Spinal Tumor in a Dog: Lupa Cannot Walk

If your dog becomes unable to walk, it is one of the scariest things to experience.

The problem is usually because of the disruption of communication between the brain and the rest of the body. Sometimes, the dog might have difficulty moving and appear weak, and sometimes they might be unable to walk at all.

As it turns out, there are many potential causes, progressive or acute, such as:

  • injuries
  • infections
  • inflammation
  • IVDD
  • emboli
  • degenerative myelopathy
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • toxins (such as botulism)
  • cancer
Spinal Tumor in a Dog: Lupa Cannot Walk

Lupa’s story

Lupa was a senior Chihuahua. However, she’s been quite happy and healthy until she started having difficulty walking. At first, it was just her right side that was weak. However, that quickly progress to all four legs.

After initial examination and testing, Lupa’s veterinarian decided to refer Lupa to a specialty hospital.

At the specialist

The specialty veterinarian examined Lupa thoroughly. Other than her dysfunctional legs, Lupa seemed fine. But while she could feel her legs but couldn’t walk on them. As a result, everything indicated that Lupa’s brain was fine but spinal cord in Lupa’s neck was the prime suspect.

The potential diagnoses included:

  • slipped disc
  • spinal tumor or malformation
  • inflammation
  • infection

Then, the specialist checked Lupa’s blood and took x-rays. Further, Lupa got a CT/myelogram. That narrowed down the location of the issue.

After further consultation, the prime suspect was a spinal tumor.

Lupa’s diagnosis

From the possible spinal tumors Lupa could have, meningioma would have been her best case scenario. Lupa’s parents agreed to surgery. The surgeon indeed found and removed a large mass. Luckily for Lupa, it turned out being a meningioma indeed.


A meningioma is a tumor of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Depending on their location, symptoms might include:

  • seizures
  • visual deficits
  • changes in behavior or mental state
  • issues walking or moving
  • neck or back pain

Further reading: Meningioma in Dogs

If the surgeon succeeds in complete removal of the tumor, the dog has good prognosis even though complications are possible.

Lupa’s recovery

Lupa was a fighter and recovered well and regained the use of her legs.

Source story:
Lupa – Spinal Tumor, Meningioma

Related articles:
Drunken Gait/Ataxia in Dogs: Why Is My Dog Stumbling Around?

Further reading:
Paralysis in Dogs
Tumor of the Meninges in Dogs

Categories: AtaxiaCancerConditionsDog health advocacyMobility issuesSpinal cord cancerSymptoms

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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