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My little dog Tank, who is 3, has been presenting with some moderate walking issues that I've become increasing concerned about and I'm taking him to the vet today for an exam.
For the past 3 weeks I've been working from home and, I've been noticing some changes in Tank's gait especially when he first gets up from sleeping:
His walk is stiff and his pace is very slow and unsteady and he has great difficulty following a straight path.
His back legs are crossing to maintain balance and sometimes his front ones too.
He appears to be intoxicated, it's like his equilibrium is way off for a while, and never completely levels back off.
This is evident especially after he first gets up.
Sometimes, after first waking up, he will sit back down and calmly look around like he's regrouping and will then get up again and slowly work his way into a normal gait.
When he's running, jumping, playing, the imbalance is practically imperceptible.
Even if he starts off slowly and looks like he's going to fall over, he recovers quickly and will be completely focused on the target at hand.
I've held off going to the vet because we have had him since he was 2 months old and he has always had a special way of walking, and his hind legs have always been a little 'off".
Sometimes in full play he will elevate both of his hind legs and walk only on his front legs when crossing thresholds (like coming in and out of a door).
There doesn't seem to be any weakness,he still begs for food and dances on his hind legs, he can still jump up onto footstools and large pillows and he walks up and down stairs without any issues.
The faster he's moving the less obvious there is a problem.
He's not showing any signs of pain or distress, has been eating and drinking and relieving himself normally and playing with his human brother and canine sister normally.
He's still very active and is still a great early warning system.
His nose is wet and cold. He's not lethargic.
I'm at a loss trying to google his symptoms.
There is a lot out there about DM (like the dog version of ALS), and I've researched spina bifida, and I finally just made the vet appointment because it causes me great anxiety to see him walking like that.
It's taken me this long to take him to the vet because he has severe separation anxiety and I can't go to the exam room with him.
If anyone out there has had any similar issues with their dogs I'd love to hear about it.
Thanks for letting me vent.

A very anxious mom

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It really does sound like a neurological issue of some sort I hope the vet can figure it out.
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