It's tough to accept as she is not quite 2 years old, but Lucy is having difficulty with her hind legs, weakness that makes it nearly impossible to go up a step or even walk. Had to take her to the vet who x-rayed her, though it did not show much. Given her symptoms and how she is walking, he believes it is some kind of disk problem--it just couldn't show up on the x-ray. She is on restricted rest and some meds. I am supposed to watch for "knuckling" that will indicate a decline and then I am supposed to take her back to the vet's for whatever the next step would be--surgery will be expensive and would involve taking her elsewhere. I am comfortable in my income, but not that comfortable so I'll have to cross my fingers that restricted rest and NSAIDs will help. Last night she was so subdued, her little nub down; this morning she was wagging it again at the cats and at me. But she stumbles and flop-sits, taking her a while to get down the hall. She has been such an energetic, happy Corgi who loves being outdoors and going for her walks--now it's just heartbreaking.

I have no idea if she hurt herself and I didn't spot it. She does not do a lot of jumping up and down on furniture; I try to pick her up correctly. A few weeks ago, she was favoring her left hind leg but the vet and I thought it was her leg. I never even thought it was her back. Yesterday, it changed abruptly to clear weakness in the hind legs.

The other complicating factor? I am scheduled for knee surgery on Monday.

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Comment by Laura Rochette on March 3, 2013 at 12:07pm

Thank you all for your responses. Update: the meds (pain, NSAID and muscle relaxant) and restricted activity seem to be working. Lucy is perking up, wagging her nub and walking around (still a little weakness evident). Prednisone (or some kind of steroid) is possible next step if she declines--I think the vet is taking conservative approach and considering the uncertain diagnosis, distance and cost of seeing a specialist, I'm ok with that. Esp. since I am seeing some improvement.

I have arranged to board her at the vet's (they have a well-run day care and boarding facility) for the first few days following my knee surgery. She can continue her restricted activity and meds there.

Comment by Chris Payerl on March 2, 2013 at 9:28pm
Sophie had on and off hind end weakness, stumbling and falling, and knuckling under. We thought it might have been due to her seizure meds. We saw a vet neurologist who did a thorough check up on her. She suggested lowering one of her seizure meds, which helped somewhat, but did not eliminate it. She had a bout where she would barely get up and was holding her head funny. Our reg. vet consulted w/ the neuro and they suggested a round of prednisone. MIRACLE!!! Within a week she was not only not stumbling, but was running and barking and sassy as she was when she was a puppy again. That was about six months ago and she is still back to her bouncy self, even with her seizure meds. I don't know if it would be appropriate, but maybe ask your vet if prednisone might be worth a try esp. if the only other alternative is surgery. I'm pretty leery about trying stuff because of Sophie's seizures but she was in such tough shape and nothing else was working. We had to try something. I felt could have kicked myself for not trying it sooner. And a bonus was that the pred wasn't all that expensive. My sister's sheltie hurt himself playing and just fell down like a sack of potatoes; he couldn't even walk. She was so scared, but her vet put him on prednisone and in time, he recovered fully. My suggestion is to ask about it, at least.
Comment by Yuki & Ellie on March 2, 2013 at 12:34pm

You, yourself, have said that her condition changed abruptly within the past 24 hours, so personally I say don't wait.  Get her in to see someone, whether that is your regular veterinarian or another specialist.  I know you're afraid of what the costs might be, but it certainly won't become any less expensive if you wait longer.  Care Credit is available most places to help.  

Who will be helping you after your knee surgery?  Perhaps they could take Lucy in for you and you can relay information via the phone.

Comment by Melissa and Franklin! on March 2, 2013 at 10:28am

If you are seeing abrupt weakness and stumbling I wouldn't wait a week or two I'd get her into a neurologist ASAP. Do you know how to check for knuckling in the hind end? To me if she is falling and stumbling in the hind end it may indicate the same loss of sensation that knuckling indicates. With a disc problem if she is showing neuro signs then the longer you wait the less likely surgery will help. Damaged nerves take forever to heal and if they remain damaged too long they will not heal at all. Sorry to be kind of doom and gloom but back problems causing what appears to be weakness or neurological problems are nothing to wait and see with. If there are any indications of neuro issues with a sore back the vets I work with would have you to a neurologist ASAP, like within the next few hours. Try applying for Care Credit to help out with expenses. Good luck.

Comment by Jane Christensen on March 2, 2013 at 8:21am

Could it be that she injured herself and it just got worse? Wynn did this a couple years ago where one morning he was laying on the deck and really couldn't get up. He had injured his back(don't remember the details). The vet showed me exactly where and how to massage this area. YOu could tell when you found the right "spot". He was fine in a week or 2 with no further problems.

I know how you feel...helpless...but hopefully it will resolve itself.

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