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Christi Belew
Christi Belew, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 207
Experience:  Medical Director at Union Hill Animal Hospital
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Last night my nearly 12 year old Great Pyrenees seemed to

Customer Question

Last night my nearly 12 year old Great Pyrenees seemed to intermittently lose all control of her hind legs. Including not being able to stay standing while trying to eat and not being able to get up from lying down! This lasted several hours and now she can get up on her own again. It didn't look like a siesure or a stroke. At one point it seemed to include her front legs as well...but not for very long. What is happening bro her?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Christi Belew replied 11 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I am happy to help you and Brin. A few questions to better assess your situation.

1. It sounds like we are still eating and drinking ok?

2. Any vomiting or diarrhea noted?

3. Your initial message indicates that this was temporary? Now we are walking normally, no limp or dragging of a foot?

4. Any known trauma? Any illness recently diagnosed by your vet?

Thank you

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Eating and drinking but not much, walking, but slowly, no limp today, she is panting a lot though and no vomit or diarrhea. No trauma except she was lifted into my car after being groomed cuz she can no longer jump into the back of my car on her own.
Expert:  Christi Belew replied 11 months ago.

This sounds most like arthritis, particularly in the spine or hips. I would recommend a visit with your vet this week to have a neuro exam to make sure there is no issue within the spine, then proper pain medications for arthritis can be started. Unfortunately, there are no over the counter pain medications that do not cause stomach ulcers. As long as she is continuing to eat, drink and have some mobility, I do not think you need to see the ER vet. There are obviously other, less likely potentials, which is why I recommend the hands on veterinary visit.

If I have answered your questions, please kindly rate me (this is how I am compensated for my time). If not, please reply back and I am happy to answer additional questions. Thank you.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
We are already aware that she has some mild arthritis… She is nearly 12 years old… But I am a former paramedic and what happened last night was a cute and urgent not a build up of arthritic joints getting worse. I also have rheumatoid arthritis and know a little bit about what that looks like and this was nothing like that! It was semi-seizure looking and a semi stroke looking except that it was not hemispherical… It was sudden onset not slowly getting worse so I don't see how arthritis could be the answer to this question. Could it be something else? Could it be a tumor on her spine or could neurological damage have happened because we picked her up incorrectly? It really was more urgent than what you're thinking.
Expert:  Christi Belew replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for a better description! I was thinking more of acute injury to an arthritis joint (I have seen dogs with spine arthritis-discospondylosis, that have fractured one of those bridging arthritis points and they will acutely go down).

It could be an FCE (fibrocartilaginous embolism) to the spine as well. Those dogs are typically quite painful for a short period when if first occurs due to the ischemia.

Typically the pressure produced by a spinal tumor or even a brain tumor would be more consistent and not intermittent. This is where a good, hands on neuro exam by your vet would be helpful. They can assess any deficits in the cranial nerves, reflexes, proprioception deficits, spinal pain, etc.

Going along the lines of seizure, I agree with you, it too should not have been intermittent (unless you didn't see the main seizure and you were seeing a post-ictal phase). Also, stroke would be more consistent symptoms. Let me know what more I can address. Without laying hands on her, it is difficult to better assess. I do still think this sounds more orthopedic/spine, but agree that it may be more than injury to arthritis joints.

Expert:  Christi Belew replied 11 months ago.

I wanted to follow up and see how Brin was doing