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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 28967
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have a 4 year lhasa Apso. She is finding really difficult

Resolved Question:

I have a 4 year lhasa Apso. She is finding really difficult to walk and her back legs look really weak. She is panting and shivering all the time. She had her hair cut three days ago si I don't think she has heat exhausted. When I pick her up she yelps, I think the is around the back leg joint and belly. Any advise is really appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Andrea, I would be concerned about her back. Difficulty walking (ataxia/"drunken sailor"), paretic (weak) back legs, panting and shivering (pain responses), and vocalizing when approached or lifted all add up to a myelopathy (spinal cord disorder) such as degenerative disk disease in a 4 year old Lhasa. Here's my more complete synopsis of this disorder for you:

Supportive evidence of a disk may include vocalizing when approached or lifted, having trouble jumping up or down and navigating steps, ataxia (“drunken sailor”), trembling/shaking (pain responses), a change in posture such as the neck held rigidly and head lower to the ground or a"hunch" in his back, and a change in behavior - a normally social dog becoming aloof or, conversely, a normally aloof dog becoming "clingy". Her vet will want to carefully palpate (feel) about your dog's spine looking for areas of hyperpathia (increased sensitivity) suggestive of a disk. Conservative care involves the use of a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam, a narcotic analgesic such as tramadol, and a skeletal muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol or diazepam. These drugs are usually administered for at least ten days. Most simple disks will remiss within a few weeks. It's important to keep these dogs as quiet as possible lest they hurt themselves further.

Should paresis (weakness) or paralysis arise in any limb(s) - as appears to be the case at this time, she'll need the attention of his vet at your earliest convenience. Such dogs are then surgical candidates for spinal cord decompression. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.