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Dr. Marcia
Dr. Marcia, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 577
Experience:  I am a Companion Animal Veterinarian with 15 years of medical and surgical experience
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dog yelps for no reason

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My dog yelps for no reason. She seems okay for much of the day. However, there are instances when she will yelp and wimper in pain without provocation. Usually this occurance is 2-3 times daily and the yelp will transition to a wimper (each instance lasts 15-20 seconds). There are no apperent issues with her ears...they seem very clean (no odor). The dog doesn't eat very much. The shelter said that she was very fragile when they found her (ribs are still protruding...begs for human food, and not very keen on dry dog food (assuming she prob. lived mostly off of human scraps for a long time so she is rejecting normal dog food). Otherwise, there are no issues with the animal. She is not real outgoing, but likes to go outside for walks and needs to be by you at all times (walks fine and movements are fine). She is very cautious on how you handle her (move her, etc.shelter said she doesn't like snout grabbed). It is just those couple times a day when she yelps as if she if being beaten. Any feedback would help before we take her into a vet.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Marcia replied 7 years ago.


Thanks for your question! I hope things will go well with your new dog and it sounds like she got a great new home.

It is always difficult when you don't know the whole history and can't put vague symptoms like these into context. She may have done this yelping long term or perhaps it is a new problem, but we will never know! Typically when dogs cry out suddenly it is due to pain.

I have a few general ideas of what could be bothering her, but certainly a full vet exam would be ideal, and possibly a "health screen" with routine blood testing or even x-rays if the vet feels it is warranted, just to be sure there are no obvious problems.

I have certainly seen dogs who seemed completely normal otherwise (no other symptoms, no limping, etc.) who occasionally would yelp or act painful. Of course they never do it at the vet's office :). A couple of thoughts would be nerve pain, such as a pinched nerve, which can come/go. This is challenging to actually diagnose but is one thought I would have if there are no other symptoms. An x-ray of the spine could show possible abnormalities which could cause nerve pinching.

A common cause of vagues signs of pain is also back pain. Often these dogs may have other symptoms, such as avoiding stairs or jumping, trembling or shaking, etc. But the vet can palpate the spine, and again an x-ray may provide clues. Back pain can be due to soft tissue (muscular) problems or due to intervertebral disc problems in the spine.

Frankly, in my experience, if all else is normal, exam and testing are normal, it may be hard to find the exact cause of the yelping. If further, more specific signs develop, that would help localize the problem.

I hope this gives you a few ideas. Thanks again for your question! Let me know if I can further assist you. Dr. Marcia

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