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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28930
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My golden/lab mix 6 yrs old has had a limp off and on in

Customer Question

My golden/lab mix 6 yrs old has had a limp off and on in right rear leg and all of a sudden she has lost use of both back legs
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Allie. Bilateral hind leg paresis (weakness) or paralysis usually indicates myelopathy (spinal cord disorder). The most common of the peracute (sudden) myelopathies is degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk") and a fibrocartilaginous embolism (an interruption to the vascular supply to the spinal cord) is another important consideration.

Prompt attention by an on-call/ER vet is recommended for Allie to have the best chance for a functional recovery. A potent nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug such as carprofen or meloxicam is administered in an attempt to reduce inflammation in her spinal cord. The vet needs to assess Allie's nociception - deep pain perception - the most important prognostic quality. If nociception remains her prognosis is much better than if nociception is missing.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I pushed on her toes and she responds by looking back and pulling her leg away - I read on a blog that this was a good sign it might not be spinal - is this possible?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

It's a good sign that nociception is present. Her looking back tells me that her pulling her leg away wasn't just a reflex but, instead, was perceived by her brain. It doesn't rule out a spinal problem - just indicates a better prognosis when a spinal problem exists. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
you would recommend taking her to the vet now instead of waiting til regular vet hours?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

The sooner the better - particularly if you have to wait until Monday for regular vet hours.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok - thank you for your services!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience.