Treating Your Pet’s Sudden Paralysis

Symptoms of Canine Paralysis

Although there are many mobility conditions that progressively worsen over time, sometimes canine paralysis can occur suddenly. Where overnight a previously healthy dog wakes up and is completely unable to walk. Sudden paralysis and mobility loss can be terrifying for a pet parent and you may not know what to do, here’s what to look out for:

Symptoms of Canine Paralysis

The signs and symptom of paralysis in dogs can occur quickly, here are a few of the most common indicators:

  • Inability to flex leg joint
  • Inability to bear weight on leg
  • Pain
  • Lameness
  • Weakness
  • Abnormal Gait
  • Dragging limb or limbs

Common Causes of Paralysis

Paralysis and leg weakness can effect both your dog’s front or rear legs. The cause of the paralysis can vary greatly depending on the limb it effects.

Front Leg Paralysis

Commonly caused by damage to nerves in the neck or shoulder, or in the radial, median or ulnar nerves in the leg.

Rear Leg Paralysis

Commonly caused by nerve damage in the tailbone or lower back, or in the tibial, femoral peroneal or sciatic nerve in the rear leg

Seek immediate medical attention If your pet is experiencing any of the above symptoms.

Conditions Effecting Canine Mobility

There are many conditions that can cause a dog to become paralyzed, here are some of the most common canine mobility conditions:

  • Neurological Conditions
  • Musculoskeletal Conditions
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Cancerous Tumors
  • Viral Disease (Distemper or Rabies)
  • Ticks
  • Injury or Trauma
  • Exposure to Pesticides
  • Intervertebral Disk Disease

Treatment Options for Sudden Paralysis

Your dog’s sudden paralysis treatment will vary depending on the cause. It is important to follow Veterinary guidelines to care for your pet and monitor their condition.


Depending on the severity and cause, surgery may slow down the effects or even correct your pet’s paralysis. Tumor removal, amputations and spinal surgery to correct nerve damage are just a few possible surgical solutions. Immediate medical care and early diagnosis can be key to getting your dog back on their feet as quickly as possible.

Following post-operative guidelines are iatrical for a successful recovery. Speak with your Veterinarian and make sure that your know what steps you need to follow after your dog’s surgery.


In cases of bacterial or fungal infections, the symptoms can be treated with drugs and antibiotics. If your dog is experiencing any pain, the Vet may prescribe pain medications as well. Create a medication schedule to ensure you don’t miss a single dose.

Canine Rehabilitation

Your Veterinary Surgeon may prescribe acupuncture, stretching, massages or working with a Canine Rehab Therapists as part of your dog’s recovery plan. The types of rehab therapy needed and the frequency will vary depending on the underlying cause of your dog’s mobility loss.

Supportive Care

In many paralysis cases, most of the care will be done at home. Your Veterinarian will help you to make a plan to properly care for your dog. Restricting your dog’s mobility through create rest is common.

Follow your Veterinarian’s plan closely until your dog is fully recovered. Administer the full course of prescribed medications even if your dog appears to be fully recovered. If you have any questions, always call your Vet.

Mobility Assistance for Your Pet

Whether the paralysis is temporary or permanent there are many assistive devices available to help make your life easier and get your dog moving again.

Support Sling:

A lightweight, denim sling that gently wraps around the center of your dog’s body. Allowing you to gently lift and support your pet. Perfect for post-surgical support.

Lift-n-Step Harness:

A perfect lifting harness for pet’s needing support in both the front and rear legs. This is a great option for supporting rear leg amputees.

This harness is also ideal for assisting pets on stairs.

Walkin’ Wheels Wheelchair:

A dog wheelchair gives your dog independence, allowing them regain their mobility and get around freely. A great addition to your dog’s rehabilitation and recovery. Getting a dog back on their feet quickly can help promote healing.

Disabled dogs enjoying life on wheels!

See All Walkin' Pets ProductsSmall Pug Wheelchair

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