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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lady has recovered from her ehrlichiosis, but I will be taking her back into the vet in the next week or so because I think she has some kind of degenerative spinal or neurological thing going on.

It isn't degenerative myelopathy, I know that. And what's going on has gone on a bit for a couple of years but is now starting to get a bit out of control.

In essence, on one of her back paws, her foot will flip over when she's trying to get up. That is, her toes knuckle under.

I know this happens with degenerative myelopathy but it's my understanding that, when dogs have that, they don't realize it's happening and they don't try to right it - they just walk on it like that. But Lady does try to right it.

What's happening with Lady is almost more like muscle cramping - but it isn't muscle cramping. But when I see it happening to her, I can scratch or massage that leg, and she seems able to relax and right it. If I don't catch it in time, though, she gets quite upset and it takes a minute or two for her to right it.

In any case, I already know my vet doesn't want to take x-rays of her because she'd have to sedate her and she thinks she's too old/fragile to handle that well. But my vet has pretty good instincts and I think she can narrow it down, at least, and give me some kind of prognosis.

I have a bit of a sinking feeling about this, and would like to find some good info about it before I get her back into the vet.

So --- I'm seeking good reliable links about what might cause toes to turn under, other than degenerative myelopathy. And as far as I know, this isn't characteristic of dysplasia - but maybe it is.
 

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What you're describing is a possible deficit in proprioception, a symptom of neurologic processes, including cauda equina syndrome, degenerative myelopathy, degenerative disc disease, spondylosis, etc.

Proprioceptive positioning
Performed appropriately, proprioceptive positioning (knuckling) is an invaluable tool to evaluate proprioception. To evaluate proprioceptive positioning of the hind limbs, the clinician is positioned behind the animal. The animal's weight must be supported with a hand (and forearm in the large dog) between and behind the hind limbs. For the evaluation of the front limbs, the examiner's hand is placed between the limbs and behind or in front of the limbs. The paw is then slowly knuckled over. The flexion of the toes stimulates hundreds of proprioceptors located in the tendons and joints of the toes. The test must be done with care to enhance subtleties. A pet that knuckles does not necessarily have proprioceptive deficits. Orthopaedic problems, generalized weakness and patient’s personality may all have an effect on the test. The test results must be taken in the light of the entire examination.[/b]
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes. She's had that test and what I was told was that, because she responded --- that is, tried to right it --- it wasn't degenerative myelopathy.

But something is definitely going on which involves that one hind foot knuckling under (or is it over?). And it's been the same foot knuckling under for several years now, with the difference being it used to be quite occasional, and is now happening daily and causing greater distress - that is, it knuckles under more frequently and her ability to right it has diminished, but she's very aware it's happening and gets quite upset when she can't get it where she wants it.

In any case, thanks - I'm off to read ...
 
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