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My Dog's Hind End/back Legs Seem To Be Paralyzed...ish


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#1 Naturally Nessie

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 11:44 AM

It happened yesterday morning. We let him out to go to the bathroom before breakfast, and he was running around 100% normal. A few minutes later he drags himself to the porch, can't walk on his hind legs, at all. Took him to the animal hospital, x-rays looked normal. He was starting to regain a little bit of his hind end mobility and could stand up, but could barely walk. The vet wanted to keep him over night to monitor him. He was given anti inflammatorys and a general antibiotic in case it was an infection.

Some background, Bersicher (my dog) tested positive for Ehrlichia, a tick disease, last year and was treated for it with antibiotics. He did test positive for the anti-bodies again, but the vet said it is possible he will always test positive for it. He really doubts this is the cause of his partial paralysis, because it doesn't fit the symptoms and because it was so sudden. Nevertheless the vet is having us give him another round of anti-biotics for it.

I just picked him up from the vet this morning, the vet said he now seems to have 50% mobility in his hind end, but he can still hardly walk. He has to rest full time for the next 2 weeks and when taken out must be on a leash (no running allowed). The vet gave me 3 kinds of medications for him, the general antibiotics, the anti inflammatorys, and the antibiotics for another round of treatment for the Ehrlichia (It was a nice little bill to say the least!)

The culprit of this all? The vet said he really can't say. I was just wondering if anyone has any experience with this happening? I'm wondering if he may have eaten something poisonous (we have some skinks around here) or if one of the discs in his back shifted. The problem seems to be coming from his spine...anyways he is here now on house arrest trying to heal. Thanks ahead of time for any insight! It sucks seeing him in so much pain.

A pic of Bersky



#2 manesntails

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 11:52 AM

No experience with it but he may have pinched a nerve. ?

The Erlichiosis, I know a human who had that and was in a coma for three months from it. He had mental issues to where he had trouble concentrating and he never really came fully back to himself even 8 years later. I don't believe, that after his coma, he had any physical paralysis. Comparing dogs to humans is iffy but just thought I'd throw that in as I am a bit familiar with that disease in humans








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#3 Serah Rose

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 12:06 PM

Ehrlichia is very common where I live, 80% of the dogs I know have it, or had it. Once they get it, they can test positive for up to 8 years. None of the dogs I know have ever had paralysis as a symptom. One does get a really sore hip when he has a flare-up. Another of the dogs gets swollen ears when she has a flare-up. The dog that came with my house gets little pink spots on her tummy when she has a flare up, and she gets a little lethargic as well.

Do you know of any doggie chiros in the area? I'd look into that. My newfie went missing one day and didn't come back for a few days. She finally showed up (after I'd gone out calling and calling and riding every row in all the local bean fields, looking) 2 days later, completely dragging her hind end. I felt along her spine and found a spot where something just wasn't right. I (shouldn't have, but did) manipulated it until it seemed to be in the right spot. A few hours later, she was up and about feeling much better. To this day, we have no idea what happened, but she was fine!?
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#4 ozland

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 12:13 PM

Wow! I had a little dog that looked just like him when I was a kid! What a cutie.

S'cuse me, gotta go iron my birthday suit.

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#5 Naturally Nessie

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 03:05 PM

manes: could be pinched nerve. Hopefully something that will resolve itself with rest! And that is intense about your friend, and the vet did indicate paralysis wasn't a symptom.

serah: live in FL? That's where I am, and have heard Ehrlichia is pretty common here.

Thanks Oz! He is half blue heeler half...mutt? I got him for free from a woman who was giving away puppies her blue heeler had; she said a big dog had gotten in the yard and bred her but she didn't get a good look at it.

#6 Naturally Nessie

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 03:14 PM

Oh I meant to say before, the vet did mention degenerative disc disease, but he said it is more common in Dachshunds. Also, this wasn't a slow onset but very sudden. He did say there could have been degeneration and then Bersicher did a funny movement to completely throw it out. So, that is one possibility although it doesn't fit completely...

#7 Kina Kat

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 04:34 PM

Could he be deydrated/overheated? I've heard of dogs' back ends going down because of heat exhaustion.



#8 Amazona

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 05:16 PM

Hi there,

That happened to my dog as well. She lost the ability to move her back legs, so she would just kinda drag her back end around. Turns out she has a bad disc in her back, so she's on antibiotics and she actually has gotten a lot better and is almost back to 100% use of her hind legs. We have to be really careful about not letting her go up/down stairs or jump off the couch, etc. It was so bad at one point I thought that I would have to put her down, but the pills really help her! I have to make sure I give them to her everyday at the same time though, otherwise she doesn't feel as good.

However, you said that your vet took Xrays, so they probably would have noticed if she had a disc out in her back...?

I just read your post about the degenerative disc disease, which is what my dog has! haha And she's a dachshund! Hers came on really suddenly as well. One day she was fine and the next she couldn't use her back legs. I'll have to look and see what the pills are called that she takes...maybe they could help your dog! Like I said, my dog couldn't use her hind end at all, but after using the pills she has almost 100% use again.

Edited by Amazona, 24 June 2010 - 05:19 PM.


#9 Naturally Nessie

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 11:14 PM

Kina- I've never heard that before, it's possible. It has been really hot here, although it happened in the morning around 7 am.

amazona- unfortunately the more I hear about the disc disease the more it sounds like what Bersicher has. He does have a long back...and he was always VERY active. I mean herding cows and hunting. That could have contributed to its early onset (He is only 5!)

He seems very sad tonight...not himself.

#10 Kina Kat

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 12:46 AM

QUOTE (Naturally Nessie @ Jun 24 2010, 09:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
He seems very sad tonight...not himself.
mecry.gif



#11 dondie

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 02:08 AM

Ticks can cause leg problems, even paralysis. With all the brush around here ticks are a big problem for dogs.
Case in point:
Our neighbor didn't like to use chemicals on her dogs. Fudge a 50lb scottie mix and Tower a 35lb cairn/springer mix. The dogs kept getting ticks especially around the base of their skulls and ears (in the ears too).
Both dogs kept having episodes of everything from wobbly legs to full paralysis of their legs. Fudge with his long low body had mild symptoms compared to the longer legged short backed Tower.
Her Vet gave the dogs antibiotics, IV fluids and pain pills. They also gave the dogs flea & tick baths since they didn't want them infecting the other animals there.
With in 1-3 days the dogs were home symptom free. With in a couple of months it was back to the vet time.

When her vet was on vacation, Tower had a bad time with all four legs becomming paralyzed. She took him to my vet, an elderly man who loved animals & tolerated people. He looked at the dog and said "To many ticks on this dog, when they bite they numb the skin to keep the dog from feeling pain. All that cr...p gets in the blood and causes the problem, little dogs get the worst." When she told him she didn't like to use chemicals on the dogs. He grabbed her hand and dropped a huge bloated tick in her palm. "Fine" he told her, "From now on you can pick them off by hand!" That was the day she figured bloated ticks were worse than bathing her dogs with flea shampoos and keeping flea/tick collars on them. Her dogs never had any problems after that.

I've known other dogs that have had the same problems and were "cured" when the ticks were removed and kept off the dogs.
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#12 JumpinIrish4ever

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 08:22 PM

Ok, I feel like this is dejavu.

A couple of months ago (maybe 5?) my dog fell off our bed. Well, that's what we thought. At first, we thought he'd broke his leg because his back end wouldn't work. He couldn't stand. He puked and then a few minutes later was fine. I called the vet throughout and the vet thought he must have hit his head.

Ok fast forward to Thursday morning. My dog can't get out of bed. He tried to stand and fell over. I lifted him off the bed and onto the floor. His back legs still wouldn't work. His legs were very shaky. He could sit though just not stand. He got sick again and then was fine. Running a minute later.

I called the vet again, and we have an appt tomorrow morning. I'll let you know what happens after.

It seems like your dog's paralysis lasted longer than mine but it is VERY weird. I'm hoping the vet has some answers tomorrow.
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