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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 13044
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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I have a 15.5 yr old Shitzu. She has a grade 4 heart murmur

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I have a 15.5 yr old Shitzu. She has a grade 4 heart murmur and valve disease. She has had this for the past three years and it is controlled with medication. About three months ago she started drinking an abnormal amount of water. She kept developing UTI's. Long story short she was just diagnosed with Cushings Disease and has been put on Trilostane 10mg twice of day which she has been taking for three days. About a month ago she did not want to eat her food (she is on a kidney diet) so we gave her some chicken and rice and she ate small amounts. After a week she went back to her food and was doing great until about a week ago (around the time she got diagnosed with Cushings) when she didn't want to eat her food again and went back to a little human food. This past weekend she started walking very very slow. I took her to the vet and the vet examined her spine and when she pressed the middle of her spine the dog cried. They gave her Tramadol and Diazepam for pain and as a muscle relaxer. Today she did not eat much until dinner time when she ate well. She is still walking very slowly (up until 2 weeks ago she a pep in her step) and tonight I took her out and she had a very hard time squatting to poop as I'm sure she had pain and her hind legs were shaking. I have started carrying her a lot since the weekend to take her out. The vet said I need to give the pain meds time to start working but I am heartbroken that she is in pain and do not want her to suffer. She still loves to be part of the family and loves being around us and is very alert but the walking seems so hard for her. This is the only dog (or pet) I have ever had and just don't know what to do for the best. I need expert advice. Do I wait to see if the meds help or is it time to put her to sleep?
I am sorry to hear about all of Kisses' problems.

My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.

I would not be ready to put her to sleep yet, if she were my own dog.

She sounds painful, and it sounds like her pain is not under control yet. The effects of the diazepam ( for muscle relaxation) and tramadol for pain should have been working in 24 hours. If this started last weekend and she is not any better, I would try different medication, or do more testing, such as an Xray of the area in her spine that hurts.

I would consider giving her some kind of medication for inflammation, like meloxicam or carprofen, in addition to the tramadol. If the tramadol is not helping with pain, I would try gabapentin next.

I like methocarbamol as a muscle relaxant more than diazepam.

Acupuncture can be helpful for back pain.

If she were mine, and was not getting better, I would consider taking her for a second opinion with a neurologist, and/or pain specialist.

You are a dedicated and committed pet caregiver, dealing with her heart disease and Cushing's disease. I know she gives back 1000% for everything you do; dogs are just so amazing.

Please let me know what else I can answer or help with.

Rebecca and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
I just re read your question, and the recurrent UTIs may be a clue. Dogs with recurrent UTIs can develop infections in the spine, called discospondylitis. I would consider a course of antibiotics, and/or taking an Xray to look for discospondylitis.

Let me know what other question you have.

Rebecca and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for the good rating. I hope she is feeling better soon.

How is Kisses doing?