Dog has sudden weakness of hind legs that then completely disappears (vet appointment has been made)

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by slc, Nov 8, 2018 at 6:22 AM.

  1. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    My dog has had two episodes now of this. He suddenly experiences extreme weakness in both hind legs and scrambles frantically.

    This passes off in about 60 seconds and he then has absolutely no symptoms and looks completely normal.

    That it passes off so quickly and happens so rarely excludes just about every diagnosis that would account for weak back legs. Most are persistent, not happening so infrequently like this, and most do not disappear so suddenly.

    The first time was around July. That time, he was lying down and was unable to get up. I got him up and fully supported him until the episode passed, about 60 seconds.

    I took him to an orthopedic specialist who I have immense respect for, I took him immediately and the specialist couldn't find anything to account for such behavior. He said the dog had a very mild 'click' in one stifle but that was nothing to worry about, would not cause the behavior I described, and required no treatment.

    To be clear, this whatever-it-is appears to affect both hind legs equally. I have only observed two incidents of this, the first one in July and the 2nd today(Nov 8), and in between these two episodes the dog has had no symptoms. Absolutely no weakness, no disability, no affect at all.

    This episode that just happened now appeared to be worse than the previous one.

    I am thinking neurological, that it's some sort of spinal lesion, but how it would cause only such intermittent symptoms is a mystery. Dog has never been injured that I know of. I've had him since he was 9 weeks old. We have 'invisible fence' all around the property and an electric pasture fence on the back half of the property, but he rarely is outside unsupervised. We have plenty of raccoon and deer around, coyotes and the occasional stray dog wandering through the property. The neighbor has pea fowl. We have horses and chickens, and the back neighbor has goats and llamas.

    He's only 6 - a neutered male collie and other than this has never had any health issues. One thing that puzzles me is that he seems to have lost some muscle on both hind legs over a very long period of time. This is slight and even the specialist could not see it when I mentioned it. His back muscle and shoulder muscle look fine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018 at 6:27 AM
  2. turnnburnlynx

    turnnburnlynx Senior Member

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    I saw this a few times when I worked emergency, there is most likely a slightly bulging disk somewhere on the lumbar region of his back. there are 2 forms of IVDD , and it sounds like it could potentially be either one. I would recommend lumbar radiographs first thing
     
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  3. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Would the symptoms of that be so intermittent?
     
  4. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Might be a mild seizure.
     
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  5. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Thank you!
     
  6. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    There is no loss of consciousness or awareness.
     
  7. NaeNae

    NaeNae Senior Member

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    This happened to more than one of my dogs once they started aging. The both were having mild seizures around the time as well that followed up with slight sporadic function loss of the hind end.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018 at 7:34 AM
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  8. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Look it up~!!
    Doesn't HAVE to be.
     
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  9. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

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    Collies are prone to back/hip issues, similar to shepherds (at least GSD).
    One of ours had spondylosis which caused his hind end to weaken over time, started with him "losing his legs" at first.
    Another one of ours had similar back issues (though was never diagnosed with spondyliosis), he was heavily arthritic in his hips from about 4 or 5 years of age. Vet made it clear that it wasn´t HD though the end result was much the same. He would start slipping with one or both hind legs and over the years became heavily muscled in front to make up for his weaker hind end. He ultimately died of intestinal cancer, that probably put pressure on his spine from below so that might be something you could check for...

    Did you notice him slip somewhere, doing the splits or an otherwise sudden movement that might have caused a disc to slip or him to be out somewhere?
     
  10. paval

    paval Senior Member

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    Did he have any form of intense play or exercise just prior to the episode(s) you witnessed? Duration wouldn't matter... be it 5 minutes or 20 minutes. I wasn't quite sure reading your July account of that incident... you say he was laying down... I wasn't clear if you had seen he was laying down for awhile prior to the episode, or if he had been playing/running, then laid down.

    Is your dog a purebred Collie... is there any chance in his lineage there could be another breed of dog mixed in??

    It almost sounds like EIC (Excercised Induced Collapse). You can probably fine lots of videos online showing EIC episodes. There is a test available for it for certain breeds (Labradors being one, so of course when I was breeding Labs and the test became available, it became the norm to test for it as part of most reputable breeders' usual pre-breeding health screening), but the condition is not limited to those breeds.
    Exercise-Induced Collapse (EIC)
     

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