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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23848
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog seems very distant today. When I call her, she

Customer Question

My dog seems very distant today. When I call her, she doesn't come to me. If I try to pet her on her back or stomach, she doesn't like it, when usually she does. Shes also shivering anytime she isn't completely covered with a blanket.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about your dog?
Customer: Nope, that's it.
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 20 days ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 20 days ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with dog. Which breed and how old is she, please? Back pain is my initial thought when dogs are shivering (a pain response, usually) and shy away and/or vocalize when approached or touched. Smaller and middle aged dogs are over-represented with degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk") which can present as you've described. This is necessarily conjecture because I'm unable to examine her hands-on. However, supportive evidence of a disk may include vocalization when lifted, having trouble jumping up or down and navigating steps, ataxia (“drunken sailor”), trembling/shaking (pain responses), a change in posture such as the neck held rigidly and head lower to the ground or a"hunch" in her back, and a change in behavior - a normally social dog becoming aloof or, conversely, a normally aloof dog becoming "clingy". Hervet will want to carefully palpate (feel) about your dog's spine looking for areas of hyperpathia (increased sensitivity) suggestive of a disk. Conservative care involves the use of a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam, a narcotic analgesic such as tramadol, and a skeletal muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol or diazepam. These drugs are usually administered for at least ten days. Most simple disks will remiss within a few weeks. It's important to keep these dogs as quiet as possible lest they hurt themselves further.

Should paresis (weakness) or paralysis arise in any limb(s), he'll need the attention of his vet at your earliest convenience. Such dogs are then surgical candidates for spinal cord decompression. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 17 days ago.

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

Dr. Michael Salkin

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