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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32782
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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my german shepard keeps triping over on her front paws , she

Customer Question

my german shepard keeps triping over on her front paws , she has just falling face first
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry for the delay in replying to you. I just came online to find your question languishing on the question list.

When our dogs lose conscious proprioception (knowing where their feet are in relationship to the rest of their body) in their front feet, we have to consider disorders of the spinal cord cranial (toward the head) of the front limbs or disorders in the brain (encephalopathies). A cervical (neck) myelopathy (spinal cord disorder) may arise from anything that compresses the spinal cord - a slipped disk, a tumor in or around the spinal cord, or inflammation secondary to infection (discospondylitis, meningoencephalitis).

Encephalopathies usually are associated with more severe symptoms - obtundation (change in mental status) and seizures, e.g. In any event, Storm's tripping over her front paws is a danger sign that needs to be addressed promptly. X-rays of her cervical spine are likely to be recommended by her vet and potent antiinflammatory medication in the form of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs such as carprofen or meloxicam or antiinflammatory doses of corticosteroids such as prednisone are likely to be prescribed. Conservative care with antiinflammatory medication may suffice but surgical decompression of her spinal cord might be necessary.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.