Avatar universal

Dog won't jump or go up/down stairs. Wobbly legs, sensitive paws.

We have a westie / pomeranian mix (Hildie) whose hind legs have gotten progressively weaker over the last few months. When we took her to the vet, they did blood work and x-rays but couldn't find anything wrong. She didn't react to any pain when they squeezed her legs and hips, and they couldn't find any breaks or fractures or anything wrong in the x-rays. Blood work came back clean, and she's at a healthy weight. They gave us steroids to give to her for a few weeks to see if they helped, but they didn't. She walks slowly, although when we take her on walks she moves better after a few minutes. But she won't jump up or down or go up or down stairs. She is eating / drinking / going #2 normally. She just seems weaker. Her legs are wobbly, a little shaky and she's just more lethargic than usual. Doesn't get up to greet us at the door anymore, stuff like that. That might be because she's afraid to jump down from the couch though.

Then tonight, my Mom tried to touch her paws and Hildie snapped at her, which she never does. Whenever we try to get a closer look at her paws she snaps again. We're starting to think her paws are the issue, not her legs. Maybe because of the salt on the roads, or maybe she has an infection... but I think that probably would have shown in the blood work. I don't think the vet inspected her paws during her last appointments.

Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on this? We'd appreciate any insight at all. We're planning on taking her to the vet again soon. This is just a late-night anxiety post I guess. Want to go to the vet prepared.

Thank you :)

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Avatar universal
I should add that she is 7 years old.
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974371 tn?1424653129
Poor little thing.

You obviously need to give all paws. Pads and in between each toe a thorough inspection.  Make sure the ties  look aligned bd no joints look out of place.   either have the Vet do it or see if she will be calm if someone holds her.  You may need to muzzle her if she is in pain.

At least you can rule that in or out.
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612551 tn?1450022175
The vet didn't look at the paws??  I'd get a new vet.

My (pure-breed, I think) rescue Westie has had a lot of feet/ear problems with Yeast infection - if bad you can smell it.  

Does you do lick her feet/legs?  

There are many foot baths that may help clear up feet problems, including Epsom salts, Vinegar, Iodine (all dilute), good medicated dog shampoo containing Ketoconazole.   Just some ideas.

My Westie, I think it is a Terrier characteristic, is very strong willed and stubborn, and will nip but has move more toward grabbing not a bite.  He is sensitive to feet handling.  

I assume from your post your dog used to go up/down stairs.  

Only 7 years old, just a pup and shouldn't be suffering from aging yet, not for another 7 years.
Helpful - 0
1916673 tn?1420233270
Hi. I'm tempted to agree with what others have said, your vet should have checked everything, including the paws, so it might be time to ask another vet to give a second opinion. My concern is your vet sent you away without actually diagnosing the problem.

Clearly you have come up with something about the paws, but there are so many possibilities. I would strongly advise you obtain a muzzle and try to get your dog used to it, in advance of the vet appointment, whether it's your old vet or a new one, so a thorough investigation can be undertaken. It may seem harsh to suggest a muzzle, but needs must.

Until the problem has been identified, I would not encourage her to climb stairs or jump on anything, as it could possibly be a joint or spine problem, even though x-rays should have picked up something if that's the case. Please come back and let us know what the (old or new) vet finds out. Tony
Helpful - 0
974371 tn?1424653129
I meant to add, because it is hard to explain here and I am short on time to find a link.

Do a Google search on making a homemade muzzle for dogs with photos.  
Comes in handy if you don't have one at home.  This can also come in handy if you have an injured dog that needs to be moved or transported as they will often bite when they are in pain.  Can be kind of tricky to do so do be careful.
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