend. I am looking to see if I can find an idea what might be causing it.
The vet last weekend did a bunch of tests that all came back negative. It is as if one of her front legs gets stuck and then she falls because she can't put it down or something. It has not happened all week. Today, I did 2 things differently. 1) I put her collar back on and 2) I know she jumped from a high chair onto a hard floor. I am suspecting maybe she hurt her front legs in the jump, but I can squeeze and move them and she is in no pain.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also of note is that last weekend when she had the problem, it was after we took a long walk. I tried to add a video, but it is too large. I will see if I can shrink it somehow.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'd like to see the video, please. You can upload it to an external site such as YouTube and give me the link. Remember to not mark it as private.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here is the video: you,Trisha
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you! She's quite ataxic ("drunken sailor"). This involves more than a front leg. If she normalizes quickly - within minutes of the onset of these events - simple partial seizures (previously called petit mal and now also called psychomotor seizures) should be considered. These are defined as abnormal sensory or motor activity affecting any part of the body. They may be associated with autonomic signs (drooling, vomiting) but there's no alteration in consciousness. She appeared to exhibit a head tilt to the left in the video which would also have me consider vestibular (balance) disorders - in this case temporary vertigo which might arise from her inner/middle ear or centrally in her cerebellum or brain stem. Conservative testing is rarely informative in these patients. A thorough neurologic exam by a specialist veterinary neurologist (please see here: should be considered. I would expect MRI to be recommended as well.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the information. So you don't think it could be IVDD? I was reading today that, that can be triggered by a jump and this one seemed to be triggered by a jump. She is an old dog and I do not have the money to pay for such detailed testing as you mention. Is there a way I will be able to tell if she is any pain or a way I can potentially help prevent the problem from happening?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I considered cervical (neck) IVDD but to have such serious events only to completely normalize in between those events isn't consistent with IVDD. I can't rule IVDD out, however, without imaging (X-ray or MRI) her cervical spine. I understand your constraints at this time. It's not unreasonable to initiate antiinflammatory therapy either with a corticosteroid such as prednisone (if her overall condition supports the use of a steroid) or a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam. All of these drugs also are analgesic by nature of their antiinflammatory action.
I'm afraid we'd need to clarify the etiology of this behavior before knowing how we might prevent further events - if, indeed, that's possible. Perhaps an antiinflammatory drug will be the ticket - particularly if spinal compression in association with a disk is present. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. This info will be useful for me to find the right local vet for her to see about getting some medication.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin

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