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Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
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my dog is acting very funny- shivering, walking really slow ...

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my dog is acting very funny- shivering, walking really slow and kind of awkwardly, tail down. he doesn''t want to jump off and on the couch.


I'm a veterinarian in Ontario, Canada, and I would like to try to help you and your dog. I would like a bit more information, please.

When did this start?

Any vomiting, diarrhea or loss of appetite?

Is he urinating normally?

Was there any history of trauma or rough play, tumbling around in the last few days?



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Dr.Fiona's Post: he is eating, drinking and going to the bathroom. he had a quiet weekend, didn't really play too much at all.

Hi, I'm just typing my answer and will be back shortly....


Thanks for your answersCustomer

I am concerned that your dog may be experiencing back pain due to Intevertebral Disc Disease (herniated disc). This happens when the material in the discs between the boney vertebrae in the back ruptures out and presses on the spinal cord. There is a lot of swelling when this occurs, leading to pain and decreased nerve function.

In order to confirm this suspicion, your boy should go see a veterinarian. If he has ruptured a disc, the sooner treatment is begun, the better the prognosis.

Treatment for IVDD often involves anti-infammatories, pain killers and/or steroids. The goal is to decrease the swelling which in turn decreases the pain and improves nerve function. Sometimes, however, they are not enough. In these situations, surgery can be done to go in and remove the disc material that is pressing on the spine. This is called "decompression" surgery.

In order to determine what is appropriate treatment for your dog, a veterinarian needs to perform a very thorough neurological examination. The vet looks for neurological deficits such as a delay in turning the back foot over if it is turned so the top of the foot is on the ground instead of the pads, while the dog is in a standing position. The vet also looks for "purposeful movement" which is a stepping motion of the hind legs when the vet supports the dogs weight so the legs can swing freely. There are a number of other neurological tests the vet does to test reflexes. Also, the vet manipulates each vertebrae in a way to find where there may be pain.

Often, if a painful area is located, the vet will recommend x-rays to look for a compression between the vertebrae. This confirms the diagnosis.

The prognosis for each patient depends on the the symptoms, the results of the neurological examination, how long the problem has been present, and how the dog responds to treatment.

I am concerned about your JRT because it sounds like he is in pain. I would strongly recommend a visit to your veterinarian on Monday for examination and treatment. It would be helpful to take him on an empty stomach just in case they need to give him a sedative/pain killer to take x-rays.

Here are some links with more information:

If you feel my answer has been helpful, please hit the "Accept" button. I will still be here to provide more information if you need it!

Good luck, and best wishes for your boy! Please let me know how he does.


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