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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30326
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I took my dog to vet because she couldn't walk or bear

Customer Question

I took my dog to vet because she couldn't walk or bear weight on her back legs. Vet did x rays and said she had a bone growth that was pinching her nerves. They have me prednisone, ultram, and strict cage rest. I haven't seen much improvement. long will it take ?? Will she ever walk again?? Do I need to get a second opinion and act now?? Could the growth sever the nerve making her paralyzed? ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, without my seeing the X-rays (and even MRI may be necessary) I'm unable to prognosticate for you. To answer you directly, however, it's important for you to know that the most important prognostic indicator is the presence or absence of nociception‭ (‬deep pain perception‭) ‬in‭ her hind legs.‭ ‬This assessment is always subjective but apparent loss of sensation suggests the possibility for permanent paralysis regardless of treatment.‭ ‬Approximately‭ ‬50%‭ ‬of dogs in this condition recover with decompressive surgery.

Approximately‭ ‬90-97%‭ ‬of dogs with intact nociception,‭ ‬even if they're paraplegic or tetraplegic recover fully or nearly fully with surgical decompression.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬the time frame for recovery is extremely variable‭ ‬-‭ ‬a few days to many weeks or months.

With nonsurgical treatment about‭ ‬85%‭ ‬of ambulatory dogs and‭ ‬50%‭ ‬of non-ambulatory‭ (‬but retaining pain perception‭) ‬dogs ultimately recover but recovery can be quite protracted‭ ‬-‭ ‬weeks to months.

What can you tell me about her nociception? In general, if you haven't seen an appreciable improvement within the first week of conservative care (prednisone/tramadol), referral to a specialist veterinary neurologist surgeon should be considered at this time.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She was absent of deep pain on Monday when I brought her in. Now she will move her back legs a little on her own.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

That's encouraging but I would still consider her a surgical candidate. It's unclear to me what "a bone growth" implies. In most cases, material from within a slipped disk is compressing the spinal cord. It would be unusual for a "bone growth" such as would be seen with advanced osteoarthritis would be found in a 3 year old and a congenital (present at birth) bony spinal defect should have caused symptoms before now. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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