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She's having a hard time walking. She doesn't want to put…

Customer Question
She's having a hard...

She's having a hard time walking. She doesn't want to put pressure on her back legs.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?

Yes, I have. Nothing in between the pads, her nails are trimmed. Shes 8 years old and a dachsund

Veterinarian's Assistant: The Expert will know what to do. What is the dog's name?

Korea

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

Nothing health wise.

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
2/6/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,119
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
ok. thank toy
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

I'm sorry to hear about Korea. She sounds very uncomfortable.

Dogs that are painful will hesitate to move and display the sort of behavior she is, either because it hurts to do the activity or because they feel weaker than usual.

Unfortunately Dachshunds as a breed are prone to a problem with their intervertebral discs, which are the spongy cushions between the individual vertebrae in their back and neck. These spongy discs can move or rupture and place pressure upon the spinal cord which can lead to pain, and in severe cases paralysis. If you pinch the toes on her rear feet can she feel that?

Radiographs can sometimes be diagnostic but often early on in the disease process, because the discs are soft tissue not bone, everything will look normal. An MRI is the best way of diagnosing disc disease.

If the dog is painful but has no evidence of paralysis we can try strict rest, anti-inflammatories and pain medications for several weeks to allow healing.

If there is evidence or weakness or paralysis then surgery by a board certified veterinary neurologist, as soon as possible, is indicated.

Ideally an appointment with her veterinarian should be scheduled on an emergency basis. If this is indeed a disc problem your veterinarian can prescribe a steroid or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory to relieve pressure on her spinal cord and nerve roots, as well as something for pain too, such as Tramadol. And if she is having painful muscle spasms then a muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol as well.

She should be closely confined starting now until she can be examined. No stairs, running or jumping. If you have a crate for her I highly recommend using it. The less she moves around the more comfortable she will be and the faster she will heal. She should go out on a leash to relieve herself. Do not use a collar for her, a harness which more evenly distributes forces if she pulls on her leash is better. You will need to confine her for several weeks, even as she starts to feel better or she may reinjure herself. Keeping her on the thin side is recommended to decrease stress on her back, but is no guarantee that she won't have another episode. Once a dog has one bad disc the likelihood of another is very high.

If you are interested in reading more here is a link to an excellent article about intervertebral disc disease, its causes and therapy: http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Dog-Health-Center/Bone-Joint-Muscle-Disorders/Intervertebral-Disk-Disease/Symptoms.aspx

There are other less common causes of back pain such as infections, tumors of the vertebrae or the spinal cord itself or fibrocartilagenous emboli but far and away disc disease is the most common cause of back pain and loss of function in dogs.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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