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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28525
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Female black lab back legs not functioning properly very lethargic

Customer Question

Female black lab back legs not functioning properly very lethargic and out of character for her, not eating and happened in the last two hours
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
How old is your Lab, please? Can I assume that she is now ataxic ("drunken sailor")? Are there additional signs such as a head tilt or nystagmus (eyes flicking back and forth)? Does she have any pre-existing disorders necessitating medication?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She is 8 years old. She won't move unless she's picked up. Her head isn't to the side but really low down she doesn't have any pre existing disorders or on medication
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information. Degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk") is the most common cause of such behavior. Her head position is most indicate of a cervical (neck) disk but is also seen with a disk in the thoracolumbar (middle of her back) area. She's currently quite painful and would benefit from the administration of a prescription nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam as well as a prescription muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol or diazepam plus a narcotic analgesic such as tramadol. The sooner these dogs can be attended to, the better the prognosis for recovery.
Do you have access to an on-call vet? A thorough physical exam paying particular attention to her spine is indicated. Ataxia is most often related to myelopathy (spinal cord disorder) but can be seen with encephalopathy (brain disorders) and overall weakness as well.
Please continue our conversation if you wish.
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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.
I'm going to check back with you in a few days for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.
Please disregard the info request.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
May I have an update, please?

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