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I have a 5 year old chiwawa .. overnight his rear legs

Customer Question
I have a 5...

I have a 5 year old chiwawa .. overnight his rear legs stopped working

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

Overnight his rear legs stopped working

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

He doesnt seem in pain he just cant walk properly ..

Veterinarian's Assistant: OK. No obvious pain. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?

Yes .. no wounds it both legs .. no ticks or sores anything .. that i can see .. ive searched his kennel for spiders or snakes .. non that i can see in his house or back yard

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

Senior Fluffybum

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Senior?

His allways been healthy .. no issues ever ..

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Dog
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Answered in 1 minute by:
12/28/2017
Dog Specialist: Dr. Kara, Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19,036
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 7 months ago
Do chiwawas have overnight paralisis problems ?
Dog Specialist: Dr. Kara, Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

I am sorry to hear that your fellow Senior Fluffybum is suddenly unable to use his rear legs properly.

Has he ever had radiographs of his spine or hips?

If you pinch his toes on his rear feet does he feel it?
If you support him standing and flip his rear feet so the topside is down does he immediately right them?

It is important to find out whether he is too weak and painful to use his rear legs or whether he has truly lost the ability to do so.

Is he able to hold his eliminations and go consciously or has he has lost the ability to control his urine and stool (incontinence)? If he has loss of control he has loss of neurologic function.

If he is dragging his toes, unable to feel them and right them when they are placed topside down that can signify neurologic problems, such as an intervertebral disc(s) (cushions between the bony vertebrae) that are out of place or spinal arthritis putting pressure on the spinal cord or even a mass in or around the spinal cord.

Another possibility is a condition called FCE, fibrocatilagenous emboli, where a chunk of cartilage breaks off and lodges in the blood vessels that supply the spinal nerve roots. It is very painful initially as blood supply to tissue is blocked off. The pain only lasts a short time, less than a few hours to a day, but the weakness from the nerve damage it causes it can last for weeks or in rare cases is permanent.

Large breed dogs like Rotties and German Shepherds are prone to a disease process that affects the rear legs called lumbosacral stenosis (LSS). It occurs in small breeds too, but is less common.
It can have many of the same symptoms as a FCE as it causes neurologic symptoms too. It is caused by weak spinal ligaments that allow the bones in the spinal column to move and place pressure on the spinal cord or it can be due to inflammation of the ligaments inside the spinal cord canal causing pressure on the spinal cord leading to loss of function, just like a FCE.

FCE are initially painful but after that it's just a matter of regaining function.
LSS can be painful on and off until the spinal column is stabilized and the pressure is taken off the spinal cord permanently.

Another possibility if this came on over months and he seemed not to be painful is a condition called ascending myelopathy. This is a progressive degeneration of the spinal nerves that begins with incoordination of the rear legs then progresses to loss of urine and stool control (continence). This seems very unlikely with him as his symptoms came on very suddenly, overnight according to your history.

He really needs a veterinary examination as soon as possible. Radiographs to look for a collapsed disc space or arthritis of the spine or a mass would be helpful. We need to know what the problem is to treat it successfully.

If those look fine then an MRI of his spinal cord in the back of the body will be helpful.

Pain and inflammation in these conditions is controlled with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories like Deramaxx, Metacam, or Rimadyl as well as Tramadol and/or Gabapentin.
You can use these with the omega 3's and glucosamines if arthritis is diagnosed. These nutraceuticals help improve cartilage and joint fluid health as well as reduce inflammation.

I recommend using a combination of a glucosamine/chondroitin product (examples are Dasuquin or Cosequin) and an omega 3 fatty acid (like 3V Caps or Derm Caps). I recommend an omega 3 fatty acid dose based upon the EPA portion (eicosapentanoic acid) of the supplement as if we do that the rest of the supplement will be properly balanced. Give him 20mg of EPA per pound of body weight per day. For example an 8 pound dog could take 160mg of EPA per day. Omega 3's and glucosamine/chondroitins work synergistically and improve cartilage health and joint fluid quality and quantity as well as reducing inflammation. They can take several weeks to see full improvement but some dogs do very well with them alone. They are available over the counter.

Another option is a product called Duralactin. This is an anti-inflammatory product derived from milk proteins and it also has omega 3 fatty acids incorporated into it which can be very helpful. See this link for further information: http://www.duralactin.com/products_canine.html

There is no treatment for myelopathy, unfortunately. We can only truly diagnose that condition after death because it requires a biopsy of spinal cord tissue. We usually rule out everything else and with a history of little to no pain and a gradual onset then we assume it is myelopathy.

There is a blood test that looks for genetic markers for the disease. If you want to test him for the disease there is a blood test available which is pretty accurate. Here is a link to a website which will give you information about how to get him tested: http://www.offa.org/dnatesting/dm.html

I think given his sudden paralysis diagnostic testing should be done. We can start with an exam, thoroughly checking his reflexes and radiographs, then if those are not diagnostic an MRI of his spinal cord will help diagnose intervertebral disc disease or lumbosacral stenosis. Those conditions can be treated surgically.

In the meantime try and keep your pup quiet. With spinal instability the more they do, especially jarring activities, the faster the condition can progress.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I pinched his toes legs and upto his belly and he felt nothing ..
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
His usually a little sook and if i was to do that before he would try n bite me
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Hello ?
Dog Specialist: Dr. Kara, Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

I'm sorry that I missed your response initially.

Because he seems unable to feel your pinches I highly recommend a veterinary visit. The two most likely causes of a lack of feeling in small dogs is either a FCE or intervertebral disc disease, both of which may be improved by the use of anti-inflammatories and/or possible surgery, and the sooner this is addressed the better.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
You have told me nothing new than i allready knew .. how do i get refunded the $27 dollars i paid for you to tell me what i allready know
Dog Specialist: Dr. Kara, Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

I will submit this to customer service for a refund of your deposit. Have a lovely New Year.

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