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Our 4.5 year old Golden Retriever recently had sudden immobility in her back legs. We were visiting friends and had her tied to her stake outside. I went out to work on some stuff and she was jumping around trying to play with me, but I didn't have time. 2 hours later I went out to play with her and she couldn't even stand up. In the course of a few hours she went from totally normal to mysteriously crippled.

After we got back into town a few days later, we took her to the vet but she had sort of gradually improved since then and the vet couldn't find anything wrong.

After a few more days she started to get worse again. Not as bad as originally, but still taking a very long time to stand up, stiff slow walking, lethargic, and low appetite. We took her to the vet again and got anti-inflammatory meds for her.

These helped a little, but not much, so within a week, she was back at the vet getting Xrays and a full blood panel. Both came back inconclusive (vet couldn't find anything wrong), so the results are being sent to a specialist.

We've now spent over $600 on three vet visits and we still don't even know what is wrong. Has anyone experienced anything like this before? I've looked up other rear leg issues but this doesn't seem to fit most of them––especially with the extremely sudden (within a few hours) onset.
Any help would be appreciated. We can't afford to keep paying the vet for nothing.
 

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Have you and the vet done a thorough search for ticks?
Yes. We found a few ticks on her (mostly dead due to the tick repellent collar we have on her) shortly after the trip. But the vet did a thorough search and also said the bloodwork ruled out tick related issues.
 

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First thing that came to mind was ticks. Second thing is spinal cord. Did the x-rays show anything with the spine? Did the x-ray include her neck?

My boy is part dachshund and the breed is well known for back problems, and it can show up as rear leg paralysis. So far my boy has not had that happen but has had back trouble.

Here's an article on it. Skip the first part as it does not pertain to your dog, and scroll down to Blown Disc Complete or Partial Paralysis. My Documents\Corel User Files\OTM Webpages\DUCHWEB\backproblems.html Something in there may be useful to you and your dog.
 

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Yes. We found a few ticks on her (mostly dead due to the tick repellent collar we have on her) shortly after the trip. But the vet did a thorough search and also said the bloodwork ruled out tick related issues.
Bloodwork isn't going to show something tick related. I would continue to search for more ticks on her, since it only takes one of a certain species for tick paralyisis. And in the meantime, go to another vet as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Chas is right, paralysis ticks or effect of them do not show up on blood work. I would find out the type of ticks you found, it takes just one.
I don't know the type of tick, but we did save it in a jar. The vet never asked for it and didn't seem very open to the possibility of it being tick related.
 
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