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My Dog Might Be Paralysed. What Should I Do?

My Dog Might Be Paralysed. What Should I Do?

If you think your dog might be paralysed, you must go see your vet immediately. Paralysis can occur in the spine, or back legs. It can happen after an accident or injury, or be due to conditions that affect the nerves of the spinal cord.

At home

Your dog's legs might be floppy, have no response when you pinch the skin, or unable to work as normal. It's very important to understand that your dog can show similar signs to paralysis but not be paralysed. Please therefore see a vet for a physical diagnosis immediately.

Vet examination

Your vet will do a thorough physical examination of your dog. This will help your vet get a picture of your dog’s overall health and locate the specific site of pain or paralysis. It’s likely blood tests will be done, to eliminate any infections or imbalances that might be contributing factors.

Diagnostic imaging will likely be recommended. CT (computer tomography) scans, MRI or a myelogram (an x-ray that’s done with a dye that’s injected into the spinal cord). These techniques all give more information about bones and joints along the spine. 

Sometimes a synovial fluid sample will be taken if arthritis is suspected as a culprit for the back weakness.

There are also specific examination techniques for evaluating neurological function, particularly where there’s partial or total paralysis.

Once there’s a specific diagnosis, you and your vet can then discuss the best way to proceed.

Further reading

Read more about Spinal Injuries here 

Read more about IVDD and Slipped Discs here 

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