Proprioceptive Deficits in Dogs

Proprioceptive Deficits in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
Proprioceptive Deficits in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What are Proprioceptive Deficits?

If your dog is experiencing this condition he will be knuckling with his paws or dragging them instead of lifting and placing them properly. If you notice your dog doing this, you should bring him to your veterinarian. While it may not seem very serious, this action can actually be indicative of a more severe underlying issue. The sooner your dog gets a proper diagnosis, the sooner a treatment plan and therapy can be put into place.

If your dog is experiencing proprioceptive deficits it means he is not using or placing his paw as he should. This can be from an acute injury or chronic condition. If you notice your dog dragging his feet in an odd way, or if he sleeps with them in an abnormal position, take him to his veterinarian for evaluation.

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Proprioceptive Deficits Average Cost

From 381 quotes ranging from $500 - $3,000

Average Cost

$1,800

Symptoms of Proprioceptive Deficits in Dogs

Symptoms of deficits in proprioception can be subtle or very obvious. Symptoms may include:

  • Worn nails in an abnormal pattern from dragging the limb/paw
  • Staggering
  • Misplacement of the foot
  • Not realizing when his paw it placed on its dorsal surface instead of its ventral side ( its normal paw pad surface)
  • Odd postures when lying down or sleeping with legs in abnormal positioning

Types

Proprioception deficits can be acute or chronic. If your dog experiences some type of injury or trauma it can cause the proprioceptive deficit to appear suddenly. This is also known as acute onset. If your dog has a degenerative disk disease or other developing back condition, the symptom may appear subtly at first but then worsen as time progresses.

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Causes of Proprioceptive Deficits in Dogs

There are many causes that can lead to your dog developing proprioceptive deficits. Almost every type of back disease or condition can cause this issue. There is also injury, pinched nerves, and even something as simple as inflammation of specific muscles that can contribute.

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Diagnosis of Proprioceptive Deficits in Dogs

If you suspect your dog is having issues with his walk or feet, take him to see his veterinarian. She will begin by performing a physical exam in order to evaluate your dog as a whole. One of the typical tests veterinarians do as a part of their exam is testing his proprioception. Your dog will be standing on all four legs, she will take one paw, flip it so that his knuckles are down and see if he flips his paw back to its normal posture. A dog without a problem will flip its paw back immediately or will barely let you flip it in the first place. However, if your dog is experiencing deficits, he will take a few seconds before flipping it back over or he may not flip it back at all. This is what is known as delayed or lacking conscious proprioception. 

This will lead to further diagnostic testing in order to confirm her suspicions. The veterinarian may recommend radiographs. She will want to look at your canine’s knees, hips, and spine. Since proprioception deficits are usually due to a compromised nerve, she will be looking for the source. A radiograph will allow her to check for any pinched places or compressed spinal cord. 

If for some reason the radiograph does not show any obvious causes, the veterinary caregiver may take a thermal image of your pet. This is done through the use of a heat sensing camera that shows areas of inflammation and areas with poor circulation. It there is an area that is compressed, it will typically show more heat in the area due to inflammation. In the area behind or below the affected area may appear to be cooler due to lack of circulation and senses. 

The veterinarian may recommend you go to a specialist for an MRI. This is the most complete imaging system there is to find the exact cause of your dog’s proprioceptive deficits, and this tool can pinpoint the location of the misfiring of the nerves. In most cases though, this is not required for diagnostics. It is used only if your dog is one of the abnormal cases where your veterinarian cannot find a cause.

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Treatment of Proprioceptive Deficits in Dogs

When it comes to treatment of proprioceptive deficits in dogs, the veterinary doctor will have to find the source of the problem in order to have the best opportunity of fixing it. When she does find the cause, the main option is surgical correction. Spinal surgery is complicated and not every veterinarian is able to do this type of procedure. This will require you to see a specialist.

If you do not want to put your dog through surgery or want to try something else, you can try treatment with supportive therapies. Your veterinarian can prescribe anti-inflammatory medications as well as suggest some physical therapy exercises. If you are unable to do the exercises at home, there are facilities that provide rehabilitation for animals. 

Light laser therapy is another form of treatment some veterinarians can recommend. This is a therapeutic light that penetrates down to the affected area. In no way will this harm your pet, it only benefits him; the worst thing that may happen is that it will not help. This therapy reduces inflammation, offers pain relief, and increases flow throughout the treated area. Not many veterinarians have access to laser therapy or may not have used it personally in their practice. Research this option in order to find a veterinarian that can provide this therapy.

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Worried about the cost of Proprioceptive Deficits treatment?

Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.

Recovery of Proprioceptive Deficits in Dogs

The cause of your dog’s proprioceptive deficit will play a significant role in his recovery. Without surgical correction, you are only giving him supportive therapies and managing his condition. These options can work very well for some dogs and reduce their symptoms significantly but may be ineffective for others. Even if you do have surgery performed on your dog, there is no guarantee it will fix the problem. 

The proprioceptive deficit alone will not harm your dog; it may just trip him up at times and may become more pronounced as the underlying cause progresses.

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Proprioceptive Deficits Average Cost

From 381 quotes ranging from $500 - $3,000

Average Cost

$1,800

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Proprioceptive Deficits Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Macy

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Labrador Retriever

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5 Years

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1 found helpful

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1 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Diarrhea, Hanging Head, Vomiting

My 5yr old dog, since taking simparica for flea/tick control about 1 1/2 wks ago, has started to behave strangely. She is holding her head down, in line with her body. Doesn't seem herself. Has thrown up 1 or 2 times since then as well. She had some diarrhea as well. Is this normal possible allergic reaction to this medication?

June 9, 2018

Macy's Owner

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1 Recommendations

Reported side effects of Simparica (sarolaner) include vomiting, diarrhoea and loss of appetite; whilst these side effects are uncommon, they may still occur. Generally if the cause is due to Simparica, there is no real course of treatment apart from symptomatic care (if effective) and waiting for the active ingredient to the excreted from the body. You should visit your Veterinarian for a discuss or call the manufacturer (1-888-963-8471) if you have any concerns. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.zoetisus.com/products/dogs/simparica/pdf/simparica-pi-2016.pdf

June 10, 2018

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Amos

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Pug

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13 Years

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0 found helpful

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0 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Licking
Lethargy

My 13 year old pug has delayed proprioception in his hind legs, but I think his front ones are fine. Harder to tell. His hind legs seem to be getting very very slowly worse. Could that be caused by the same thing which caused some sort of central nervous system deficits a few weeks ago? Brief ataxia, head tilt, hypermetria. And/or the daily vomiting (and re-eating) which started a month ago, and was helped by famotidine. And/or his very recent new impulse to lick my comforter instead of his stuffed frog. Ewww! He had a bunch of vaccinations in early March, and then the daily vomiting three weeks later (plus one eye was red). Then about two weeks later the CNS symptoms. He was put on antibiotics and steroids and seemed to feel much better, and no returning CNS symptoms, but not sure about proprioception. The comforter licking started two or three days after the steroids stopped. He also had a much worse (but different) CNS problem two years ago around the same time and also I guess about a month after lots of vaccinations. Seemed completely better after two rounds of antibiotics and a month of tapering steroids that time. Could both of these CNS incidences actually be a reaction to the vaccines? (Or infected cat poop he eats in the backyard?) Is it possible that the two rounds of antibiotics really helped two years ago and he would benefit now from another round? Would a CBC panel show evidence for whether or not antibiotics would help? My vet says unless I get an MRI, all she can do is give steroids to treat the symptoms, so I'm looking for other possibilities.

May 11, 2018

Amos' Owner

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0 Recommendations

Without examining Amos it is difficult to say what the specific cause of these symptoms are, if your Veterinarian was unable to determine a cause from a physical examination then it may be worth having blood tests and an x-ray to be on the safe side before going for more expensive diagnostic tests like an MRI. Vaccinations don’t really cause proprioceptive defects and you didn’t note when Amos was last vaccinated so it is difficult to comment. Another option you have is get a consultation with a Neurologist to help narrow in on a specific cause for the symptoms. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 12, 2018

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Proprioceptive Deficits Average Cost

From 381 quotes ranging from $500 - $3,000

Average Cost

$1,800

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