Hello and thanks for researching this very important question!
Small breeds can have problems with their cervical (neck) spinal cord bones, and pain in the neck and shoulder area. In adult dogs, these problems include (but are not limited to):
1) Compression of spinal cord nerves due to arthritis, degenerative disc conditions and overweight pressures. Small breeds actually can have earlier calcification of the spinal cord bones in comparison to larger dogs!
2) Infections of the spinal cord, or body in general (such as Lyme Disease).
3) Injury to muscles in the neck and shoulders during exercise
***I do recommend that you have this dear pet examined by a veterinarian who can help you find the true cause of these episodes so that you can provide some lasting relief.***
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