PAIN can be a defining feature in older dogs presenting with pelvic limb ataxia. Dogs manifest pain through behavioural changes (eg, inappetence, lethargy, vocalisation, aggression or a reluctance to move) and physiological alterations (eg, tachycardia, tachypnoea, mydriasis or hypertension). The presence or absence of pain can be of clinical importance in refining the differential diagnosis. This article reviews the major conditions associated with painful ataxia in the older dog. An article in the last issue (In Practice, July/August 2008, volume 30, pp 386–391) discussed patient assessment and described conditions associated with non‐painful ataxia.
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