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Last night and earlier today he was able to walk up and down…

Customer Question
Last night and earlier...

Last night and earlier today he was able to walk up and down the stairs now his back legs are wobble and can hardly get up the stairs

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the dog. What is the dog's name and age?

Kody and age 5years

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

No we where just there and he was fine

Submitted: 27 days ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Customer reply replied 27 days ago
we took him out earlier today an he was running out in the field then when he came home thats when he had a hard time
coming up the steps and just now trying to get up to the bedroom his back legs are wobbly
Customer reply replied 27 days ago
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer reply replied 27 days ago
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Answered in 14 minutes by:
3/25/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 27 days ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,138
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified

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 27 days ago
Please let. Me know asap. If I need to make arrangements n call my vet
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 27 days ago

I'm sorry to hear about Kody. He sounds very uncomfortable. Dogs that are painful will hesitate jumping or climbing stairs and display the sort of behavior he is, either because it hurts to do the activity or because they feel weaker than usual.

This may be a problem with his 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.

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 he needs to see his veterinarian. If this is indeed a disc problem your veterinarian can prescribe a steroid or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory to relieve pressure on his spinal cord and nerve roots, as well as something for pain too, such as Tramadol. And if he is having painful muscle spasms then a muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol as well.

He should be closely confined starting now. No stairs, running or jumping. If you have a crate for him I highly recommend using it. The less he moves around the more comfortable he will be and the faster he will heal. He should go out on a leash to relieve himself. Do not use a collar for him, a harness which more evenly distributes forces if he pulls on his leash is better. You will need to confine him for several weeks, even as he starts to feel better or he may reinjure himself. Keeping him on the thin side is recommended to decrease stress on his back, but is no guarantee that he 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

If you cannot have him examined right away and he is still eating and drinking ok, but is really miserable today the only over the counter anti-inflammatory that can be used in dogs is buffered, enteric coated aspirin (like ascriptin). Aspirin does cause stomach and intestinal irritation and ulceration as well as clotting problems so should not be given for more than 2 to 3 days consecutively and should always be given with a meal. If you choose to use it watch for lack of appetite, vomiting, blood in the stools or dark tarry stools and stop immediately if you see those. Do not use aspirin if your dog has liver or kidney disease or a history of a sensitive stomach or clotting problems, or is not eating.
The dose for aspirin is 5mg to 10mg per pound of body weight orally every 12 hours (about one half of a 325mg aspirin for an 18-35 pound dog every 12 hours). Always give with a meal. Do not use for more than 2 or 3 days.
Be aware if you choose to use aspirin and it doesn't help your veterinarian will be limited on what they can give as there must be a 5 to 7 day washout period between different nonsteroidals or nonsteroidals and steroids.
You can try alternating warm and cold packs on his lower back and neck areas for 10 minutes at a time several times a day.

It is possible that he simply overdid things today and has muscle soreness, but they are rarely as sore and weak as he seems.

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 in dogs.

It has been my pleasure to help you today, and I hope that I have earned my 5 star rating. Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen (rating me now does not close your question). You are welcome to ask follow up questions about my response here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know. Thank you!

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 25 days ago
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 25 days ago

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

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