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my alaskan malamute suddenly screams in pain as she tries to…

my alaskan malamute suddenly screams...
my alaskan malamute suddenly screams in pain as she tries to walk. she was fine a few hours ago. she seems to have some pain at the area where her hind legs meet her abdomen. she seems not to be able to get up on her back legs.
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Answered in 20 minutes by:
11/8/2014
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 23,185
Experience: I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

I have to say that I am quite worried about Denali here.

How long ago was the Rimadyl given? What dose and what is her weight?

Had she any fall, trauma, or was overly active prior to this?

Does she seem to drag her hind legs or is not able to stand correctly on them?

Do both hind legs seem involved?

Are the cold compared to her front legs?

Do you think she can feel her feet (if you carefully give a toe a pinch does she seem to know you have done so)?

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Customer reply replied 3 years ago

Thanks Dr. B. we gave the rimadyl about 1 hour ago. it did not seem to work. she was reluctant to get up and did not want to lay down either. she stayed in the sitting position.

She weighs 120 lbs which is not overweight for her build. it seems to be problematic on one side but i can not really tell. when i touch her legs as you asked, they seem equally warm (front and back legs). I believe she can feel her legs as when i pinch her webbing, her feet respond.

she is now lying on her side and seems to be resting but she has not attempted to get up at all.

Thanks for any ideas you may have.

Steve

Thank you Steve,

The reason I asked about the time/dose of the Rimadyl was to see if it had any time to take effect; though in this situation I am very concerned that the medication isn't failing to work but that her pain exceeds its pain relief capabilities.

Now I am glad to see that her legs are warm, as this reduces the risk that this is a blood clot blocking blood flow to the legs (which is known to be excruciating). And if she can feel your touch, this at least tells us that she has sensation in this leg and there isn't a spinal paralysis at this point.

Now my major concern for a large dog that her just gone off her back legs with terrible pain is that Denali may have ruptured/displaced a vertebral disc that is now pressing on her delicate spinal cord. This is known as intervertebral disc disease and can cause her great pain but can also progress to permanent loss of mobility in her back legs.


In this case, it is important to have her seen by your vet as soon as possible as this is an emergency situation. If the disc is just bulging/inflamed, then your vet may be able to manage her with strict rest and dog safe pain relief (do make sure they know she has had Rimadyl as they will need to use opioids and not steroids until that is out of her system). But if the disc is being pushed from the spine canal, then surgery may be indicated to prevent progression of these signs and permanent paralysis from this.

Overall, this is a serious issue for Denali. Unfortunately, there isn't going to be many options for you to try at home. Therefore, you need to strictly rest her and then get her seen by her vet as soon as possible. They can address her pain with stronger medications and assess her situation. Hopefully, she will just need medical management but in either case we need to be proactive to give her the best chance of recovery and avoid paralysis.

In this situation, just in case you do wish to see an emergency vet, you can check HERE and @ http://www.vetlocator.com/.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

Please take care & my thoughts are with you,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

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Customer reply replied 3 years ago

Thank you Dr. B. It is 1:40 am here. I used your search site for an emergency clinic in my area. I am in Kenai Alaska zip 99611 and I do not see any. My vet will not be in until Monday. When you say emergency, would you recommend a*****to Anchorage or do you think Monday would be sufficient. I do not even know of any clinic in Anchorage so you can see, my options are not very good.

Steve

Oh no, Steve.

I am so sorry to hear that you are a bit off the beaten track there. To be completely honest, I do think this is worth that***** or seeing if there is any way to get in contact with his local vet (sometimes they will have messages for emergencies on their answering machines so do try ringing now). As I noted before, our suspicions are all time sensitive (and even the less likely differentials of fractures or abdominal foreign bodies-- which I think are all less likely given her history) and with the level of pain that she has we'd not want to let her suffer with this until Monday if you know what I mean.

So, while I appreciate it will be a mission, I do think it is worth ringing the local vet to see if there is any help there and if not considering the drive for Denali.

Please take care,
Dr. B.
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago

OK thank you.

Regards, Steve

You are welcome,Steve.

All the best for Denali,
Dr. B.
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 23,185
Experience: I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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