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Dragging leg?

8077 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  houndmomma

Our Basset is about 12 years old, never had any health issues before.

When a family member arrived at the house she went crazy and dashed out to see her. But then she tried to jump back into the house, it's almost like she twisted her leg.

She can walk, and she limps, she's not whining or barking, or in obvious pain, apart from shaking and ignoring treats. She even went outside and took a poo But it's almost like her left hind leg isn't quite responding and as she walks her hind leg kind of swings in toward her right hind leg and she drags her foot a bit. But because of that she has to kind of stop, roll over or shell topple.

It's quite strange, it happened all of a sudden, pretty much the moment she tried to mount the step back into the house.

The fact she's walking around would suggest she hasn't broken anything, although if you touch it she tends to yelp a bit. I suspect she's pulled a muslce, but I was just wondering if anyone has had this before.

As for advice, yes, if it's still the case, I'll be at the vet tomorrow if it's carrying on, but for the moment she doesn't seem to be in pain, or if she is, it's very slight and she's not letting it on, except for the fact she's not charging around breaking furniture!

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Not expecting a diagnosis, but anyone with similar story or ideas would be comforting!

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Sounds like a possible disc injury. I would keep her on strict crate rest (only allow her out on leash to pee) until you can have her examined by the vet. The sooner a disc injury is treated, the better the prognosis.
Would her back not hurt though? I can rub the base of her back and it doesn't bother her in the slightest. In fact it seems to be the inside of the top of her leg that gets a yelp - kind of where the inside of the thigh/groin would be on a person if that makes sense? And it's only affecting the one hind leg, the other is just fine. Know absolutely nothing about this though, was just hoping someone had an idea/suggestion!
Would her back not hurt though?
not at all the disk materal ruptures ito the spinal cord so there is no pain in the back. When a basset drags a leg it is typical a back issue general with leg issue the dog will limp or hold the leg up. but pain in one area of the leg is more indicitive of a leg injury than a back issue.

In any case you are better off with complete crate rest and when the dog need to go out help her mobility by supporting the rear end with a towel swing. Till you can see the vet Also keep in mind the prognose for recovery from a back injury improves the sooner treatment is adminstered if you have an emergency vet you may want to consider it.

Also keep in mind soft tissue injuries often heal much slower and less completely than a broken bone so often times the oh it just a strain/sprain is a worse diagnose than a broken bone.
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I would go for the complete crate rest too. Just to be on the safe side. Good luck with everything! Healing drool and thoughts heading your way.
First – I’m soooo sorry to hear about your girl.

I’m afraid I have to agree it sounds like rupture of the disk – or something on those lines. And surprisingly they either don’t have pain when it first happens or the pain doesn’t show up for a while.

About a year and a half ago – my Flash had spinal surgery for two ruptured disk’s and a bone spur. In retrospect – I know when she hurt her back – because when I walked in my room and seen her on the floor where she was – it was out of the norm for her to be there especially at that time day. I even had her get up and walk – I moved all her legs – everything appeared to be normal – with no sign of pain and no limps – I went so far and to come down and told my husband to keep an eye on Flash and what happened – Fast forward more than a year that everything was normal – except from that night on she wouldn’t come up in my bed. Other than that everything was ok.

Then one weekend Russ was coming back from our other house that’s about 7 hours away – he wasn’t 20 minutes into the ride when he called to say in a stressed voice – “something is wrong with Flash” she looks like she’s in pain” – the calls we’re coming about every half hour – each one was sounding worse than the first – I rushed her to the emergency vet – and it took them all of two minutes to tell me it was her back.

We tried for a week to keep her on “strong” meds that kept her from moving around to see if it would fix its self – kinda like we’re doing with her neck – but we didn’t have the same luck with her back. The instructions we’re that if her back end went down and she couldn’t lift it – we were to run, not walk to the Specialty Center for a MRI – then possible surgery. As I mentioned, she had the surgery.

I think it’s a good idea to keep her crated for the night but I would also add – even if you have a fenced yard – I would put her on a leash and use a towel under her belly as a sling so you can help a little – “A thinner bath towel works well. When you go to the vet they’ll give you a nice sling.

I wish you the best of luck with finding out what is wrong – and saying lots of prayers for you both.

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Thanks for the replies.

Yesterday was a bit of a worry, she dragged her left paw and didn't really pick it up much, tripped over it and slumped to the floor.

Today she has improved dramatically - she even climbed a step into the house when I took her out for a pee. She's started eating and drinking again too. She's still not moving much at all, but she seems far better than she was, although still in need of help to get up, except when she feels like approaching a snack or getting into the nice room with the big open carpet! Once she's up however, she seems ok, not 100% but moving much better than yesterday.

I think were going to see how she goes, she's improved 100% since yesterday, hopefully a trip to the vet isn't needed.

Cheers for the support and tips
hopefully a trip to the vet isn't needed.
One needs to keep in mind the nature of dwarf breeds disk and how they herniated when making a decission on whether a vet vist is in order.

1. in a case of sever acute trauma a disk can ruputre caatistophically causing neary instantanious paraylisys and posible loss of deep pain.

2 in type two herniation is more of a chronic problem trauma cause a little herniation that cause some nerve damage on the scale as little as one cell at a time the dogs neverious system learns to compensate until finially there is no function left but often times with very little to no signs of a problem. In this case surgery and medical intervention is tool late. however if surgery is performed before the loss of function occurs this alloy the disk matera to escape without putting pressure on the spinal cord and prevent further loss of nerves.

The dog age become part of the deal as well in an older dog you may not want ti subject him to surgery also keep in mind if it is the back aggressive medical treatment with steriods and other medication can prevent and reduce further nerve damage the occurs over time at a trauma site

so ther are ligitimet reason to see a vet even if it appear the dog is recovering, but there are a lot of extenuating circumstances as well

see Canine Intervertebral Disk Disease

Disk herniations have been classified according to the way in which the herniation occurs. Type I herniation (see figure below) refers to a large tear in the annulus allowing a large quantity of nucleus pulposus to escape, usually in an acute and profound way. The majority of this type of herniation occurs in the chondrodystrophic breeds but can be caused in any breed by extreme physical activity or trauma. Type II herniation (see figure below) refers to small partial tears in the annulus fibrosus which allow nuclear material to escape into the annular area resulting in bulges with only occasional actual "escapes" of nuclear material outside the annulus fibrosus. Type II herniations are the most common type seen in fibroid degenerating disks but can occur in chondroid degenerating disks as well. Typically these herniations are more insidious than the type I herniation.

When injury occurs, a chain of metabolic events is set into motion which, if allowed to go unchecked, can result in irreversible damage to the spinal cord. The spinal cord is extremely sensitive to a lack of oxygen and glucose, its only energy sources, which can only be delivered by a viable vascular supply. Consequently, if vascularity is compromised by disruption or occlusion, the spinal cord starts to die. The degree and reversibility of this damage depend on the length of time the spinal cord goes without proper oxygen and glucose delivery and the degree of actual physical derangement of neurologic tissue that occurs. When the spinal cord dies it liquifies. This liquified state is called malacia. Once that occurs, nothing can reverse the process

Proprioceptive (position sense) nerve fibers are the largest and therefore the most susceptible to pressure. Proprioceptive losses can be seen with only slight amounts of pressure applied to the spinal cord. Clinically proprioceptive deficits are recognized as incoordination (ataxia). If proprioceptive losses are the only ones identified on the neurologic examination, the prognosis is usually good and less aggressive therapy is usually adequate.
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I couldn’t agree with Mikey more. I would also add from personal experience and to maybe stress the importance of going to the vet – if you called and explained the situation you’re girl is in, I would imagine them telling you to get right in. This really isn’t anything I would play around with.

There is a name for a dog that doesn’t show pain – stoic. Just because they’re not showing pain, doesn’t’ necessarily mean they’re not in any.

Good luck with everything and I hope she’s feeling better soon~

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