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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7350
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience caring for dogs and cats
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Older small dog; he will be perfectly normal most times and

Customer Question

older small dog; he will be perfectly normal most times and can walk without issues for over a mile at times; other times, he will be walking and his rear legs just give out and he just drags them....????? weird, because like I said there are times he can run like a crazy man lol
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: funny you should say that-I have noticed him biting/licking but on his front paw not rear
JA: What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: kidrock-lol age prob. 14 we adopted him...he was attached by greyhounds a few years back and the vet had said this would prob. result in nerve damage in the future on rear quarter-could that be it?
JA: How old is prob?
Customer: 14
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about prob?
Customer: oh im sorry-this just started happening like a few weeks ago-I noticed him having like spasms on his rear legs now it has progressed to, no other issues really other than old age
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  petdrz replied 10 months ago.

Hello. Welcome to JustAnswer. I am Dr Z. I'm reviewing your question now, and will post back with a reply ASAP.

Expert:  petdrz replied 10 months ago.

Thanks for trusting me to help you and Kidrock today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 30 years of experience and would be happy work with you.

Has Kidrock been evaluated for this more recent finding by your vet yet? If so, were xrays taken?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No he has I said, for most part he is perfectly normal........
Expert:  petdrz replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for the prompt reply.

The fact that he is exhibiting this odd behavior does indicate that there is something wrong. The possible systems that could be involved include cardiac, neurologic, orthopedic and even musculoskelatal. The problems that is not always easy to rule in or rule out some of the possible disease conditions. Orthopedic conditions like arthritis is not usually intermittent in it's presentation, but it can be. Some dogs will manifest pain but dragging instead of using the affected leg. If there was neurologic damage due to the previous injury, one would not expect that to be intermittent either, but if there were for instance a vertebral disk that was intermittently bulging and putting pressure on the spinal cord, that could lead to loss of nerve function and pain in the hindlegs. There have been reported cases of focal seizures that occur with symptoms of episodic paralysis of the hindlegs.

Another possibility could be due to cardiac or circulatory issues. Intermittent claudication or lack of blood flow to the hindlegs has been reported in dogs. This can be exacerbated by exercise. It may be helpful to learn how to check his hindleg pulses so that on the next episode, you can make note of his circulation to those hindlegs. There is another disease, called myasthenia gravis, that should definitely be ruled out. In this disorder, there can be an intermittent paralysis due to the dog's own immune system producing antibodies that block the neurotransmitters that supply the skeletal muscles and the hindlimbs can be affected. Here is a link with more information about this disorder. LINK HERE

Even though his symptoms are intermittent, it still warrants a thorough physical exam and work up to see if a proper diagnosis can be determined.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.

My posted replies are for general education only and not meant as a diagnosis. Only after a thorough veterinary examination can a diagnosis for your pet be made and specific treatments be advised or medications be prescribed.

Dr Z

Expert:  petdrz replied 10 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?