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Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.
How long has Pepper had this issue? Did it just start recently (past 24 hours, few days) or been going on for months? Has he been seen by his vet, and if so were any xrays done? What medications is he currently taking? And finally does he have any other health issues (heart murmur/failure, kidney issues, etc)?
thank you for taking a moment to answer my questions; these help me to understand his situation a bit better and provide you the best answer possible.
Speculating on this sudden weakness, there are several potential causes for this. The most common would be this is related to neurological weakness from a back problem (especially a slipped disk, spinal inflammation or a spinal tumor). This can be quite painful and is important to identify if this is the problem as soon as possible to get him some medication.
If he does not have evidence of nerve issues upon examination by his vet, then if he truly is weak he could have thrown a blood clot that is affecting the funciton of the limb. Another possibility is that this is pain related and when he bears weight it hurts so much he slips; THis level of pain could come from arthritis, bone tumor, fracture, bone infection, etc.
I am reluctant at his age to recommend use of an over-the-counter medication for pain relief because we must be absolutely certain he has no liver/kidney issues prior to starting. If he did we could worsen this problem and cause more future issues than it is worth to avoid an office visit. The best for Pepper is to have his vet do an exam followed by some testing to try to narrow down the cause of his issue. If pain-related weakness is suspected then your vet can prescribe a medication that we know not only works well to provide pain relief in dogs, but also is low risk for side effects.
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