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Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4110
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 18 years experience.
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My 5 year dog is very listless. He is shaking like something

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My 5 year dog is very listless. He is shaking like something scared him. He vomit this mourning. He has alway been active until last night.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 5 years ago.

Dr. Scarlett :


Dr. Scarlett :

Can I get a little more information? Is Reilly jumping up on furniture or going up/down stairs today? Any diarrhea? Is he eating and drinking ok? Was he really active yesterday or did anything out of the ordinary happen?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

He is not jumping up on the furniture which is weird. He usually will lay beside me on the couch. He has been going behind the furniture. He doesn't have diarreha. He is eating his food but he is not taking the chicken jerky. I know that yesterday am the man can to spray for bugs outside. I was gone but when I can back it looked like everything was okay. I had some people that came over and Reilly did his usual. It was last evening I notice he was shaking and he would just sit on the floor and not move. This is very strange for him. I did take the dogs for a walk last evening and he did do okay. I do have another female dog and she is okay.


I just don't know what to do.

Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 5 years ago.
I would be concerned that Reilly has hurt his back or has an inflammed disk in his back. Dogs with back pain will not want to move or jump, may sit somewhat hunched over, but will still try and eat. They don't want to be touched because they are afraid it is going to hurt.

Disk disease can be very serious--if the disk should completely protrude into the spinal canal, it will put pressure on the spinal cord and can cause paralysis. We generally treat disk disease with muscle relaxants (because their back muscle are so tense) and either a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory or steroids (vets have different preferences). Confinement is very important to keep the dog from causing further problems as he starts to feel better.

If the dog becomes paralyzed or starts dragging his rear legs, emergency surgery may be needed. Most dogs, however, recover and do well with just the rest and medications. I have sent several dogs to a vet chiropractor and they have had good outcomes, too.

So tonight I would confine your dog to a crate or very small room and put a nice blanket on the ground for him to lie on. Tomorrow I would get him in to your regular vet for an exam. If he seems really uncomfortable tonight or has ANY difficulty walking, I would take him to an emergency vet. This would also enable you to get him the pain medication sooner. I can't recommend you give him any aspirin, as it will interfere with the steroids or NSAIDS that the vet will prescribe.
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