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 Dragging back legs - first vet visit

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Something_To_Believe_In
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PostSubject: Dragging back legs - first vet visit   Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:16 pm

If you notice that your glider is not using its back legs or is dragging its back legs, you NEED to get that glider to the vet.
This behavior is noticed for one of 4 reasons:
1) The glider has contracted Hind Limb Paralysis (HLP) from a poor/incomplete diet (least likely scenario)
2) The glider has contracted HLP from a bacterial infection or parasite which inhibits calcium uptake
3) The glider has sustained an injury.
4) The glider has another medical issue which affects bone or muscle.

It is IMPERATIVE that you go to the vet and that when you are at the vet you have them do x-rays, fecal exams and culture and sensitivity (of feces and urine) to test for infection. You may also choose to have blood work and ultrasound testing. You will NOT know the reason for the change in mobility until these tests are done. IF you can rule out injury, infection and other health issues, then you can assume that the glider's issue is diet related HLP. (IF you find this, please contact the SUGAR Group ASAP. Diet related HLP is very rare - MOST HLP is caused by an underlying infection or parasite. If symptoms show up quickly, it is not likely diet related. )

Remember, Metabolic Bone Disease is a condition of the bone. It cannot be diagnosed without proper testing. X-rays will give an indication of bone density as well as identifying any injury. This is significant information for a proper diagnosis.

If the glider has an injury, return here for more information on that type of injury. Often, when the proper tests are not run (i.e. x-rays) a glider is mistakenly diagnosed with HLP when, in fact, the problem is an injury. You really cannot afford to skip all of these tests at your first vet visit. A misdiagnosis could cause your treatment time to be increased.

Remember that parasitic infections often go undiagnosed through false negatives (for more information on this, please see our parasite forum). You must look for other signs and symptoms that the glider exhibits. Don't be distracted by focusing on only one symptom, as you may miss others.

If the glider has an infection or a parasite, do NOT leave the vet without antibiotics/anti-parasitic medications and a scheduled follow-up visit for testing after the course of medications is completed.

If the glider has HLP related to poor diet, return here for advice on changing your diet to better meet a glider's dietary needs.

In any case, request a short course (10-14 days) of liquid calcium supplement for your little one. If it is diet related HLP, request a longer course of liquid calcium supplement.

-----------♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥-----------
~*~ Val ~*~
Passionate = one step down from crazy

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures - Thornton Wilder

We are what we are, no matter what we might wish to be, or pretend to be. - Dean Koontz in The Face

My favorite color is orange - I'm the normal one.


Last edited by Something_To_Believe_In on Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:24 am; edited 4 times in total
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Something_To_Believe_In
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PostSubject: Re: Dragging back legs - first vet visit   Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:24 pm

Just wanted to again remind everyone that if you have or know someone who has a glider who is now dragging his/her back legs, it is IMPERATIVE that x-rays be taken and that TESTS BE RUN!!!! Specifically fecals and urinalysis.

In the past month or so, I have taken SIX calls from people who have had gliders who were not using their back legs. 5 of these people went to the vet, each with very different results

The following were the results for these gliders. Fair warning, this might be disturbing.


Case #1 - Did not see vet. Glider died. Prior to death, glider chewed into his own cloacal area. (this was the biggest sign that this was likely not diet related HLP).

Case #2 - Glider saw vet. Vet says "your glider has HLP." Vet gives the glider a calcium injection and advises the owner to begin feeding BML. No tests were run. Glider died. Necropsy revealed that the glider did NOT have MBD/HLP, but instead had a spinal injury.

Case #3 - Glider's owner claims she cannot afford vet care. Glider is not using back legs and is self-mutilating. Owner is treating with increased calcium because she read online that if a glider does not use his/her back legs, she has HLP. Owner contacts me via phone and when I hear the whole story, I tell her that the glider likely does not have HLP at all. Owner surrenders glider. Glider sees two great vets. Glider has a broken back. Treating her for HLP would have done nothing at all to improve her situation. This glider now lives with me and is doing well.

Case #4 - Glider is not using back legs. Owner takes glider to vet. When owner asks for formal tests to be run, the vet tells her it is not necessary because "according to his research" he has learned that this glider has HLP from not getting enough calcium in his diet. Owner does not insist upon the tests. Vet gives the glider a calcium shot and gives owner some liquid calcium to take home. He advises owner to begin feeding HPW and tells her that the glider will get better soon.. Owner takes glider home and does as instructed. Glider makes no progress. 10 days later, the glider dies. Necropsy revealed that the glider died of malnutrition due to a tapeworm. (I have in my home a glider who contracted MBD/HLP from a tapeworm).

Case #5 - Glider is not using one back leg and is only minimally using the other. Owner takes glider to vet. Vet does research online and tells the owner that glider likely has HLP from a bad diet. Owner INSISTS upon tests and explains to vet that, despite the information on the website he is reading, there is very little evidence that gliders contract HLP solely from a deficient diet. She explains that the glider could have sustained an injury or could be suffering the effects of a parasite or bacterial infection (can you tell she talked to me on her way to the vet?). Vet agrees to run tests, and finds that the glider has sustained a broken hip with much internal swelling. Glider is treated for the broken hip and is making a full recovery.

Case #6 - Glider is not using back legs. Owner takes to a vet. Vet insists that tests are not necessary and would be a "waste of money" because the glider has MBD from a bad diet. Glider is given a calcium injection and owner is instructed to mix rep-cal calcium with honey and pedialyte and feed it with a syringe daily. Owner is told the glider will improve in a few days. 11 days later, glider is not at all better and has begun to chew on his tail.
This glider is on his way to me - meeting me at Dr. Walsh's office tomorrow. I'd be willing to bet that he has an injury or a parasite, but I will wait for actual testing to be done to formulate a treatment plan.
Edited to add - this glider had osteomyelitis in his spinal bones. Was successfully treated, but has permanent paralysis as a result. Treating for HLP would have been ineffective and would not have addressed the very serious infection this glider had

This is NOT meant to bash vets. It is meant to educate YOU, the owner, that many of the resources that vets use for information continue to provide outdated or incomplete information. Please arm yourself with information before you go to the vet. Two of these gliders died despite vet care. This is tragic and sad and might could have been avoided if their owners had insisted (like the owner in case #5) that tests be run. It is your money and your glider. You CAN be insistant that these tests be run.

GLIDERS STOP USING THEIR BACK LEGS FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS. TESTING IS NECESSARY TO DETERMINE THE CAUSE.

-----------♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥-----------
~*~ Val ~*~
Passionate = one step down from crazy

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures - Thornton Wilder

We are what we are, no matter what we might wish to be, or pretend to be. - Dean Koontz in The Face

My favorite color is orange - I'm the normal one.


Last edited by Something_To_Believe_In on Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:23 am; edited 2 times in total
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Usha77
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PostSubject: Re: Dragging back legs - first vet visit   Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:44 pm

Thank you so much for this post, Val, no matter how hard it is to read about these awful cases. I hope people take this to heart and demand tests even if the vet doesn't think it's necessary.
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Something_To_Believe_In
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PostSubject: Re: Dragging back legs - first vet visit   Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:16 am

You know, Brenda, I don't know a single vet who would not run the tests if you were insistant that you wanted them. Vets do not want to be liable for malpractice or mis-diagnosis any more than human doctors do.
So, all you have to do is tell them that you are insisting that the tests be run. It is, after all, your money and your glider.
Any time that I have been this convicted about wanting tests, I have always gotten them. NO vet has EVER just refused to run tests for me - and I have seen a LOT of vets across the country.

The problem I HAVE had is that many vets (if they are inexperienced) just don't know how to read a glider's x-ray or test results. But, that is why we provide a list of consultative vets.

-----------♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥-----------
~*~ Val ~*~
Passionate = one step down from crazy

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures - Thornton Wilder

We are what we are, no matter what we might wish to be, or pretend to be. - Dean Koontz in The Face

My favorite color is orange - I'm the normal one.
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