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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24422
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Our dog is nervous/aggressive when he sees squirrels cats

Customer Question

our dog is nervous/aggressive when he sees squirrels cats and some dogs. he is a 4 year lurcher who we rescued at 16 weeks. About a month ago after longwalk and run over fields he became a little lame. took him to vets and he had high temperature. ultimately a vet put a thermal imaging camera over his body and found he had masses of inflammation. Antibiotics eventually cured his temperature. however he has always been very sensitive to touch on his back and flinches almost every time you start to stroke him.he is 37 kilos in weight and 28 inches to shoulder so he is difficult to control when he sees squirrels and cats. We live in country so these distractions are always imminent. Could there be something wrong with him?
JA: I'll do all I can to help. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?
Customer: his appetite waned when he had the temperature but apart from all the above he is ok. from an early age however it seemed he felt responsible for guarding the house and the garden and dor
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Lameness and fever suggests significant trauma and inflammation, inflammation of multiple joints (polyarthritis), an osteomyelitis (bone infection), or perhaps a polymyositis (multiple muscle inflammation). I admit that I have no experience with thermal imaging and don't know what to make of the finding of "masses of inflammation". Are these muscles that were inflamed? Internal structures? Skin? If antibiotics were curative I would consider that they treated an infectious polyarthritis as might be seen with tick-borne infections - Lyme, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, e.g. - or perhaps a diskospondylitis - an infection associated with an intervertebral disk which might explain his sensitivity on his back.

I'm sorry I can't be more specific for you. If he relapsed, I would try to localize the pain and then X-ray that area. Joints should be checked for effusion (excessive joint fluid) and if he has a problem with ticks where you live, testing for the those tick-borne infections I mentioned above should be performed. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.