Dog Loses Feeling in Both Hind Legs

by Katherine H.
(Virginia Beach, VA)

Our dog Winston is 6 years old, healthy and active. We noticed he had started moving a little slower like he was having a little stiffness in

his legs moving around a little slower but energy level and everything else looked good. I noticed that he woke me up in the middle of the
night maybe two nights straight needing to use the bathroom which was not like him.

Last Tuesday he started to drag his leg and had trouble with urinating and didn't move his bowels indicating something was wrong. Took him to the vet and they did a bladder scan which came back normal. The urine indicated he had a UTI (urinary tract infection).

Treatment was started and the following day the other leg had no feeling. He was in pain so we took him back and the Veterinarian gave him a shot for pain, stating it could be nerve damage, however did not take an x-ray. He stated that nothing was broken because he would be in pain when touching certain leg areas. He did a reflex test which indicated he had no feelings and also pricked him several times with no feeling. His tail is not wagging. He is eating and drinking well and has to be diapered. They gave us the option of putting him down or treating him with muscle relaxers, medication for inflammation and for pain.

We could not part with him that easily without giving him a chance. We love Winston he is part of our family. It breaks my heart to write this however if anyone can give us some advice or help. The Vet said it could be a slipped disk which would require a 5000.00 surgery however it is not guaranteed due to his age. We brought him home with a bag full of medicine and a lot of prayers.We diaper him and give him lots of love and support. He doesn't seem to be in any pain and he scoots around on his front legs. We massage his legs and constantly talk to him when changing him. I think it is harder for us to adjust to what has happened to him. He has been a wonderful trooper with the sudden changes in his life.

I am seeking another opinion to see if anything can help him to bring some feeling back. Does everything have to be based on money? Are there any good Samaritan practicing Vets or low cost billing available.

Please let me know. I know that there are other families going through the same thing and my prayers do go out to you and your pets.

Vet Suggestion Regarding Treatment for Dog That Cannot Feel Legs

Hello Katherine,

It’s hard to say what might be going on with your Jack Russell without at least the results of an X-ray, but it does sound like a back injury/disorder of some sort is most likely. Possibilities include inter-vertebral disk disease (the slipped disk your veterinarian mentioned), a spinal tumor, infection, degenerative diseases, and more.

There is no way around it; diagnosing and treating problems like these is expensive. Many veterinarians are willing to help by setting up payment plans with owners, and charities are available that can help owners who truly can’t afford treatment. A list is available through the Humane Society of the United States. Some options are nationwide; others are listed alphabetically by state. It’s worth taking a look if you are financially unable to get your pet the care it needs.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

Comments for Dog Loses Feeling in Both Hind Legs

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Aug 19, 2013
need your help
by: Eva Haberlova

Its simple ! You need protect your dog comfort life. Buy new comfort dog bed and bathing for your JRT , change healthy dog food. Top # 1 dog food is Hill diet science food ( light ) small ball. And cook boiled chicken meat then add sweet potato ,carrot crushed mix with dry 1/2 cup science diet dog food. Your JRT get improve healthy. That's working fact.

Don't feed commercial can dog food get sick. Science diet can is ok !
My JRT lived beautiful life.

Yours too !!
God bless you !

Aug 18, 2013
same symptoms
by: Anonymous

Hi, this happened to my 8 year old dog (mini pin terrier mix) last year. Same symptoms as your russell, he was dragging his hind legs but was still very active. Putting him down was not an option my vet gave me. He initially gave him pain relievers and gave him blood and some other test. Turned out to be arthritis so we now watch his diet and ty to keep him comfy during cold days.

Let your vet test him to be sure but putting him down should be the last option.

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