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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 27448
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog has just developed the inability to walk straight.

Customer Question

My dog has just developed the inability to walk straight. When I tried to straighten his head/neck he whimpered. He's walking very slowly and had difficulty walking up the stairs. He seems to be in pain - arthritis? He's 14 years old and while he has been in good health he has slowed down a bit lately. All of this just occurred - 10 minutes ago.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

I"m sorry to hear of this with Bentley. You're correct to consider osteoarthritis which in his case would be found in his cervical (neck) spinal column. Myelopathies (spinal cord disorders) such as degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk"), fibrocartilaginous embolism (an interruption in the blood supply to his spinal cord), and a tumor in or around his spinal cord need to be considered at this time a well. Bentley is going to need the attention of his vet who is likely to treat symptomatically with a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxican, a skeletal muscle relaxer such as methocarbamol or diazepam, and a narcotic analgesic such as tramadol. Please keep Bently as quiet as possible until he can be attended to lest he hurt himself further moving around.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
There's nothing I can do for him tonight? Aspirin??
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

Aspirin is OK in a pinch. You can dose at 10 mg/lb with food and repeat the dose in 12 hours. Acetaminophen is OK at 7 mg/lb thrice daily but isn't antiinflammatory as is aspirin. You must avoid the toxic ibuprofen and naproxen. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

I regret that my state board of veterinary examiners doesn't allow me to speak to customers by phone in this venue but other experts in this category may be able to assist you in this regard. Please let me know if you'd like another expert to do so and I'll opt out of this conversation. Please stay in the conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I'd just like for him to be comfortable tonight. I'll take him to the vet tomorrow. Would you recommend an aspirin or just wait?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

Aspirin makes sense. Be sure to tell his vet that you administered it.

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