Lumbo-Sacral Disease (Large breed dog)

Lumbo-Sacral disease is one of the most common causes of hind limb problems in large breed dogs.  A lot of these animals are presumptively diagnosed with hip dysplasia do to their size, but in many cases further diagnostics reveals lumbo-sacral disease.  This condition can be caused by a number of issues including degenerative disc disease, discospondylosis, spinal stenosis (narrowed spinal canal), or a combination of degenerative changes.  The treatment for lumbo-sacral disease can very from medical management to surgical correction of ruptured discs.  The primary concern in these large breed dogs is to first get a confirmed diagnosis of the hind limb issue and not assume it is always hip dysplasia.  If your medium to large breed dog is having trouble standing up after rest, has a gait abnormality, drags their toes on the ground while walking, walking with a wobbly back end, or is reluctant to run, jump or play, you need to have your animal evaluated by a veterinarian.  Once a proper diagnosis is made, a treatment plan can be established that will hopefully make your pet more comfortable, and give it a better quality of life.  The MRI below is of a 140 lb large breed dog that came in with hind limb paralysis.  This dog had been treated for the last 2 years for hip dysplasia but was steadily getting worse over the last 6 months.  Radiographs of the hips showed mild dysplasia, but not enough DJD to cause the severity of this dogs clinical signs.  Surgery was performed in this case and the animal walked out of the clinic the next day.