There is a difference between acute inability to stand and an ongoing condition where the dog might have already diagnosed issues such as spinal injury or any other problem causing paralysis, extreme weakness or loss of balance.
A chronic, established condition isn’t an emergency unless something abruptly changes.
For example, after her hyperthermia horror, Jasmine was unable to get up without substantial help and had severe difficulties holding herself up. She did spend a week in ICU, but it took another week before she could get up on her own and walk without falling over. At that point, it clearly was no longer an emergency but rather an outcome of one. For those who are wondering, the hyperthermia was drug-induced, and it did happen while she was at a vet hospital for x-rays.
Acute inability to stand
When I’m talking about an emergency situation, I mean a sudden inability to stand or walk or a substantial decline in some existing conditions.
It includes situations when your dog suddenly
- becomes weak or uncoordinated that they cannot stand
- loses control of their limbs (paralysis)
The reasons behind a dog’s inability to stand or walk can be rooted in the brain, in the spine/nerves, or in the muscles. In other words, either the instructions to coordinate the body aren’t being sent, they don’t make their way to the destination, or the muscles are unable to respond.
The causes can be anything from
- an infection or inflammation in the brain or spine
- trauma or injury to the brain or spine
- infection or inflammation in the muscles
- inflammation in the nerves
- blocked blood flow
- severe anemia
- tick paralysis
- or cancer
All of these things have an emergency all over it.
Drunken Gait/Ataxia in Dogs: Why Is My Dog Stumbling Around?
Unable to Stand in Dogs