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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2952
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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My 8 year old English cocker spaniel in the past 24 hours

Customer Question

My 8 year old English cocker spaniel in the past 24 hours hasn't been himself. I noticed it yesterday after work when he would normally be all about following me through the house he just laid on the couch, also noticed he had this sporadic tremble. Then when I woke this morning he was on the floor next to the bed in the corner instead of at my feet where he normally sleeps. This morning when I took both dogs out, he normally pulls very hard on the lease, not this morning he just walked rather slow. He was also reluctant to jump back onto the bed, so I went to pick him up and he let out a shriek like he was in pain. I'm at work now typing this and all I can think about is my little boy.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 month ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Good morning, I hope you can give me some insight to what may be going on.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 month ago.

Good morning, Christian.

It's sounds like Charlie's neck or back may be hurting him. This is a pretty common complaint in dogs, in fact.

Small breed dogs are prone to a condition known as IVDD or intervertebral disk disease and also to neck and back spasms. This commonly manifests itself as discomfort in the neck and back. Many dogs will avoid taking stairs, jumping onto or off of elevated surfaces, etc. We can see symptoms as minor as tenderness and as major as full paralysis of the back legs. You can learn more here: http://sevneurology.com/articles/intervertebral-disk-disease-ivdd-in-dogs/ and here: http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/neurological/c_dg_intervertebral_disc_disease

He needs to be kept in a kennel or other small area with restricted access in movement (bed rest, essentially) until your vet can examine him. This should be padded well with plush blankets to help support the neck and back. He can continue go outside to potty but should be carried and placed gently in the grass and then carried back to his kennel. Do not encourage or permit playtime, running or excited activity like jumping even if he begins to feel like it has it may worsen the symptoms.

Your vet will likely recommend x-rays to check his neck and back and will place him on a canine-safe NSAID and muscle relaxers, as well as pain medication if it's indicated. Strict kennel rest will continue for a few days to a few weeks based on his condition. If IVDD is diagnosed, a referral to a specialist may also be recommended.

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