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marinelife's avatar

Has anyone had experience with a dog whose back legs did not work?

Asked by marinelife (62445points) September 5th, 2015

What about peeing? Did you get them a cart? Did they adapt? How long did your dog live that way? Did they enjoy life?

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7 Answers

Judi's avatar

Molly could barely use her back legs towards the end. She would try to stand up and they would just slide apart, poor girl. She also had a hard time not peeing on the floor. I would find her lying there with a puddle under her.
I would pick her up and take her out often, but she was not a tiny dog so it was somewhat difficult. I sometimes took a towel and wrapped it under her and held her up with it so she could walk on her own front legs, but this was awkward too.
We didn’t get her a cart because we knew she was in her final days. I miss her.

Adagio's avatar

My dog, Lily, was 13 and a half when she suddenly lost the use of her legs/back end, she spent a couple of days in the back porch, peeing on the floor and always looking so embarrassed when I found her. I decided to have her put down, it is not a dignified life for a dog. It was an emotional experience for my daughter and I, but I have no regrets about the decision I made. I never considered a cart, it is not what I would want for a dog.

RocketGuy's avatar

My 14.5 year old dog got neuropathy just like @Adagio ‘s dog. It was really hard keeping a 60 lb dog clean after that. Had to put him down when he started getting muscle aches from not being able to change position all day.

We used puppy pads and Depends the last few weeks.

marinelife's avatar

I think you are all describing our future. Luckily, this time he recovered and could walk the next three days.

Judi's avatar

When Molly was first starting to not be able to walk (sporadically) it was obvious that she didn’t realize she was peeing as she sat on the floor. The vet gave her a perscription for Proin that helped a lot for several months until she lost full function of her back legs.

Kardamom's avatar

My friend’s beagle was 6 years old when she became paralyzed in the back legs one day. Turns out that she had 2 herniated disks.

Her regular vet suggested putting her down, but I convinced my friend to take her to a specialty medical clinic that is known for being a state of the art facility, for a consult. We took her there the next day and the vets there said they could operate on her and she’d have a 95% chance of being able to walk again. The vets who performed the surgery, only do that particular orthopedic type of surgery (on dogs) that’s all they do. All of the vets there have specialties, so these vets had done this particular type of surgery hundreds of times with great success. Unfortunately the surgery was in the close to $5,000 range. My friend couldn’t imagine not getting the surgery, especially for such a young dog.

They scheduled the surgery for the next day. The beagle was in over night and then they sent her home. She had to be “walked” with the aid of a sling that went under her belly and back legs for about 5 days, then miraculously, she could walk, albeit with a bit of a drunken swagger, which lasted about 4 months. Now she’s pretty much back to normal, with only a little bit of a hip swivel kind of walk. She’s now 8 years old and the happiest dog I know. She’s one of the group of dogs that I regularly take care of and is often a house guest at my house.

We ended up having a huge garage sale with my friend’s stuff, stuff from my house and all of my friends and neighbors who donated items. It only made a small dent in the total cost of the surgery, but my friend said it was worth it. The vet clinic was able to set them up on some type of credit payment plan, which they chose to do.

The vets said in the case that they were not able to fix the beagle to be able to walk, they said that she could live out a pretty comfortable life with the use of a back end cart. We researched that quite a bit and that was what my friend was prepared to do in case the surgery failed. In the meantime, I met several people who had dogs with back end carts and they seemed to be faring pretty well and seemed like regular happy dogs. Unlike people, they seem to adapt to that kind of adversity pretty easily.

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