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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30370
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have a 10 year old westie who is experiencing extreme

Customer Question

I have a 10 year old westie who is experiencing extreme fatigue, and heavy panting. She is unable to put any weight on her back legs. She was limping about a week ago and holding up one leg but seemed to get ok in a few days. Has been very stiff in the mornings recently but otherwise regular activity until today when the panting and extreme fatigue began along with inability to put any weight on her back legs.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner and I'm sorry to hear of this with your Westie. Myelopathy (spinal cord disorder) such as degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk") is my initial thought when a history of lameness (which leg was held up a week ago, please?) exists and now the back legs don't support weight (paresis/weakness or paralysis). Panting is an indication of pain expected with a slipped disk. Extreme fatigue, however, is puzzling. Such fatigue would be more consistent with encephalopathy (brain disorder) than myelopathy but overall weakness due to anemia or a concomitant systemic disorder needs to be considered as well.

Her vet needs to thoroughly examine her at your earliest convenience. Her spine needs to be carefully palpated for areas of hyperpathia (increased sensitivity suggestive of a disk) and her hind legs need to be checked for conscious proprioception (knowing where one's legs are in space) and nociception (deep pain perception) which is the best diagnostic for determining the prognosis for paralyzed dogs. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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