Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Ataxia(Incoordination) on the back legs is usually due a neurological problem affecting the spinal cord or a partial or complete lack of vascularisation of hind quarters ( such as arterial thromboembolism). More clinical informations would be useful to give you specific answers but definitively a consultation and neurological examination are worthy to determine a differential list of problems.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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Weakness in back legs of dogs can be caused by a variety of things, including myasthenia gravis, heart problems, anemia, hypothyroidism, and Addison`s disease.
The main orthopedic cause of hind-limb weakness in dogs is chronic joint inflammation/pain (osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease). While the arthritis itself is obviously painful, it is frequently accompanied by muscle aches and pains, called compensatory pain.
Treatment Options for Hind Leg Weakness

For example, mild osteoarthritis often responds well to a combination of medication, light exercise, and dietary modifications to promote weight loss or reduce inflammation. Severe degeneration due to arthritis and/or dysplasia may require joint surgery or even joint replacement.

One of the most common reasons why older dogs become weak on their back legs is pain. Arthritis is extremely common in older dogs, especially large-breed ones, but it can be difficult to spot in the early stages.
Sadly, most dogs with degenerative myelopathy eventually lose control of their legs, bladder and bowels completely, and need to be put to sleep. The average life expectancy of a dog with degenerative myelopathy is 1-2 years from diagnosis.
Canine Degenerative Myelopathy – a type of spinal disorder – causes coordination problems in the hind limbs, leading to difficulty walking. Symptoms may include foot-dragging or the “knuckling” of paws.
What are Signs of Botulism in Dogs? Signs of botulism in dogs can unfold within hours to days after consuming the toxin, with rear limb weakness typically being the first to appear.
A dog`s inability to walk is typically due to either a problem with the dog`s joints or issues with his spinal cord. Arthritis is probably the most common reason for a dog`s inability to walk. It often develops with age, but can even occur in very young dogs.
This is another question to ask yourself before knowing when to let your dog go. Most often, weakness and inability to move freely are clear signs that the animal needs urgent medical help or has declined to the point that it`s time to consider euthanasia or putting your dog to sleep.
There are a number of specific physical tests that can be carried out to evaluate the functioning of the various components of the nervous system. These include tests of various reflexes, muscle function and control, and posture and gait. Laboratory tests are often needed to diagnose the specific problem.
Paralysis of a hind leg is usually associated with injury to the nerve roots in the lower back or tailbone, the network of nerves located between the spinal cord and the hind leg (lumbosacral plexus), or the femoral, sciatic, peroneal, or tibial nerve in the leg.
The cerebellum is the part of the brain that regulates or is mostly responsible for the control and co-ordination of voluntary movement (muscles) and posture of your dog.
Lethargy, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or poor appetite are common signs. A marked increase in thirst and urination is often noted in the days to weeks before diagnosis, and dogs can become dehydrated. Some dogs present in shock or for collapse; this is called an Addisonian crisis.
Weakness, inability to walk and abdominal tenderness or pain may be present. Body temperature will vary in pets with pancreatitis, but usually the temperature will be higher than normal at the onset of the disease and then fall to below normal as the condition continues.
The most common sign of ataxia, regardless of the cause, is an abnormal gait in which the dog is very unsteady on his feet. With a spinal cord lesion, the toes may drag on the ground as the dog walks, wearing off the ends of the toenails.
Dogs who have hip dysplasia may sway back and forth when they walk. They may also have a bunny-hopping gait or may stand flat on their back feet. All of these potential gait issues are related to the pain they feel when they suffer from hip dysplasia.
Walking is a low-impact form of exercise that`s ideal for dogs with hip dysplasia. It`s a great way to get your dog moving without putting too much strain on their hip joints. Just be sure to start slowly and gradually increase the distance as your pup builds up their endurance.
Answer: Fortunately for us, dogs do not understand they are going to be put down and what happens after they are given the injection that puts them to sleep.
A paralyzed dog can live a long, comfortable, and happy life. Caring for a paralyzed pet can mean a little extra work for their family, but it`s worth it! With your love and support most handicapped dogs can live a happy, healthy, and active life.
There are foods available, such as Hill`s® Prescription Diet® b/d® and Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets NC NeuroCare™, that have been shown to help cognitive function in older dogs, which may be the best choice for your dog.
Treatment of Back Leg Weakness in Dogs

Surgery might be recommended for many conditions, but for others such as degenerative myelopathy, intervertebral disc disease, Wobbler`s syndrome, cancer, or Cushing`s disease, medical management may be preferred. Wobbler syndrome can also be managed with anti-inflammatory drugs.

Dog paralysis that is caused by trauma or accidents generally results in permanent damage. This trauma may be from shock or due to an accident. In instances in which there`s no injury to the motor area, the dog paralysis generally is temporary.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My dog has had dark red blood in stools for 2 days now . She found & ate a baby bird back in August , could that cause a problem now after so long
ANSWER : A. It seems pretty unlikely to me that the bird ingestion could have anything to do with the blood in the stool you’re seeing now. Depending on exactly how it looks, it could be a number of things. If the stool is normal and has blood on it, it could be an anal gland problem (infection, tumor) or a problem inside the rectum, like a mass. If she’s got diarrhea along with blood, she could have a bacterial or parasitic infection in her intestines, or she could have inflammatory bowel disease. I’d get this checked out as soon as possible.

Read Full Q/A … : Causes of Blood in Dog Stool

Q. Blood work is good. Her back legs don’t seem to be working that well. Some coordination. What could it be?
ANSWER : A. Ataxia(Incoordination) on the back legs is usually due a neurological problem affecting the spinal cord or a partial or complete lack of vascularisation of hind quarters ( such as arterial thromboembolism). More clinical informations would be useful to give you specific answers but definitively a consultation and neurological examination are worthy to determine a differential list of problems.

Q. Shiba Inu. He periodically shakes and trembles, usually unrpovoked and seeming for no reason. Usually cuddling helps but not always. Becomes reclusive
ANSWER : A. I do find that Shiba Inu’s are a really sensitive breed. I think the first thing to rule out is pain. That could be pain from a muscle injury or even gastrointestinal pain. Try to pinpoint whether it occurs after a meal or not. He might be painful due to something going on in his GI tract, and the pain is at its worse after he eats.

I’ve also seen a lot of small breeds like Shibas get back pain, and shaking can definitely accompany that as well. If you haven’t see your vet who can perform a good physical exam and look for any signs of muscular pain along the spine or elsewhere. It’s not a bad idea at this point to consider doing some blood work just to screen for any problems that could be affecting organ function, for example.

If he’s healthy otherwise, I think it’s likely that there’s something that’s scaring him at home. These things can be really difficult to identify, and you have to be really aware and note exactly when the shaking occurs, how long it lasts, etc, and look for patterns. Dogs can hear things we can’t, and he may be hearing things you’re missing, and the noise is disturbing to him. Cuddling is a good idea, also working to distract him and desensitize him with toys and treats might help. But like I said above – definitely rule out pain first.

Q. My cat of 15 years male was diagnose with hyperthyroidism started coughing tonight for about 10 minutes an then stopped.
ANSWER : A. If your cat is vomiting there could be several underlying causes. I guess the first thing I would want to check is the thyroid level, since I have definitely seen cats that were at one point “controlled” on a specific dose of medication no longer be controlled, and the dosage has to be adjusted. This is why we always recommend rechecking thyroid levels yearly, even in hyperthyroid cats that are clinically doing well.

If the thyroid levels have recently been checked and are stable, then I’d start looking for other causes, such as GI disease. Other possibilities include kidney disease, which can definitely cause vomiting and typically goes along with hyperthyroidism (as well as just being a geriatric cat). Always a good idea to check liver values as well, as liver disease is a common problem in older cats too.

So since your cat is hyperthyroid the first step to diagnosing causes of vomiting is running full blood work – complete blood count, chemistry panel, and urinalysis – to look for some of the things I mentioned above. If nothing turns up, imaging with x-rays or ultrasound or both will likely provide a lot more information. Good luck.

Q. We have a 4 yr old lab-pit mix we raise from 6 weeks.If my husband tries to take hin by the collar and make him go out to pottie he growls.Problem?
ANSWER : A. This is not good behavior. Rather than take him by the collar, call him to come with you. If he’s not good about coming when called, you can work on that. Keeps treats on hand to to entice him out and reward him when he does go potty and he’ll come to look forward to it. Clicker training is another great way to teach a dog all kinds of things, from obedience to tricks.

Have treats on hand that you know he loves, then simply click and treat. He will come to associate the sound with getting a treat. Start putting distance between you so he has to come to you. Call and click and when he comes to you for that treat, treat him and give him lots of praise. Move to hiding somewhere in the house, call and click. When he comes to you reliably inside when you call, click and treat. When this behavior is consistent, move outdoors with a very long leash. Call and click, if he doesn’t respond, give a light tug on the leash. If he takes even a single step toward you, click, treat and lots of praise. Keep doing this until he comes eagerly. Next, try him off-leash in a securely fenced area. Call and click. At this point he should be responding well and coming easily to the call and click. If he does not, go back to the last step he performed reliably and work on that again until he responds well. Eventually, you can start not treating him every time, but still praise him. Gradually lessen the frequency of the treats until he comes just to the click and praise.

Keep training sessions short, ten or fifteen minutes to start, no more than 30 minutes at a time and do it a few times a day. Try not to do it any time he is overly excited so that he can pay attention to you. Always end a training session on a good note, even if it is just getting him to do something he already does well on command. And never, NEVER punish a dog when they come to you, no matter how far they’ve made you chase them, no matter how frustrated and angry you might be. That teaches your dog that coming to you is a bad thing.

Read Full Q/A … : Causes of Limping in Dogs

Q. Are heart murmurs in a cat serious? He can’t use his bac legs?
ANSWER : A. If you cat suddenty lost ability to walk on back legs you should take him to your vets without delay as it could be related to heart disease. It may be a blood clot from the heart blocking blood supply to back legs.

Q. My dog is wobbly lethargic and threw up. I got him to eat but he spits water back out can you help
ANSWER : A. I recommend getting your pet in to be seen by your veterinarian right away. Continued vomiting and lethargy together are very concerning and can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance as well as low blood sugar. He might have eaten something that either disagreed with him or something that has gotten stuck somewhere in his gastrointestinal tract. He could be sore from a hidden injury you are unaware of, he could have been exposed to some sort of toxin or irritant in his environment or this could be early signs of another condition or disease process. Your pet may need IV fluids to help support his/her system and to be fasted at the same time in order to give the gut a rest. Your vet can do an exam, blood work and possibly x-rays to determine the cause of the illness and suggest an effective treatment plan.

Q. My 12 year old Border Collie/healer mix has a baseball size hematoma under her chest. I am wondering if she would survive the surgery.
ANSWER : A. My first question (if you could answer me back) would be how does anyone know it’s a hematoma, and not a hemangiosarcoma or a hemangioma? Hematomas usually resolve (eventually) on their own – they’re essentially bruises. So they don’t need to be surgically removed, typically. It could also be a hemangioma, which is a benign growth arising from a blood vessel. Typically no one can tell on cytology alone (that’s a needle sample taken from the mass and examined under a microscope) whether a growth like this is cancerous (hemangiosarcoma, or HSA) or benign (hemangioma, or HA). If a biopsy has been done and a diagnosis of HSA has been made, or it’s a HA and it’s causing your dog pain or discomfort, then I would agree that surgery is necessary.

As to whether she would survive the surgery, if your vet is competent in anesthesia (preoperative blood work and chest x-rays have been done to ensure that your dog is healthy otherwise, anesthetic monitoring on blood pressure, heart rate, EKG, oxygenation, etc will be done) and the mass is in a spot that is amenable to removal (i.e. There is plenty of skin in the area to close over the defect created by the excision) then I would say her chances of survival are very good. All this is assuming that the mass is subcutaneous (under the skin) and not actually inside the chest. If it’s in the chest, that’s a much more serious procedure. You can select “consult” if you want to talk about this further.