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Wobbly after back surgery.

Species: Dog
Breed: chichuhua /dachshund
Age: 5-8 years
My little dog, pumpkin, had surgery for a 'blown disc' 2-1/2 years. She attempts to walk, sometimes as many as 20/30 steps but always ends up sitting down when her back end start to swivel. Is there anything I can do/buy to prevent this swiveling? Thanks.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Caroline...I'm sorry to hear that Pumpkin is not doing well.

It sounds like what you are describing may be something called "ataxia". Ataxia means that there is hind end weakness or wobbliness. It happens because there is a problem with the spinal cord.

If Pumpkin had back surgery 2.5 years ago it is possible that there is some arthritis in the area that was operated on. Or, it is possible that she has a similar problem with a disc near the one that was operated on.

Has she been evaluated recently by her vet? She may benefit from anti-inflammatory medications or possibly even steroids. Unfortunately there is no over the counter medication that would be considered safe to use for this situation.

You may also want to have your vet check her anal glands as some dogs with anal gland problems will sit suddenly. However, what you are describing sounds more like a back problem than anything else.

If your vet feels that medications will not help, you can consider a doggie wheelchair. This chair helps to support your dog's back legs and can give her a better level of comfort. I have a web page about dog wheelchairs at www.askavetquestion.com/spinal_injury.php. There are links to sites that sell dog wheelchairs.

I hope this helps and I hope she does ok!

Dr. Marie


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.