Expected time for nerve healing


Neuro Corner Answers


Dr. Andrew Isaacs
DVM Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology)
Dogwood Veterinary Referral Center

Primary interests include intervertebral disc disease, seizure management, luxations/fractures of the spine, and surgery for brain tumors



My dog is currently in recovery, he had deep pain sensation before surgery as far as I was aware.

The vet said they are happy with him and the surgery but he hasn’t regained motion in his legs yet but it has only been 29 hours.

I am obviously very worried and I’m hoping to see signs of improvement. If he does walk again can I still take him on walks when he is better? And is he more likely to re learn that he needs to pee than to walk? I just want him to be ok and pain free and if that means wheels that is ok too. It’s not ideal but which comes first, bladder control or walking?

Thank you for taking the time to read this I just need some answers I hope I have provided enough information.  ~Ciara



Ciara, hope all is going well with your dog.  I know it is hard, but the time that sets the tone for his recovery is the first 2 to 4 weeks after surgery.  Not that there is not continued improvement after 2-4 weeks, but I would not want you to get discouraged until at least 2-4 weeks have gone by without any signs of improvement – the spinal cord takes time to heal.

You definitely can take him on walks when your vet lifts the post-operative restrictions.  The key is to make sure your dog is on a leash with harness to help prevent higher impact movements on the walk.

Typically, we will see dogs start to voluntarily urinate when they start to get movement in their legs.  It does not have to be enough movement to walk though.  So, urination usually precedes walking.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Andrew Isaacs, DVM
Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology)


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