Spinal cord disease can cause leg weakness and back or neck pain. There are numerous possible causes such as disc prolapse (bulging disc), trauma (accident), neoplasia (cancer) and inflammation (swelling). Fortunately the most common cause is intervertebral disc disease which can, in most cases, be fixed with surgery.
How would you know if your pet develops a spinal cord problem? Your pet will develop a combination of muscular weakness and ataxia (incoordination) resulting in stumbling and dragging of the feet. If this deteriorates, your pet may not have sufficient strength to stand and walk without your help. You may also notice hunching and alterations in the way they posture (stand) which can be a sign of pain. Other pets will start yelping and whinning if in pain. Look at the nails – sometimes the central toes have worn toe-nails.