My dog is experiencing paralysis in his hind-left leg. I'm curious if it could be related to surgery he had in April to

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Customer: My dog is experiencing paralysis in his hind-left leg. I'm curious if it could be related to surgery he had in April to remove a cyst from the hip of that limb. If it is possible that the surgery caused this damage, how could I go about checking to see if this is the case?
JA: I'll do all I can to help. When did you first notice the cyst? Has the dog been licking or rubbing the skin?
Customer: the cyst is not the problem
JA: And what's the dog's name and age?
Customer: Mazlo, 8 yearrs
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Mazlo?
Customer: the lameness was first noticed last Thursday, and has progressed from a limp to a complete loss of function in the limb over the course of the week.
Answered by Dr. Jessica Pet Vet in 28 mins 2 years ago
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Dr. Jessica Pet Vet
Pet Specialist
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30 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Dog Veterinary, Dog Medicine, Dog Diseases, Small Animal Veterinary

Hi I'm Dr. Jessica.

I am reviewing your question now and will be with you shortly.

Can you explain to me how Mazlo is walking? Is he holding up the one limb that he is not walking on? Dragging the limb behind him?

Customer
He was diagnosed by the same vet who did the cyst removal, and they suspect he has IVDD and since I cannot afford the back surgery they recommended pain medication and strict rest. He is taking Gabapentin and Metacam.

Is he holding the limb up? or dragging the limb? Does he toe touch?

Customer
He is dragging it behind him now
Customer
The toes are dragging and he began bleeding so I have a loose wrapping on it

This is not related to the cyst removal.

Dragging of the limb is very concerning. Is the paw in that leg warm to the touch? cool? Does it feel like the normal paw?

Customer
It feels the same
Customer
It also looks like the muscle tissue is decreasing but that could be due to how he is carrying the limb
Customer
He was examined by the same vet and they suspect IVDD. But wouldn't that affect both hind legs?
Customer
He is currently taking gabapentin and metacam for the pain and inflammation, and strict rest (I cannot afford surgery, so this was the course of action they recommended)

So there are a few things that could be going on currently- this could be secondary to a pinched nerve from IVDD, he could have thrown a blood clot to that side of the spinal cord, and there is also neoplasia as a concern.

I understand that surgery is not an option for Mazlo. For now, keep Mazlo on strict cage rest. He will need additional medications from your veterinarian, such as a muscle relaxer.

No neck leads.

If you are able to do so, carry outside to go potty and then return to the kennel to rest.

If at any time, the limb becomes cooler to the touch, than he needs to be seen immediately or if he cannot use both of the hindlimbs.

IVDD can affect 1, 2, 3, or even 4 limbs. It depends on where the lesion is that is being pinched off. Typically a unilateral dragging of the limb is where signs first start, but it could progress to both hindlimbs. He will need to be re-evaluated by your veterinarian first thing Monday morning.

Customer
I have been using a towel to help him up/down the stairs (we live in a second floor apartment) and having him lay down as much as possible.
Customer
I will arrange for them to see him on Monday.

That's great! Keep using support and monitor that paw. Wrapping the paw or placing a sock on it when you go outside will help prevent trauma to the paw.

Make sure you change the bandage or remove the sock when you come into the home. A wet bandage can lead to an infection in the skin.

Customer
If things do not improve, or degenerate further, should I be considering euthanasia or are there alternative treatments?
I'm sure it depends on the situation, I'm just want to make sure I'm not putting him through undue pain or giving up too soon.
Customer
Any guidance or suggestions on a timeline and/or key signs to indicate whether or not euthanasia should be considered would be helpful.

There are a few other options - physical therapy, laser therapy, steroids instead of Metacam, muscle relaxant.

If the symptoms worsen, humane euthanasia is not out of the question but hopefully if we can add the muscle relaxant then he will be more comfortable and maybe decrease pressure on the disc that is causing the paralysis in the limb.

Customer
Okay, thank you. I will reply if I have any more questions. Much appreciated.

No problem! Have a good night. Keep Mazlo comfortable and rested. Call your vet first thing Monday.

Customer
Will do. Have a good night.
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