I just recently joined this group in the hopes that someone may have some answers for me in regard to a serious health concern that happened to Buddy right before Christmas. When I came home from work he appeared to be staggering as if he were drunk. Upon further evaluation it appeared he was partially paralyzed in his back legs-predominantly the right hind quarter. The three vets I took him to are puzzled. He is currently on cortizone and pain killers. I did some research and it sounds like Intervertebral Disc Disease-apparently common in corgis. Has anyone else run into this? Any advice?

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Hi Colleen,
Welcome to the group. I'm not a vet, but an OR nurse with 20 + years. If only a part of his hindquarters are being affected, I would think he is having some sort of impingment in his sacral/lumbar area. Much like a person with sciatica going down one leg. The cortisone is to reduce the inflammation, and try to decompress the nerve. He will probaly want more water, and have to go out to urinate more often from the steroid. Watch hime going up and down stairs, as you don't want to put him in position to slip a disc. Look for a vet in your area that specializes in dogs with long backs, and back problems. Hope this helps, write back if more questions. Carol
Our corgi has not had bak problem yet (knock on the wood...), but she has had problems with her hind legs. Our vet (& we) suspected that her leg actually popped out of her socket, but we are not sure since nothing showed up on her x-ray. My husband build a ramp going up to our bed, and she has not been allowed to go up on the couch while we are not at home. We block the couch & side of the bed to make sure she is not jumping up/down from high places. Also, we stopped letting her go up or down the stairs as much as possible since this happened (since she was 5). It's never too late to start discouraging your dog to jump up & down from high places or stairs...since they seemed to have back/hip injuries so often. Let us know what happens!
Hi Colleen. I'm sorry Buddy's not feeling well. Long, low-slung dogs are prone to this kind of stuff. I agree with Carol. Buddy may have jumped off a chair or fallen and impinged a nerve. Unfortunately, x-rays aren't going to catch this kind of thing (right Carol?). If he's wonky in his hind end, you also might try using a bath towel to support him while he walks on uneven areas. They make regular walking aids like that, but their not ever long enough for short dogs! Ughh. Discrimination! Keep us posted on how he's doing.
Im not a vet either but this is def. something I've heard/read about before getting our pup.

Goodluck with Buddy and I hope feels better soon!
How much does this treatment run in price?
I am having the same problem with my 10 yr old Pembroke, Molly. How are you assisting with them going to potty? I am having a hard time with Molly, because I will try to help her, but I can see she becomes embarrassed and then won;t go.... I am getting her to go a couple of times a day but it is difficult to get that. Do you have any suggestions on how to help them hold themselves up? She is in great spirits other than going potty. Thanks~
Tippysounds...... we use a leash called the Bottoms-Up Leash to help our 11 1/2 yr old Cobi out to go potty now since October due to degenerative disk disease. We got it at Petco or you can find it online. There is one picture of it on my page.
there is a woman that lives near me who had a miniature pinscher that had paralysis in its front legs due to "degenerative disc disease". she let the dog go live for a couple of weeks with a dog physical therapist, here in southeastern PA. this woman took xrays and performed manipulations of the spine, and the dog is fine now. there may be a chance of the problem recurring, but it's a lot better than surgery. you might want to google "canine physical therapy" and your zip code.
yea my parents did shots with their old lab for multiple things while they lived in germany and she was like a puppy again for another year.

Canine degenerative myelopathy (also known as chronic degenerative radiculomyelopathy)

Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs. The disease has an insidious onset typically between 7 and 14 years of age. It begins with a loss of coordination (ataxia) in the hind limbs.

the mutated gene responsible for DM has been found present in 43 breeds including German Shepherds and both breeds of Welsh Corgis.[1] The disease is chronic and progressive, and can result in the animals inability to recognize its extremeties, thereby rendering it paralyzed.

The myelin is an insulating sheath around neurons in the spinal cord. One proposed cause of degenerative myelopathy is that the immune system attacks this sheath, breaking it down. This results in a loss of communication between nerves in lower body of the animal and the brain. The disease usually manifests between the ages of seven and fourteen.

I hope this helps. There's more information in the link at the top.
Interesting. Our lab works on hereditary ataxias in humans. I shoul've known there was an OMIA (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals). But I know there's huge interest in the canine genome, since they have the same genes we do, and the wealth of pedigree information facilitates gene mapping. One of the hereditary blood diseases a collaborator worked on has a counterpart in gray collies. I read that the dog genome was sequenced by the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research (WICGR), now the Broad Institute:


Amazing. The latter says that purebred dogs are more genetically isolated than humans living on different continents(!).


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