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Dr. Dave, Dog Veterinarian
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My dog is crying out in pain and then settles down. She is

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My dog is crying out in pain and then settles down. She is a little 8 pound dog. She has seemed listless and then at times feels fine and then screeches out in pain. I wonder if it could be the dog food? ("Natural Balance Dog Food Roll). This has been going on now for two days. I thought she was fine and then just a few minutes ago she had one of these screeching attacks.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Dave replied 5 years ago.

Small dogs are predisposed to spinal problems. Specifically they have a high incidence of intervertebral disk disease (a slipped disk). When the slipped disk is in the lower back (behind the ribcage) these dogs have problems with their back legs ranging from pain and weakness to loss of coordination to paralysis. When the disk is in the neck area they have severe pain, often walk around with their heads down, are reluctant to eat from low food and water bowl, turn their whole bodies towards you when you call them (rather than turning their heads), and start to "shake out their fur" but then stop because it hurts. Does this sound right?

 

Try moving your dog's neck to the right and left, and up and down. Does it hurt?

 

Feel your dog's belly is it tense? dogs with lower back pain tense their abdominal muscles to help splint their back bone.

 

I hope that helps you. If this has been helpful, please hit the green "Accept" button and leave feedback. If you need more information, just click on reply and I will be back to provide it!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Her stomach muscles do seem to cramp. She does refuse to jump up. However, she did seem fine yesterday and now she cries out periodically and I feel her stomach muscles tense or cramp (not sure which). It does seem correct because she is still doing her business and her nose has remained wet,. Not sure if I should just wait and observe - cause she has had similar bouts but limped before. She got better before. This time it is on and off but still this morning is crying out in pain. Seems to wimper when even thinks is going to hurt her. Should I take her in and have her looked at or let it heal?
Expert:  Dr. Dave replied 5 years ago.

If she has no gastrointestinal signs like vomiting and diarrhea, it is likely her back. An antiinflammatory, muscle relaxant and pain medication would probably help. You can get these by visiting your vet. You'll also get a second opinion that way by someone who can actually see your dog. If he/she agrees, I would cage rest her for 2 full weeks (STRICT cage rest). That does 90% of the healing. The medications are only 10%. In fact, the medications shouldn't be given if you can't strictly cage rest.

 

Good luck!

 

 

Dr. Dave, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 198
Experience: 6 years of experience in NYC's most advanced emergency hospital
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