My Dog Has Sudden Temporary Paralysis in His Hind Legs – Not Working

If you have a dog, there is a chance that you have noticed that they have temporarily lost the control of their back legs at some time or another.  If this has happened to your dog, it can very easily be an extremely stressful and concerning time for you, as your dog will have just lost the use of their back legs.  While this condition is only going to be temporary, it is also going to be a great indicator that there may be some more serious underlying issues in play, meaning that it is nothing that should be taken lightly in any sense.  There are going to be several different conditions that are able to cause your dog to lose the control of their back legs for a short time, the more common ones being discussed below.  Here are some of the main reasons that your dog may lose temporary control of their back legs.

Your Dog May Have Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative myelopathy is going to be a medical term that simply means ‘a disease of the spinal cord’, and it is often times going to be a disease that has been inherited.  While the larger breeds of dogs are normally going to be much more susceptible to this disease, it does have the ability to affect any breed and size of dog.  With degenerative myelopathy, your dog’s myelin sheath, which is how your dog’s nerves inside their spine are protected, are going to start deteriorating.  

As these spinal nerves start to deteriorate, it will eventually come to the point where the nerves they were protecting are now exposed.  This means that those nerves in the spinal cord and your dog’s brain are going to start to lose communication with each other, essentially resulting in their brain not being able to send accurate signals for the most normal of body movements.  

When this disease is left untreated and it starts progressing, there is going to be a much more noticeable amount of weakness, which is why you may see that your dog’s back legs temporarily stop working.  If left untreated, the condition is able to start affecting their respiratory system, as well as their brain.  This is going to be very bad for your dog, typically resulting in them having to be euthanized.

Tick Bites can Cause Sudden Paralysis

If your dog has been bitten by a tick, there is a chance that it can cause them to suffer from sudden paralysis.  This in turn means, that your dog can actually lose control of their back legs.  If your dog does end up picking up a tick, that tick is able to feed off of your dog for up to 6 days, producing a neurotoxin that is essentially going to be the main cause of your dog’s paralysis.  When this does happen, it can last for up to one week for any signs or symptoms to appear or noticed by you.

If your dog is suffering from this, you will notice that it affects the back legs first, then moving on to the front legs as well.  If you see that this has happened to your dog, you are going to want to make sure and get your dog to the vet as quickly as possible.  This is going to be because this same disease is able to spread to many other parts of your dog, eventually leading to some even more severe symptoms.

There is a good chance that you may have gone ahead and checked your dog for ticks but just simply missed one.  This is going to be why getting your infected dog to the vet is going to be so important.  They will be able to eliminate the neurotoxin, essentially reversing the paralyses that your dog is suffering from.  However, you will need to act fast and your dog will need to get the proper treatment as quickly as possible.  With that being said, you must realize that a good prognosis is going to depend upon an early detection and treatment, as well as the actual location of the tick that has caused the symptoms.

If you have noticed that your dog’s back legs have suddenly stopped working as they normally would, it is going to be a good indicator that there is something seriously wrong with them and that they are in need of immediate medical intervention.  Simply contact your local veterinarian and they will be able to let you know how to proceed. 


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