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Left-sided lameness - Therapy advice

April 30th, 2006, 11:42 AM
My 11 year old toy poodle started to develop left-sided lameness this week. I'm going to try to get him to a vet this coming week. But perhaps someone can give some advice as to what type of physiotherapy I should try with him.

His symptoms are weakness in the left front & hind legs, which appear limited to the lateral aspect of the leg. He still has strength in the leg, but limited in the standing position and when trying to navigate stairs. He has a slight limp when walking, but the limp is much more noticeable when he jogs. His paws will bend awkwardly when he stands and he will trip over them or drag his paws when he walks. He also has difficulty having a bowel movement, as he can't balance properly. To add to his grief, his cataracts appear quite advanced and it seems the vision in his left eye is much worse than his right. He can only turn around to the right, as he has limited balance and can't see that well on the left. He doesn't have a head tilt. His symptoms seem to either be getting better at a slow pace, or not at all.

I'm walking him to keep strength in the leg, and trying to do some simple strength exercises. I'll try to work on some stairs soon. Is there something else I can do to help re-train him?

April 30th, 2006, 12:11 PM
going to try to get him to a vet this coming week

Your dog could have had a stroke or other serious illness and should be seen by a vet immediately.

You seem to know about head tilt and how to describe the illness in specifics. So either you are doing a lot of on line searching or have had past experience.

The time you are spent posting about it is better vested in getting your dog treatment and care. Go to a vet!

April 30th, 2006, 07:23 PM
Your dog needs to see a vet right away. Please do the right thing and take him immediately and let us know the results.:pawprint:

the gang
April 30th, 2006, 08:14 PM
i have a male min pin at 5 had fallen off the sofa the wrong way on thanksgiving weekend 2 years ago and was total parillzed it was a disc it was very sad ,so i think you need to see a vet maby something to do with the spine, dakota will never be the same now 7, he has his own chryo so good luck to you a visit is in order.:fingerscr

May 1st, 2006, 07:50 AM
It does sound verymuch like he has had a stroke, and would be a emergency visit contanct your vet and let him know you suspect it is a stroke, they will probably want you to bring him in right away

May 1st, 2006, 11:47 AM
I agree with other posters - a stroke - or disc disease. Usually with disc disease both sides would be affected, but certainly the dragging of the paws etc. are definite signs. I would get to a vet fast, particularly one that has had experience with neuro related illnesses.

May 1st, 2006, 11:50 AM
Just noticed you live in Toronto. If you can't get to your regular vet, I would try and go to McMurrich Street Emergency a.s.a.p. and leave your pup for examination - they are open 24 hours a day. You definitely do not want to come home and find that your dog has suffered say a second stroke if that is what is causing the current problem - or that calcified discs are pressing on the spinal nerves - this is extremely painful and it would be very difficult for you to pick up your pup. Hope things work out.

May 1st, 2006, 05:20 PM
Thank you all for your comments. It turns out that the vet thinks it's arthritis and didn't really believe it was neurological in nature. He seemed to pass all his neurological exams. So, I'm going to try him on an anti-inflammatory for a while to see if he responds. If he doesn't, we'll go for further testing.

As a health professional, I know that there isn't much that can be done for a stroke except primarily preventative and rehabilitative treatment. Given the poor treatment I did get for my other dog when he went through investigation for suspected peripheral vestibular syndrome/stroke, I did not want to take him to my regular vet and was a little dissolutioned. I appreciate your advice and your kind words.