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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14581
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Our 7 year old English Springer Spaniel has exhibited several

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Our 7 year old English Springer Spaniel has exhibited several "freezing" postures since right before dinner tonight. Should we be going to an emercency vet?

Hello, my name isXXXXX and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.

I'm sorry to hear that your pup is behaving abnormally this afternoon/evening.

I want to make sure I understand what you mean by "freezing" postures.


Is you pup in a bowing/stretching position where the rear legs are up and the dog stretches out the front legs along the ground such that their chest is on the ground, otherwise known as a "prayer position"? See the picture below for an example:


Or do you mean that your pup was moving around normally and then suddenly stopped moving and you were unable to get her out of a trance-like state? Was she having any tremors?


Has she been eating and drinking normally?

Any vomiting or changes in stool?

Any new food, treats or increased amount of table food?

Any change in water consumption?

Any change in behavior beyond her "freezing" posture?


Thanks for your patience with all my questions.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The vets are trying to decide if he has a soft tissue tumor in in "shoulder". He is on pretisone and gabapentin. He is in an upright walking position and "freezes" in that position for several seconds. He "froze" over his water dish and didn't drink even though we cupped water to his mouth.

Thank you for clarifying that, it makes sense now.

I suspect that he is freezing because he is in pain, having moved just the wrong way to set off a pain response and he is focused on that discomfort and is unable to concentrate on anything else.

Prednisone is a steroidal anti-inflammatory which I assume they were hoping would decrease local inflammation, especially to any nerve roots in the area, and make him more comfortable.

Gabapentin is a pain reliever but I often use it with other pain drugs as it seems to help with "wind-up" nerve pain, hopefully stopping the pain before it starts with nerve root related pain, but is not as effective at stopping pain once it starts.

Whether to take him to an emergency clinic tonight or not depends upon how uncomfortable he is, meaning how many episodes has he had, and whether you can get him to lay down and relax.

If he is examined at emergency tonight they may be able to add another pain medication, probably Tramadol, to get him more comfortable.

The other option tonight is to try alternating hot and cold packs on his shoulder to try and relieve his discomfort that way, and then have him seen by his regular veterinarian tomorrow morning.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.


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