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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19798
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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Noticed last week that my min poodle was having trouble

Customer Question

Noticed last week that my min poodle was having trouble walking on one his rear legs but was still ambulatory but appeared a little sluggish, and balance was off slightly. appetite diminished greatly a few days ago, did not eat today. Has became very lethargic/weak, pupils large/dilated but reactive to light, today has not gotten off his bed and not lifting his head when spoken to, would not get up when called. I took him out of the kennel to see if he could stand & his back legs would not work, his entire hind quarter collapses- not functioning-no control. He can hold his front trunk up with his two front feet a few seconds before folding on the floor. He can scoot himself a little bit to return to his kennel. no interest in food. he has taken water per dropper He loses balance & tips over easily.generalized weakness. Loses balance Overall does not look good. R:20/m, Pulse: 112, galloping. seems to list to one side--head and neck lists to right side & seems to have a stiff neck
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

Hello. I'm sorry to hear about your dog.

It sounds like he is down in the rear limbs, but still has some strength in the front limbs. The most common cause of this in small breed dogs, is a disc herniation. A disc can herniate and press on the spinal cord. This leads to weakness in the rear legs in mild cases. We can see full paralysis in more severe cases.

A neurologic exam can be done to get a good idea of what's going on. To confirm a disc herniation and spinal cord compression, you would need an MRI or CT of his back. From there, surgery is done to decompress the spinal cord. Without surgery, the chance of regaining function is slim with a spinal cord compression and loss of movement/ feeling in the rear limbs.

I would get to a vet as soon as you can to get this diagnosed and then determine if an MRI or CT is needed.

Best of luck, let me know if you have any other questions.

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