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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28473
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 8 year old boxer went from wide open to can not walk in

Customer Question

My 8 year old boxer went from wide open to can not walk in three weeks. She was diagnosed with hypothyroid. She has been taking .5mg of levothyroxine for 1 week now but continues to decline. I can cary her outside and message her legs and she can walk a short distance. If she sqats to pee she often falls over or straight back on her rear.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Jayden. Please clarify "from wide open" for me.

Hypothyroidism isn't a likely cause of such paresis (weakness) or paralysis. Both encephalopathy (brain disorder) and myelopathy (spinal cord disorder) need to be considered. It's not unusual for the total thyroid (T4) blood level to decrease secondary to serious disorders. This doesn't mean that she's hypothyroid, however.

Her anorexia and lack of mobility indicate a very ill dog in need of hospitalization and additional diagnostics. I can't know if she's profoundly anemic and weak or one of the central nervous system disorders I mentioned above has arisen. Were diagnostics in addition to the T4 performed three weeks ago? If so, can you upload a copy of Jayden's test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy at home but Jayden's vet can give you one which you can scan into your computer and then give me file link or you can photograph the pages and upload them by using the paperclip icon above your message box (if you can see the icon) or by using an external app such as

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think the brain disorder is correct. By "wide open" she has always been like a year old. I let her out of here pen and she jumps 2' off the ground straight up. Then she would be so excited she would chase her tail in circles (stub tail). A couple of weeks ago she just started staying in her dog house or when she came out she just kind of had a blank look on her face. Friday she ate some fish I cooked and some raw deer burger but would not eat eggs or cheese. Yesterday all she ate was a little roast beef. Today I have tried everything and she will not eat. She still drinks water. Her stool today was black and almost runny. Her tail no longer wags and she just staggers away until I pick her up.I believe she will die soon and I don't know if she is in pain. She has been sleeping under the table at my feet and I think that is where she will stay until she dies.Thanks,
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Oh my, Bill. A blank look represents a change in mentation (mental status) - another indication of brain disorder. Unfortunately, the most common of the brain disorders is a brain tumor in an 8 year old Boxer. It sounds like you're giong to have a difficult decision to make sooner than later. Please continue our conversation if you wish.