Ask the Vet Archive

Your chance to ask Dr. Mindy Cohan, VMD, our resident pet health expert, what's on your mind!

Topic: Dog's Inability to Use Hind Legs

Question from Leah in Wilmington:
My friend has a miniature pinscher mix and he is dragging his hind legs, barely walking on them. He is also panting a lot and not eating or drinking very much. I believe he is three years old. What could possibly be wrong with little Taz?

Answer from Dr. Mindy Cohan:
Your description of Taz is very concerning. If your friend's dog has not been evaluated by a veterinarian, he needs to be seen as soon as possible. The description of "dragging his hind legs" is suggestive of paresis or paralysis. He may have suffered some type of trauma or could be having a disk problem in his spine. If there is compression on his spine, this needs to be addressed immediately with either medical or surgical intervention. He could also have an infection and require antibiotics.

The panting is possibly an indication that Taz is in pain or running a fever. The fact that he is not eating and drinking confirms that he is not feeling good. If a pet stops eating and drinking, it is usually a sign of illness. There is no way to diagnose Taz's problem without an exam. Taz should be seen by a veterinarian immediately so his illness can be addressed and hopefully cured.

Posted March 4, 2007

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