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My dog all of a sudden has a hard time going up the stairs…

Customer Question
My dog all of...

My dog all of a sudden has a hard time going up the stairs and getting on to a couch

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

My dog all of a sudden has a hard time going up the stairs and getting onto the couch

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

She doesn’t seem to be in pain

Veterinarian's Assistant: OK. No obvious pain. What is the dog's name and age?

Lilly 4 yo lab

Veterinarian's Assistant: How old is Lilly?

4

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Dog
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Answered in 13 minutes by:
12/29/2017
Dog Specialist: Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 20,006
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
Verified

Hello, I'm Dr Gary. I've been practicing veterinary medicine since 2007. I look forward to helping with your questions/ concerns.

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Dog Specialist: Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

Given the signs, this is most likely IVDD (intervertebral disc disease). This is where a disc ruptures or herniates in the back pressing on the spinal cord which causes weakness and nerve roots which causes pain. Signs can be as mild as reluctance to walk/ climb stairs to as severe as full paralysis.

Diagnosis is made on neuro exam and then can be confirmed with advanced imaging like MRI, CT or myelogram.

Treatment is based on the stage of the disease:
> Mild weakness/ pain can be treated with strict exercise restriction and anti-inflammatory meds (Rimadyl, Deramaxx) + other pain meds (Gabapentin, Tramadol). Crate confinement for the majority of the day with only short leash walks outside is key, and I like to do this for 1-3 weeks.
> Severe neurologic deficits and paralysis require back decompressive surgery to correct.

It sounds like your dog will do fine with the more conservative management- pain meds from your vet and rest for a week or two.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

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Dog Specialist: Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Gary
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