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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 33273
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My dog is a 3 year old Staffordshire Terrier. He has not

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My dog is a 3 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier. He has not been neutered. He walks around fine and doesn't seem to be in any discomfort. However, when I take him running he's ok but after about 15 minutes to 20 mins his back legs start dragging. He seems to struggle to pick his back legs up. He scrapes the top of his hind leg paws along the floor. Any suggestions?

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Prince, Andrea. Dragging of the legs and scraping the top of those paws are indications of a lack of conscious proprioception - knowing where one's legs are in space. This usually indicates a myelopathy - spinal cord disorder. Prince's vet can test Prince's conscious proprioception as well as nociception (deep pain perception) in his hind legs. X-rays of Prince's spine and hips should be considered as well. We're looking for evidence of degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk") and osteoarthritic changes in his hips and caudal (toward the tail) spinal segment called the cauda equina syndrome. Painful hips (hip dysplasia) can mimic the signs of a myelopathy but a careful exam and X-rays should be able to differentiate one from the other.

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