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:
- degenerative myelopathy
- Myasthenia Gravis
- toxins (such as botulism)
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
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.
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:
- 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 was a fighter and recovered well and regained the use of her legs.
Lupa – Spinal Tumor, Meningioma
Drunken Gait/Ataxia in Dogs: Why Is My Dog Stumbling Around?