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Why did my dog's hind legs suddenly stop working?

Posted by seemiljr

My lab is 2 years old at 90lbs.  I exercise him at least 20 minutes a day, five days a week.  He has had no previous injuries or alements.  I wake up one morning and he can't use his back legs.  He was fine the night before.  I don't think it was an injury to his spine because he is back to normal.  It has been 2 days since the incident and there is no sign of anything.  I also took him to the vet but I think that I lost braincells while I was in there.  They told me that they thought it was a knee problem, like he tore his acl or something.  Anyway, I am under suspicion that he injested something he wasn't suppossed to.  We live next to a farm and the farmer layed down some manure to fertilize his field the day before.  We also put down some chicken manure in our garden.  Other than that, I can't think of what else he could have gotten into.  What other chemicals or causes could produce this kind of effect?
Answers (37)
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EXACTLY the same thing is happening to my dog.  I have an 11-year old Papillon.  Granted 11 is getting up there, but he hasn't shown any signs of getting old as dogs eventually do.  Age really isn't a factor here for what happened.
Through 07/26/09, he was healthy, energetic, and kept up with his brother (age 6) running through the yard playing.  He has never had any health problems beyond losing a few teeth to tartar.
On Monday, 07/27, my dog was whinny and didn't want to be around anyone.  I left him sleep most of the day although he seemed to go outside to potty and eat ok.  Still no physical ailment.

Next morning - disaster struck.  He could not use either of his back legs.  To-boot, his back was hunched in the middle-top.
I took him to the vet.  They did bloodwork and all was normal.  That rules out (as far as I'm told) something he ate.

I took him to a high-end vet hospital & clinic.  They did CT scan (and with contrast) and an MRI.  They thought they saw a mass (possibly tumor or infected tissue) and elected to operate.
When they opened his back up, they found NOTHING.  They had mis-read the MRI and CT.

To-date, there is no explanation from them or anyone else as to what the H happened to my dog.

Something's up as it's happening to others as well it sounds.  Any info, please contact me at  Thank you!
I am in a similar situation.  I have a 5 year old Weimaraner who suddenly lost function in his hind legs.  We took him to three different veterinarians (including University of Wisconsin Veterinary Hospital) and a chiropractor and still have no answers, but many theories.  He has had two attacks that have lasted several days each where his muscles spasm, teeth chatter, he cannot walk at all, and is completely incontinent.  The heartbreaking part is that aside from his physical symptoms, he acts completely normal and does not appear to be in pain.  After a few days, these symptoms go away and he can walk with only some difficulty.  Unfortunately we do not have the resources for the expensive scans or operations.  If either of you get an answer that sounds reasonable, please let me know.
I am shedding tears responding to this,my one and half year old weimaraner has been struck with the exact same symptoms you have described,we rushed him to a 24 hour hospital last night.After i spent my only hundred dollars on the visit fee they asked me for 175.00 cash for x-rays.I later was told for 1700.00 they would keep him for 2 days and observe him.i was horrified.I tried to apply for credit care and was rejected.My "manfred" is on the couch with blankets and a sad look on his face.No signs of pain.they suggested wobblers but if you research wobblers there are only suggestions for surgery and accupuncture.No known cure.the fact they would charge 1700.00$ for observing and no possitive outcome is outrageous.Your comment has given me more hope than professional vetenarians.Please update any new knowledge as i will do the same.
I'm in the same boat.... My 1-1/2 year old cockapoo yelped last night while laying on the floor and starting hopping/running/falling into the kitchen. Nothing happened to him he was just laying there. I could see right away something was wrong. Being my first dog I wasn't sure if it could be a pinched nerve or something else simple and that it might work it's way out.... This morning he refused to get up on his front paws and had no interest in moving at all..... I called the vet and took him in- still no word.... While loading him into the truck I had layed him down to open the truck door and he lost control of his bladder...... I'm so scared for him!
i have a two and half year old male chihuahua nad this has happend tome. im so scared. bc he shows no signs of physical pain or anything. he just refuses to put weight on his hind legs i wanna know why this is happen but i do not have enough money to take him to the vet in these hard times. can anyone plz give me tips on how to make him comfortable.
I have a 14 years old mixed bread male dog, he suddenyl start walking ans in on the same position from last 2 days. I have shown to VEt he suggested some insulins which are giving him he looks 10% ok, but still he do not do any regular activity and so we are worried. He is just on water. And the temperature here is 45 Der. Can heat may be a reason for this. We make him seat in cooler & AC. Can some one help me. :(
This just happend to my 2 and half old female chihuahua yesterday.  Can anyone tell me how long this lasted on their dog>?   I'm reading posting and it seems that vets are not giving complete answers because they have no clue why this is happening.   In return they are handing out huge vet bills.   If I can get some feedback before I take her in.  I feel so bad for her she is dragging her hind legs they look like they are paralyzed. :( 

My dog has no other symptoms other than she will not use her hind legs.  She is still eating good and I have rubbed her legs and bent them to see if she would cry but did not,  Not sure what the heck is going on pretty scarry to see this little one like this.  I have her mother and she is 10 years old and shows no sign of slowing down.

 so worried :(


I just today, 8-17-2011, had to euthanize my 15 year old best friend.  Her hind legs have been getting weaker everyday.  Yesterday afternoon she could not move her hind legs.....she let me know it was time for her to vet concured...I MISS her terribly.  I know it is common in older dogs, not sure what is happening with this problem in young dogs...good luck out there!

I found this article helpful:

My 5 year old mixed lab/shepp/beagle.. had the same thing happen.. middle of the night fine.. this morning can't use back legs. I had a Sheppard Husky cross and the same thing use to happen to him.. legs would give out.. then a few hours later be fine.. He was older mind you.. but this appears to be the same thing.. everything else is fine.. just the back legs.. I am hoping it will disappear as well. Just very frustrating.. and I dont have the money for x rays and blood work either... but it appears those dont give any results anyways~~
Our dog Asher died this morning after several vet visits and us suffering through vets constantly trying to upsell us tests.  They had no idea what as wrong.  We paid for dozens of useless tests and now know dozens of things that Asher didn't have.  A lot of good it did us.  We called a vet requesting steroids the night before he died and were denied them with the vet citing "ravenous eating" as a bad side effect.  Well Ash wasn't eating and ravenous eating would have been a big improvement, so that just sounded silly to us.  We felt like none of them listened at all to what we told them.  They'd ask if he as vomiting; we'd say, "No," and then they'd precribe anti-vomiting medicine.  Hello?  MDs know almost nothing and vets no even less than nothing.

Did you find out what was wrong with your cockapoo? Same thing happened to our yesterday.  His is 7 but healthy and very active.  While outside with my husband he suddenly yelped and tried to run dragging his hind legs.  My husband at first thought maybe he got stung by a wasp, but after observing him we could tell it was more serious than that.  He walks with difficulty dragging his hind legs and constantly falls over.  He can manuver a few stairs after several attempts with falling and can no longer jump up on bed, furniture, etc.  I instantly thought herniated disc or pinched nerve, but i would expect him to be wimpering in pain and he is not.  I run my hands down his back and squeeze to see if he responds and he has absolutely no reaction.  We plan on taking him in to the vet tomorrow if there is no improvement, but was wondering how your situation turned out? Thanks!


Hi everyone, I am wondering if anybody used a tick/flea treatment prior to any of these symptoms? I used Zodiac Flea and Tick treatment 2 days ago, and later the same day, my 1 year old Chi started having spasms in his hind section, which changed his tail wag pattern, and would freeze his back section to one side or another as he'd be walking along.  It looks like he suddenly feels an itch and wants to bend to the side to nibble on his hip or foot, but half way there, he decides there is no itch, and his body stays bent sideways.
Did any foy uo ever find out what the cause of this was? MY beagle was compeltely fine yesterday morning, yesterday afternoon she went to get up and struggled to put weight on her back legs. After a few hours it seemed to be getting better. However this morning her condition has seemed to continue to get worse, and she now is at the point where she cannot even get up onto her back legs. I have read umerous places it could be a pinched nerve and to try a few days on apirin and rest before going in to have all the tests run. Please let me know if any of you ever found out what it was.
my dog did the samr as yours! loss of hind end and humped up in the you have an answer yet?
same thing happened to my dog...loss of backend and hunched up in the you have an answer?

Has anyone had any answers???  Maggie just came in (12/19/12) from outside dragging her hind legs and unable to control her lower back.  Needless to say, I freaked.  It only lasted a few minutes...she's still weak…can walk but with her back humped and without good control.  It doesn’t seem to hurt.  I gave her aspirin and have been looking it up...this is often a big bucks vet issue, people spend thousands, not infrequently with improvement being mainly the result of time.  :(  I spent over a thousand dollars on my dachshund Lady’s last days before I saw the futility of prolonging the pain.  Recently Maggie-poodle's had trembling in her back legs and after searching the Internet I decided the next bag of dog food would not contain potatoes. She hasn’t had any sort of medication or pest treatment other than sprayed with an ACV/herbal infusion to ward off fleas two days ago, her Comfortis 22 days ago and Interceptor heart worm preventative 26 days ago.  She’ll be twelve in March.  Poor girlie.  Not long ago I wouldn’t have continued giving her potato dog food (Nutro grain-free venison) a single day beyond reading that it might contribute to trembling…now, even if it’s not a surgery issue, between tests, medication, and physical therapy…well, it’s out of reach.

my 6 yr old black lab is going through this now. i would like to make a suggestion. if we can all try to retrace our dogs steps and actions prior maybe we can come up with a common cause

Lyme disease in particular (and Tick Borne Disease co-infections such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichia, Bartonella, Babesia, etc) will cause inflamation of the spinal column leading to mild to severe hind quarter weakness. NEVER GET A LYME VACCINE on your dog! If your dog has Lyme (and or co-infections), it will make it worse and this vaccine does nothing against all the other Tick Borne Diseases. Insist that your veterinarian send blood work to IDEXX Labs. The particular test that you must insist that they do is called the 371 Tick Panel. DO NOT LET THEM DO THE LYME C6 Quant. It is a wast of your money! If your dog is positive for Lyme and co Infections, and is having neurological symtoms like hind end weekness, your dog is most likely CHRONIC and will need life long antibiotic therapy. Find a Vet with knowledge of Tick Borne Diseases! Most Vets don't know anything about them and will not give your dog the right treatment! Read this and take to your vet:

I had a dog that 10 veterinarians and Thousands of dollars later was finally properly diagnosed with Lyme. Good Luck and be firm with your veterinarians. They are not gods and do not know everything!

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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