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Dog with weak / paralysed leg

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#1 lozoodle

Posted 28 February 2019 - 08:17 AM

Hi does anyone have any experience with this? My dog suddenly developed a limp with one of his front paws - he holds it up when he's standing, avoids walking too much and when he does walk he sort of folds his foot under.

We've been to the vet and ruled out hip issues, broken bones, injury to his foot etc etc. He doesn't appear to be in pain. No ticks, otherwise well, but we are all stumped. The vet has given him anti inflammatories thinking maybe he has injured a nerve and says to report back in five days as it should help.

He's been on them a day so far an no difference. He's happy, he's just seemingly lost use of his leg. I'm worried maybe there is something neurlogical going on or a tumour pushing on a nerve of some sort (I think MRI / scan will be the next on the list if no success with current meds).

Anyone had this happen? He is 10 so I guess I am mentally preparing myself for it to be something worse than just a simple thing.

#2 GreyhoundLover

Posted 28 February 2019 - 04:50 PM

Hi Lozoodle - I'm a vet and my first thought was fibrocartilagenous embolism (and these often get better with time) or something pushing on a nerve (this  would be a tumour yes but more commonly an intervertebral disc prolapse). You are right - MRI would yield most info. What breed is he?

#3 casime

Posted 28 February 2019 - 04:59 PM

Has he ever seen a (decent) canine chiropractor?  

My old girl was limping for ages when she was young, vet said hip dysplasia (hip score came back almost perfect).  Trip to the chiro, her back was out, $25 later, good as gold.  My dogs now regularly go to one, he's a greyhound man who does a great job.  It's certainly worth having a look at (and costs a lot less than some testing!).

#4 GreyhoundLover

Posted 28 February 2019 - 05:11 PM

Oh god definitely do not do that. Your dog sounds like it has a neurological condition and if it is an IV disc protrusion, spinal manipulation (especially by one of those greyhound muscle guys) could literally paralyze your dog.

I've seen a 10 month old dog that was paralysed (permanently) by a 'canine chiropractor' - it had a limp from a ligament injury, went in for a spinal manipulation and ended up requiring euthanasia - these are people with no qualifications in veterinary medicine and have usually started out working on people and have decided they can start making money off animals as well).

#5 GreyhoundLover

Posted 28 February 2019 - 05:17 PM

Honestly casime what you are suggesting is so effing dangerous seriously.

If your friend's kid had a paralysed arm would you say to them 'oh don't go get an expensive MRI as recommended by your professional neurologist to find out what has paralysed his arm....Save yourself the money and go spend 25 bucks with some quack who might render him a quadriplegic'


#6 lozoodle

Posted 01 March 2019 - 06:52 AM

View PostGreyhoundLover, on 28 February 2019 - 04:50 PM, said:

Hi Lozoodle - I'm a vet and my first thought was fibrocartilagenous embolism (and these often get better with time) or something pushing on a nerve (this  would be a tumour yes but more commonly an intervertebral disc prolapse). You are right - MRI would yield most info. What breed is he?

He's a papillon. He's been on his anti inflammatories since Wednesday night now and we've seen a bit of improvement, so fingers crossed its something that was just caused by an injury of some sort. He still looks like a bit of a gumby but was running this morning and bearing more weight than he had been previuosly (on wednesday during the day he wouldn't even attempt to get up or walk).

Definitely wont be going to a chrio! I'm not worried about what things cost, I'm just worried about him getting better.

Thanks for the info this is helpful. The vet has said if no real improvement by Monday when he goes back for another check then it would be best to do an MRI so I will keep you posted as to how he goes.

This dog likes to keep us on our toes - last year it was losing an eye, now this!

Edited by lozoodle, 01 March 2019 - 06:54 AM.

#7 FiveAus

Posted 01 March 2019 - 07:39 AM

One of the vets I take my dogs to is also a chiropractor and I'd have no hesitation in recommending her to anyone who's dogs have movement issues. She regularly travels overseas to attend seminars on animal movement in order to keep up with current science and practices.
She's done brilliant work with my show dogs when they have movement issues, even just to fine tune a gait that's ever so slightly off kilter. She's also in high demand in the horse racing and equestrian industries.

She is in SE Vic if you want a recommendation.

#8 casime

Posted 01 March 2019 - 06:40 PM

My canine chiropractor is also a vet specialising in greyhound, so I feel comfortable working with him.  It has been fantastic for my dogs, and certainly helped my old girl who was otherwise told by a vet that she had hip dysplasia and would be unable to walk (ended up competing in agility until 14 years of age).

#9 lozoodle

Posted 01 March 2019 - 09:11 PM

He seems a bit better again this afternoon, still limping of course but he is weight bearing quite a bit and jumping around etc. I noticed today he had his paw down normally for some of the time when walking too and its not rolled under so much. So I'm taking this as a positive, but of course who knows what will happen. Fingers crossed he continues to get better. Hoping its nothing that requires too much intervention, he's already been through enough of an ordeal losing his eye in the last 12 months! Poor old muppet haha

#10 *Spikey*

Posted 02 March 2019 - 08:48 AM

Excellent! Sounds like it is probably a strain or sprain, and the anti-inflammatories are doing their job.

#11 Soontobegran

Posted 02 March 2019 - 09:13 AM

Hope your little guy is feeling better today.

One of ours ( 13 years ) had similar symptoms but it turned out he was septic and had neurological symptoms because of it...including that foot drop thing.
He responded to steroids and antibiotics and is now fine a few weeks later.

#12 lozoodle

Posted 02 March 2019 - 09:04 PM

Hmmm maybe not so much better, but rather just getting used to it. He's jumping around and happy but his leg is just flipping around but he does put it down a bit.

But it I am manipulating the leg myself, usually when you push or whatever on their legs they push back and there's that resistance. This one there's just nothing at all from him. Not in any pain but just nothing there with the leg.

Poor little guy :( I don't know what to do now. I'll go to the vet again of course but if he's happy with it... can they just leave it like that? or what? Ahh I hate this :(

#13 *Spikey*

Posted 03 March 2019 - 12:21 PM

Back to vet, depends on what it is that caused it - and they'll need to do more to find out. If he's otherwise not in pain, that's okay, but you probably want to sort his mobility. Poor puppy.

#14 lozoodle

Posted 03 March 2019 - 04:25 PM

View Post*Spikey*, on 03 March 2019 - 12:21 PM, said:

Back to vet, depends on what it is that caused it - and they'll need to do more to find out. If he's otherwise not in pain, that's okay, but you probably want to sort his mobility. Poor puppy.

I know, I feel so sad for him the poor little guy has had a rough 12 months. I have to take one of our other dogs this week for her arthritis shot anyway so he'll come along then and we will have a chat, the vet did want to chat to me about him Monday anyway.

I guess I just need to ask about the whole finding the cause - e.g. if they think it could be caused by something fixable, or whether all the potential causes are just all effectively going to be things that are eventually life ending for him. My main concern is him just being able to be comfortable, no pain and to be happy and have quality of life. He's jumping around and walking on it (folded under sort of) but I also don't want him suffering etc. Sure he seems happy now but who knows, maybe that's just because he's generally a pretty chilled out playful guy.

But then I have to remember he is 10 (at least, I am not 100% sure as I did not get him as a puppy, but it was when my 10 year old was 1 year old) and these things are just the start of the end sometimes. I'm sad :(

#15 *Spikey*

Posted 03 March 2019 - 05:16 PM

hugs. And good luck with the vet visit.

#16 kadoodle

Posted 03 March 2019 - 08:14 PM

Silly question, but has he had a knock to the ribs? A heavy collision with a stroppy sheep has one of my dogs with a useless leg right now. I thought it was her hip, but apparently it’s deferred from her ribs.

#17 lozoodle

Posted 04 March 2019 - 07:56 AM

View Postkadoodle, on 03 March 2019 - 08:14 PM, said:

Silly question, but has he had a knock to the ribs? A heavy collision with a stroppy sheep has one of my dogs with a useless leg right now. I thought it was her hip, but apparently it’s deferred from her ribs.

Not that I know of, the vet did examine him all over and he doesn't seem to be hurting anywhere.

#18 Chicken Pie

Posted 09 March 2019 - 05:12 AM

How’s your dog going OP?

#19 lozoodle

Posted 25 March 2019 - 04:50 PM

View PostChicken Pie, on 09 March 2019 - 05:12 AM, said:

How’s your dog going OP?

He was doing a lot better and weight bearing a little and running around but yesterday he stopped putting it down altogether and started yelping if touched. So I’ve got him a vet appointment in half an hour though I’ve just now discovered a golf ball size mass in the armpit of that leg that was definitely not there a fortnight  ago so I’m not feeling too good about it right now :(

Thanks for asking x

#20 kadoodle

Posted 25 March 2019 - 06:50 PM

Yikes! Fingers crossed it’s something simple like an infected grass seed or such.

#21 lozoodle

Posted 25 March 2019 - 08:16 PM

He was really nervous there tonight and a bit snappy as a result so the vet is going to put him under anaesthetic on Wednesday and he's going to have a bunch of x rays and also a needle sample of the lump. She agreed with me - it was definitely new and very big (he's only a 5kg dog for comparison, so a golf ball size on him is pretty significant).

She said best case scenario its an abscess which is infected and causing all the pain, in which case she'll drain it and then he will have antibiotics, but that we can't rule out the possibility that it's a tumour. So basically at this stage its x rays and checking him out while under sedation on Wednesday, and she's going to call me while he's still under so we can work out what is next.

And if it IS a tumour, whether its something that could just be removed easily (if so, she'd ask for me to give the go ahead to do it then and there) or whether it may have spread considerably and whether if the outlook is grim it might be kinder to not bring him out of sedation. So could be ok, could be really sh*t, could be somewhere in the middle, I guess we just have to see what happens.

Either way the kids are all aware of what's going on, I didn't want to completely shield them from the possibilities as they pick up on it anyway. I've got him inside with me now he's having a bit of special treatment tonight <3

#22 Chicken Pie

Posted 26 March 2019 - 03:32 AM

Best of luck OP it must be very stressful x

#23 Karlee99

Posted 26 March 2019 - 09:28 AM

Hoping all goes well for you and your little mate xx

#24 lozoodle

Posted 27 March 2019 - 01:23 PM

Yup its cancer, and it looks like his lung is affected too :(

That said, he is responding quite well to his anti inflammatories and its stopped his pain so the vet is happy to let him go on for a while with pain relief as she doesn't think he's ready to go yet. So he's still got a bit more time.

At least know we know what the deal is and can just focus on enjoying him and making sure he's not in pain.

#25 charmalee

Posted 27 March 2019 - 01:29 PM

So sorry to hear this Lozoodle 😢 I hope you and your family can enjoy some special time with your boy over the next little while.
Won’t be easy to tell the girls I bet? Thinking of you x

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