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Our dog asher can not use his back legs. He can not walk…

Our dog asher can...

Our dog asher can not use his back legs

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the dog?

He can not walk after being fine yesterday

Veterinarian's Assistant: Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?

No wound we got xrays and doctor says possibly a nerve pushing against his spine or possibly emolysm

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the dog's name and age?

Asher 2

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

He has had bad allergies

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Answered in 13 minutes by:
1/15/2018
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19,023
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
we did take him in this mrning and got xrays and the vet thinks a disk is pushing against his spine or he had a embolism. he was not sure he suggested surgery but the closest hospital is 11hrs away and he was not sure exactly what it was.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I do not want to call
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
is any one here?

I am sorry to hear that Asher is suddenly unable to use his rear legs properly.

His allergies are likely not related unless he has a secondary infection that has spread to his bones.

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 get up or whether he has 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.

The symptoms you have given me so far can signify neurologic problems, such as an intervertebral disc(s) (cushions between the bony vertebrae) that are out of place, 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 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.

We need to know what the problem is to treat it successfully.

An MRI of his spinal cord in the back of the body will be helpful. And ideally if he has lost all feeling then surgery would be done, as that is the best chance of him recovering fully.

If surgery is not an option pain and inflammation in these conditions is controlled with steroids or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories like Deramaxx or Rimadyl as well as Tramadol and/or Gabapentin.

If he is not responding to cortisone or nonsteroidals then I think that more diagnostic testing should be done. 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 like running and stairs, 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
Thank you for the response. The Vet was pinching him between the toes and he barely felt it. He said that his right leg felt no sensation but he did feel it in his left leg(which is why he possibly thought it could be a embolism). He has not gone pee besides when the vet released it for him. When we woke him up this morning to take him out he had pooped in the kennel and when we got home we went to give him a bath and he just started pooping. We then tried to put him in the tub(with me in it holding him up) he does not seem to be in any pain he is trying to crawl around on his front 2 legs and still wants to play. The vet did give him some sleeping medication to try and get him some rest. He can not right when he put pressure on them this morning.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
my wife was just trying to stretch his legs and when she grabbed them he whimpered really bad. Not sure if its good he felt that or not.

I understand. I am really concerned about him given his loss of feeling and likely his unawareness of his need to pass urine and stool. I suspect he has lost anal tone and his stools are just passing as they form without him being aware of it.

The trouble with him not being able to urinate (either because he cannot feel his bladder is full or because he has lost the neurologic function that allows urine to pass) is that he may develop a hypotonic bladder (overstretched and unable to empty itself) or an infection, or even rupture his overfull bladder (very uncommon).

I would consider his issue to be pretty severe.

He is likely a fellow that needs surgery given his complex of issues. This is more than the typical loss of rear leg function that we can nurse along and give time to heal.

The other option is having him stay at your local clinic and putting in a closed urinary catheter system.

But I am worried he won't come along and regain meaningful function without surgery.

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I am not sure if his reaction was feeling his feet/legs so much as jarring his back when she pulled, which is likely painful to some degree.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
ok thank you very much. The doctor also said he did not have much urine in his bladder at all when he released the urine. So that was prob due to why he possibly didn't try to go to the bathroom. my wife said when she stretched with legs earlier he allowed her to do it and didn't do anything. this time he whimpered.

You are very welcome.

If he has not urinated for more than 12 hours then it is time for him to have his bladder manually expressed and discuss whether a catheter is appropriate.

In the meantime do your best to make sure he doesn't lay on one side for more than 2-3 hours at a time to avoid bedsores, keep him on a padded, but absorptive surface (puppy wee pads over thick towels work well) in case he does have an accident.

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19,023
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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