Health Topics  >  Neurological

Paralysis in Dogs

Paralysis can be a scary condition for you and your dog. Normally, your dog’s brain, spine, nerves, and muscles work together to coordinate movement. Unfortunately, sometimes there can be damage to nerves that result in paralysis. The cause of paralysis varies, but is frequently associated with the spinal cord, age, and specific breeds.

Paralysis can affect different parts of the body (ex. hind legs, face) and at different degrees of severity, but in all cases you should contact your vet ASAP as it is likely to get worse if left untreated. In the meantime, keep them quiet and calm. While treatment for paralysis may be difficult and time-consuming, most of the time the prognosis is good.

Pro tips for visiting the veterinarian:

  • Contact your vet ASAP if you start noticing signs of paralysis, as it is likely to worsen and unlikely to resolve on its own. 
  • Keep your dog calm and quiet to prevent further aggravation. You can use towels and crates to assist you with this. Be careful as your dog is likely in pain.
  • Using seasonal or year-round tick prevention helps protect your dog from tick paralysis, a sudden and rapid response to toxins in the tick’s saliva.
  • Depending on the severity of your dog’s situation, your veterinarian may refer you to a neurologist in order to get a definitive diagnosis.

References for Paralysis