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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28552
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Elderly dog snaps back foot up off the ground with each step

Customer Question

elderly dog snaps back foot up off the ground with each step
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

I believe that you're describing an upper motor neuron reflex in his hind leg which suggests a lesion in his thoracolumbar (T3-L3) spinal cord rather than a problem with that hind limb itself. The usual finding is intervertebral disk disease (a "slipped disk") although a tumor in or around an elderly dog's spinal cord needs to be considered as well. X-rays and even MRI would be necessary to clarify the spinal cord lesion - neither of which I would entertain performing in an elderly dog. Instead, I would see how a prescription nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam affected your dog. The goal would be to reduce inflammation and compression of his spinal cord. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.