My 6 Year Black Lab Mix Is Dragging His Hind Legs And Falling Over. He Has Seen A Vet And X Rays And Tests Were Normal. He Has Been Taking Steroids For 2 Days With No Improvement. What Should I Do?


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Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Vascular events (stroke) or fibro-cartilaginous embolism (FCE) can occur within the spinal cord of dogs, especially young, active dogs.  This is a fibrous-cartilage chunk that gets stuck in the spinal cord and causes damage.  FCE is more common in middle-large breed dogs--it is more frequently seen in young or middle age dogs.  Usually FCE is not progressive or painful.  Often time heals most of the symptoms; there is no specific treatment.
Other spinal cord diseases--like a ruptured vertebral disc or trauma often respond to treatment-like steroids.
If you are able to provide nursing care I would urge you to give your dog a change for 2-3 weeks.  Often if neurological damage affects the bladder or ability to defecate the prognosis is worse.  If your dog is unable to urinate you will need to express Beau's bladder multiple times daily.  Inappropriate defecation can be unsanitary and lead to a decrease quality of life for Beau.
A blood clot that lodges at the end of the aorta where it divides into smaller vessels is also possible (called a saddle thrombus) but this is more common in cats.  Supportive/nursing care is also the mainstay of treatment.
If you are able I would give Beau 2-3 weeks and reassess his condition.  If his quality of life is very decreased after this time then euthanasia should be considered and discussed with your veterinarian for Beau's best interest.
terry rossignol Profile
terry rossignol answered
Give him a little more time and then go back to the vet and have them run a blood test to see if he had a stroke. Best of luck!!!

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