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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24467
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My 12 year old rat terrier has recently developed severe joint

Customer Question

My 12 year old rat terrier has recently developed severe joint stiffness, most front legs. Everything else seems ok. Seemed to have gotten better, then redeveloped the last two days
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.
There are a few major considerations in such a patient. The most worrisome is a cervical (neck) myelopathy (spinal cord disorder) such as intervertebral disk disease (a "slipped disk") which is causing that stiffness - an "upper motor neuron" sign in neurology. More commonly, geriatric osteoarthritis is responsible. Least likely is an encephalopathy (brain disorder) which can mimic the sings of a myelopathy but is also expected to cause more profound neurologic signs such as confusion, disorientation, pacing, and staring. Your dog's vet can carefully palpate (feel) your dog's legs and neck and determine if prescribing a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam should suffice or perhaps a narcotic in the form of tramadol and/or skeletal muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol or diazepam should also be prescribed. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.
Hi Peter,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin