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Dog leg paralysis- Causes and treatment

Posted on March 15, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Limb paralysis is a very common condition in dogs which can occur both in fore leg or hind leg, but more common in hind legs. Various reasons for hind limb paralysis are trauma due to accident or fall from height or fight among animals. Other common causes are old age, neurological and degenerative diseases, tick paralysis and nutritional hind quarter weakness.

Due to the paralysis or hind quarter weakness dog is unable to walk and bear weight on its legs which leads to recumbency. Recumbency has several complications like muscle degeneration, disuse atrophy of the muscles, neuronal degeneration, soft tissue damage, pressure sores and decubital ulcers. In addition to this, the blood supply to the area gets disturbed. As veins are superficial seated, they get blocked due to the weight of the animal whereas arteries are deep seated and initially blood continues to pool which causes marked swelling of the area (odema). Later, production of super oxides damages the cells and local tissues which take the form of a vicious cycle causing further production of free radicals and more damage. The blood supply will eventually stop leading to the death of the limb leaving to no other option but to amputate the leg of the animal. In addition to trauma, neoplasia can also lead to the amputation of the limbs/legs. If treated properly at an early stage the complications of the recumbency and amputation of leg can be averted for which proper ambulation and rehabilitation is very important. Earlier, when more than one leg was lost (amputated), then there was no other option available, especially in India and the animal was put to sleep (euthanized). But now the conditions have improved markedly in India and such animals can live further with proper treatment.

Animal should be lifted from the ground and should be given proper treatment as early as possible so that the blood supply to the area becomes normal. Rehabilitation and physiotherapy should start as they increase the rate of recovery. To facilitate the standing of the dog, devices are now available in India in variety of forms like slings, two wheeled wheel chair/wheel carts and four two wheeled wheel chair/wheel carts. In addition to this, orthotic and prosthetic devices are available in India at nominal cost (http//www.innovationindia.webs.com) which can markedly improve the living pattern of the animals. An orthotic is defined as devices used to support or protect an injured limb like braces (e.g. knee brace). A prosthetic device is designed to replace a missing limb or body part (e.g. artificial limb). The products available in India have several advantages for the pet lovers and owners the most important of which is the reduced cost. In addition to this, the products are custom made i.e. product is made individually for each animal/dog.

Slings may be strapped around the body or fitted for the fore limb or hind limb or both. Straps are long hand held to allow handler support the dog. Slings help in transitioning a recumbent pet to standing position.

Whereas, in certain cases, a combination of fore limb and hind limb devices becomes necessary for total body support, to prevent decubital ulcers and complications of recumbency. Wheel carts also known as canine wheel chairs or simply carts are such device which are beneficial to provide support, allow independence fro the owner and the dog and prevent the deleterious effects of recumbency. When placed in the wheel cart/chair, the dog needs some days to get habituated to the device. For a few initial days, the dog should be supervised so that they don’t fall or get struck in some object. Also they should be able to eat and drink in carts, for this, their feeding bowl may be elevated from the ground. These wheel carts with two or four wheels are designed for dogs which are permanently disabled, according to the need of the individual animal, now in India (http//www.innovationindia.webs.com). With little hard work, care and love the life of these speechless animals can be improved, so let’s join our hands together to make this happen.

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13 Comments

Reply Urvashi Kaul
2:23 AM on June 19, 2014 
We want a wheeler for our Pomerian Spitz who is paralysed from both back legs. Can you please let us know, how can we get a wheeler for her?
Reply Sarah
3:59 PM on November 22, 2013 
My friend has had, two of her puppies, suddenly become paralyzed in their hind end. They were 7 weeks old, and otherwise healthy. The other pups in the litter are find. They had their first vet visit, a few days prior, and had received the dewormer, Strongid (not the first time) . All tests are negative for tick titers, toxicology and x-rays. No vaccines had been given. They were given Frontline for fleas. Could that have caused it problem?
Reply eshwar
2:19 PM on September 17, 2013 
hi vivek jaiswal my germanshepard is also paralyzed can you tell me any suggestions for recovery
Reply innovationindia
1:12 PM on May 23, 2013 
Dear Neena Ji
Require video of your pet and other clinical diagnostic reports to come to a conclusion. kindly provide the same at indianinnovation@gmail.com

Regards
neena sachdeva says...
my 8 years old labarador has just recovered from severe hepatitis but has now developed hind limbs palsy with wasting of muscles. How will he recover?
Reply neena sachdeva
7:56 AM on May 23, 2013 
my 8 years old labarador has just recovered from severe hepatitis but has now developed hind limbs palsy with wasting of muscles. How will he recover?
Reply Hiren
11:22 AM on December 10, 2012 
Hello, need some adress for artificial leg for a dog in india(Gujarat-if possible) . kindly give my proper adress or contact number. my contact number - 9227261188
Email : hirenthakkar_21@yahoo.com
Reply vivek jaiswal
8:17 AM on October 30, 2012 
my german shephard ,male,is almost 9 years old.but has been paralysed in his spinal very recently.doctors have affirmed that he has been paralysed.he is eating his meal and drinking water,but is not able to make any movement through his rear legs.he is also passing his urine in his bed.but he has not done his stool since yesterday noon.though we are trying to make him move by lifting his back through a towel.but not much of use as he gets leaned to either side.his doctor is giving him medicine and injections and has also recommended for light massage which we are doing.we are also giving him infra red rays through the infra red lamps periodically from a distance of 30cm.kindly suggest what else should/can be done so as to make him well and back to good condition.
with regards
vivek jaiswal
Reply innovationindia
10:08 AM on June 22, 2012 
Dear Sunil
First of all make a visit to veterinary doctor
Provide your pet message therapy
Arrange a sling for him, so that you can give him a walking exercise. For arranging the same you can follow this link http://innovationindia.weebly.com/innosling.html
sunil bhanot says...
my dog breed german shepard is got paralysis attack today, he is unable to move to his rare legs, he is sitting in straight posture, please advise at the earliest possible what medicine will be more effective in this attack, he is being furious nature nobody can touch to his body, please guide what to do immediate steps to cure him, ur early reply will be appreciated. with regards
Reply sunil bhanot
9:53 AM on June 19, 2012 
my dog breed german shepard is got paralysis attack today, he is unable to move to his rare legs, he is sitting in straight posture, please advise at the earliest possible what medicine will be more effective in this attack, he is being furious nature nobody can touch to his body, please guide what to do immediate steps to cure him, ur early reply will be appreciated. with regards
Reply Dr.Makker
12:44 PM on March 24, 2011 
very nicely written articles and sure shot method of treating paralysis
Reply K9F9VET
11:00 PM on May 16, 2010 
Please share your website (www.innovationindia.webs.com) with all the leading veterinary institutions in India especially with the medicine and surgery departments so that the Clinicians there atleast know about your products and prices.
They can educate owners there and tell them about the options and I am very much sure nobody wants to go for euthanasia option for his or her dear Pet
Reply drshane
4:55 AM on March 31, 2010 
tnks for the information..keep going..!!!
Reply surbhi
8:29 AM on March 28, 2010 
nice article with some really good information