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His back legs suddenly aren't working. He's a chiweenie,

Customer Question
His back legs suddenly...

His back legs suddenly aren't working. He's a chiweenie, 9yrs old. Took him to ER. Xrays of the spine

Veterinarian's Assistant: What sort of animal are we talking about?

Revealed no significant injury or spine deterioration. Dr. was "stumped" and after 3.5 hours, our diagnosis is "n/a" He's a Chihuahua Dachshund mix

Veterinarian's Assistant: Maybe I'm confused. I thought you had a problem with a pet. Is that correct?

Yes!

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the Chihuahua?

Can You please read above?

Veterinarian's Assistant: Where does the Chihuahua seem to hurt?

His back legs suddenly aren't working. He's a chiweenie, 9yrs old. Took him to ER. Xrays of the spine Revealed no significant injury or spine deterioration. Dr. was "stumped" and after 3.5 hours, our diagnosis is "n/a"

Veterinarian's Assistant: OK. No obvious pain. Can you see anything that looks wrong or different?

He did have pain on Friday evening, by Saturday morning, he wasn't crying in pain, just complete seemingly paralyzed back legs

Veterinarian's Assistant: The noise must be worrying. I'll connect you to the Veterinarian. What is the Chihuahua's name and age?

The noise? Franco. 8.5 yrs old

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the Chihuahua's name?

Franco

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Franco?

Something very similar happened last year but seemed to quickly resolve. Within 24 hrs. May/may not be related.

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
My dog is a Chihuahua Dachshund mixed breed. He recently had his teeth cleaned on December 18th. This past Thursday I gave him a bath, he ran around like a maniac like he always does. By Friday night he was in severe pain noted by yelping, seemingly on his left side. By Saturday night both back legs were completely immobile and he was unable to stand or walk. I took him to the ER where they did x-rays of his spine and determined that no significant deterioration or damage to his spine could have caused this paralysis in his back legs. The ER veterinarian said he was "stumped" and didn't have an answer or explanation for me. The diagnosis on his paperwork indicates "n/a." No additional tests were questions were conducted by the veterinarian at the ER facility. I'm wondering if he has some type of torn ligament or pinched nerve. He had a similar situation last year where he was unable to get up-and-down the stairs and couldn't walk. It resolved very quickly within about 24 hours. This may or may not be an related episode. The dog doesn't seem to be in any apparent pain since the initial pain he demonstrated on Friday night. Hes currently on steroids muscle relaxers and pain relievers. But hes urinating and defecating all over himself and everywhere else because his unable to move at all. Presumably my next move is to take him to my regular vet and see if they all run an X-ray on his back legs? Is that the best course of action? Finances are an issue so I will have to determine the cost of the X-ray before I am able to proceed with it. Any advice or medical opinion is greatly appreciated. I also have identical twin baby boys who consume a lot of my time and as a single stay-at-home mother taking care of a partially paralyzed dog has become very taxing physically and emotionally.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
About a week earlier I took him to visit a family member who has 2 dogs. These 2 dogs as I recently learned apparently have a flea infestation that is critical. I wasn't aware of how severe the flea infestation was when I brought my dog to visit. He was only there one hour. I don't see any tick attached to him so I think it's safe to rule out tick paralysis although it's possible there's one lodged somewhere that I'm not seeing.
Answered in 1 hour by:
1/3/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 33,324
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago

I'm sorry to hear of this with Franco. Any miniature dog - especially a doxi or doxi mix - with Franco's history by the princile of Occam's Razor must be suspected of suffering from degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk"). It's important to recognize that X-rays may not show where a disk has ruptured or is bulging against the spinal cord. An MRI may be necessary but is usually reserved for surgical candidated...which, regretfully, Franco is. This is what you need to know:

The most important prognostic indicator for paralyzed dogs is the presence or absence of nociception (deep pain). This assessment is always subjective but apparent loss of sensation caudal (toward the tail) to the level of spinal cord injury suggests the possibility for permanent paralysis regardless of treatment. Approximately 50% of dogs in this condition recover if treated with decompressive surgery.

Approximately 90-97% of dogs with intact nociception, even if they're paraplegic or tetraplegic, recover fully or nearly fully with surgical decompression. However, the time frame for recovery is extremely variable (few days to many months).

With nonsurgical treatment about 85% of ambulatory and 50% of nonambulatory (but retaining pain perception) dogs ultimately recover.

The recurrence rate (i.e., a new disk extrusion at a different level) is low in nonchondrodystrophic breeds (non "pushed-in faces" breeds), although some of these dogs (especially German shepherds) may have initial signs attributable to disk disease at multiple levels simultaneously. For chondrodysplastic breeds treated with surgical decompression, recurrence rates vary from 5-20%. The recurrence rate for medically managed patients is about 40%.

Dogs with signs attributable to ascending-descending myelomalacia due to bleeding in the spinal cord have a poor prognosis.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago
Hi,

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

Dr. Michael Salkin
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Dr. Michael Salkin
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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