My border collie mix seems to have injured himself somehow. We noticed he had been…

My border collie mix seems to have injured himself somehow. We noticed he had been napping all day long without moving from the same spot. I thought it seemed a little odd and wanted to make sure nothing was wrong, so I grabbed a treat and convinced him to get up (at first he didn’t seem to care, which is very unlike him). He was walking like he was very sore, and his back was slightly arched. He lied back down as soon as he got up, and his legs were shaking. He tried to get back up a few times, but it seemed like his back legs were near limp. He has since gone back to resting (he’s eyes are staying open, so I don’t think he’s actually sleeping), and now it seems like he can’t even lift his head. I started feeling along his back and found that touching just slightly below his shoulders (I think that’s where it is anyway) makes him jolt, so I’m thinking that’s where he’s hurting. I never saw him do anything that would injure him, but he still could’ve tripped going down the stairs or something.

So does this call for a vet visit? Or just wait and see how he’s doing tomorrow? Because my mom is truly set on waiting, but I’m quite worried.

Some other things to note; He is an older dog, around 11 we think, but he’s never had issues until right now. He hasn’t vomited (unless he did outside, but I doubt it). He will eat treats, but very reluctantly.

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Dawn Ferara, DVM
5 years ago


Sarah Dodd
5 years ago

I would advise seeking veterinary attention as soon as possible. The arched back and ‘jolting’ certainly suggests pain, and the weakness in his limbs is concerning. There are many many possibilities, one of which is spinal trauma (not necessarily requiring an injury, it can be degenerative), which is best remedied if diagnosed and treated early. I would certainly advocate for rapid intervention, I would not wait and see with a case like this. Best of luck to you and your dog!