Neurological Symptom: Walking Problems

Neurological dysfunction in pets often presents with walking issues. The board-certified neurologists at The Animal Neurology & Imaging Center (The ANIC) can determine if your pet’s walking difficulties are nerve-related or require further specialist intervention.

Types of Walking that May Be a Neurological Symptom

Gait irregularities and inabilities that may by symptomatic of neurological dysfunction include:

    Problems Walking

  • Inability to walk in a straight line
  • Staggering (a “drunken” walk)
  • Stumbling (falling forward or to the side)
  • Sudden inability to walk
  • Tip-toeing
  • Visible body misalignment when walking

Even if you are not confident about how to describe your pet’s walking problems, you are likely confident in your assessment that it is “off.” If the behavior is consistent, our doctors will see it in the exam room. If you notice the symptom is intermittent, providing a brief video of your dog’s or cat’s walking can be helpful.

Other Causes for Walking Issues

Walking problems can be caused by a range of neurological disorders, but neurological disorders are not the only possible cause of all waking issues. Other conditions that can result in irregular gaits include:

  • Cushing’s Disease (an endocrine disorder)
  • Musculoskeletal disease or disorders, including fractures, sprains or strains
  • Inflammation (i.e. osteoarthritis)

Often our doctors are able to determine if your pet’s walking problems are related to a neurological condition or something else. If another system is likely the cause, we can refer you to other veterinary specialists and/or provide our clinical assessment to your regular veterinarian.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Your Pet

In the event that your pet’s walking problems are the symptom of a neurological disorder, you are in the best hands at The ANIC. We have the specialized training, experience and advanced imaging capabilities to accurately diagnose and treat a range of neurological conditions.

As with all neurological conditions, early diagnosis and treatment lead to the best outcomes. If you notice your dog or cat walking “funny,” please call or contact us. You will speak to one of our neurologists who can determine if you need an emergency appointment or if your pet can safely wait for a scheduled exam.

If your pet’s walk is “off,” contact us for an emergency or scheduled neurological exam.

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