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Ask Dr.Beth Your Own Question
Dr.Beth, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 631
Experience:  Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota
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hi, i am really worried about my dog mollie. she has just turned

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hi, i am really worried about my dog mollie. she has just turned nine, and out of the blue yesterday night her back legs gave way and now she cant move them at all. she drags them instead of walking properly. could you please help me and tell me whats wrong with her?!?
Hi morgans109,

I would like to help you with your question, but first I need a bit more information about Mollie.

Is she painful? Crying?

Is she able to move her tail? Urinate on her own?

Does she have any other medical problems? Is she taking any medication?

Is she able to move her legs at all? If you pinch her toes, does she pull her leg up?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

thank you,


she doesnt seem to be in any pain at all and is crying, just seems to be really sad.


her tail is tucked into the back of her legs so i havent seen her try tomove it.


she wont go outside to try to urinate, and we were told that she suffers from

arthritis in her legs, i have touched her legs and she doesnt seem to mind yet she doesnt pull her legs up

Thank you for the information. I am sorry for the delay in responding, I had to step away from the computer for a little while.

If she does not appear to be in pain than my first suspicion would be that your dog had a Fibrocartilaginous Embolism (FCE). This is an event where a small piece of cartilage breaks off and lodges itself in the spinal canal. We do not know why this occurs in some dogs and not others. The event is usually not painful, but the affected dog will suddenly become either very weak or even paralyzed in its hind legs. Most dogs will improve after the event (although some do not). This condition occurs more commonly in large breed dogs.

Here is a link to a bit more information about the condition:

Other possible causes include a slipped disc, mass in the spinal canal, lumbosacral disease, or neuromuscular weakness. These seem less likely as they tend to be painful.

I am concerned that she has not urinated yet. You can help her to get in the position to do this by placing a towel under her hips to create a sling. With you holding up her hind end, she should be able to go outside to urinate.   

I would recommend that you follow up with your veterinarian tomorrow morning to investigate this issue.   

Dr. Beth

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