Should I Euthanize a Paralyzed Dog? Vet Advice!

The most dreaded decision: do we euthanize a paralyzed dog? If you have a paralyzed dog, I’m sure you have been contemplating this decision because their quality of life has significantly decreased.

Today, we will help answer the question “Should I Euthanize a Paralyzed Dog?” and give our expert veterinarian advice.

We highly suggest that you only euthanize your paralyzed dog when there are no other options, they are in a significant amount of pain, and their quality of life has deteriorated to a point where they can longer live adequately.

Paralyzed Dog Euthanasia

The most common causes for paralysis or paresis include intervertebral disc disease and rupture, fibrocartilaginous embolism, or FCE, injury, trauma, congenital defects, or a space-occupying lesion such as a tumor along the spinal cord.

What is Paralysis in Dogs?

While these conditions are not exclusive, they all have one thing in common: compromise or damage to the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a very vital structure made up of nerve fibers that serve as a “highway” for impulses and signals originating from the brain down into the body and limbs.

Anytime there is a compromise or compression along the cord, there will be subsequent impairment of neurologic function such as paralysis. This can present itself as mild ataxia or poor coordination to the most extreme possibility of paralysis.

Yes, paralysis is scary, but depending on factors such as pre-existing conditions and the exact cause of the paralysis, there are options for treatments and improving chances of walking again.

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