Health Topics  >  Neurological  > Paralysis

What can I do if my dog experiences paralysis?

If your dog is showing symptoms of paralysis, or earlier signs like paresis (weakness) or incoordination, you should seek veterinary care immediately. Because many of these conditions are progressive, it is always best to seek medical attention promptly.

If you live in an area where ticks are common, checking your dog for ticks is of utmost importance.

Also essential is keeping your dog safe and calm. Make sure to keep them away from stairs and swimming pools. You can use a towel as a sling under the belly to help larger dogs walk.  Be aware that if your dog is in pain, even the sweetest pup may nip or bite, so use caution when getting them in the car on the way to the vet. Try to keep them quiet and restrict activity, otherwise you risk the dog aggravating its injury.

Be prepared that your veterinarian may recommend referral to a neurologist in order to get a definitive diagnosis and determine the best treatment plan. Diagnostics and treatment for some of these conditions can be quite costly, which is one of the many reasons that pet insurance is such a good idea (especially for breeds like dachshunds who are notorious for IVDD).

While the prognosis for many of these dogs is quite good, it can sometimes be a long road. Weeks to months of supportive care, physiotherapy, and patience may be required. 

Pro Tip: you can use a towel as a sling under your dog’s belly to help them walk.

This video below from Top Dog Tips shows how to make a dog who has a slipped disc more comfortable: