My five year old shih tzu is moaning in pain and barking randomly which he never does. he keeps staring at his back end. I took him to an emergency vet who did xrays (no blood work) and they only came up with the fact he is constipated. Gave him an enema which made him go to the bathroom. There is no vomiting or blood in the stool. He is eating normally. He is only ok when he is asleep. The vet gave us prednisone for a possible infection which did make him sleepy. When he is awake, he will take a few quick steps, then lay down, then run in circles almost as if he is "possessed". He is eating normally. This has gone on for three days out of nowhere. My other shih tzu was with him at the groomers and is completely normal.
Type of Animal: Shih Tzu
Hi, I'm Dr Steve
The symptoms you are describing are consistent with an IV disc injury or impacted anal glands. Both of these problems involve discomfort in the hind end and can cause discomfort, sharp pains, and confusion in a dog, THe IV disc possibility causes intermittent pain or discomfort as the IV disc moves up into the spinal cord and then drops back down to the backbone. This movement of the IV disc is caused by twisting or bending or just shifting weight. In many dogs with this problem they will be reluctant to do some specific motions because they know that the movement may cause pain.
The anal glands possiility is usually not as severe as an IV disc and often will make a dog scoot or drag their bottoms across the carpet in an attempt to relieve the impaction.
The IV disc is more serious and unfortunately x-rays often don't show the IV disc because the IV disc is made of soft cartilage not bone and it isn't visible on an x-ray. The more specific way to diagnose this problem is with a myelogram or cat scan.
If these tests are not available, I have treated adog that I suspect with this condition using injectable steroids ( these are more potent than oral prednisone) and seeif it helps reduce the inflammation and swelling inthe IV disc and the spinal cord. Oftent relief is seen in just a day or two after treatment.
The next thing ot do would be to take him to your regular vet and discuss these possibilities. In the meantime, it is safer t treat him like he has an Iv injury and keep him as quiet as possible. If he does have an injured IV disc, it can be forced further into the spinal cord if he is overly active.
The emergency vet suspected a disc problem when we told her Bentley had been to a groomer where they use straps. This makes sense that it didn't show up in an xray. So we should keep him as still as possible? Maybe give him children's benadryl that we give him when he flies on a plane? Is this illness treatable for the long term? He still is able to jump on chairs as usual. However, his pain seemed much worse when he jumped up on his usual chair. I think you have helped me figure it out and I can't be more appreciative.
It should be ok to give benadryl if it helps to calm him down until you canget him to a vet again. It is unfortunate but very common that the x-ray didn't show the IV disc. That is why I often treat for a disc when I suspect this problem. The pain he exhibited after he jumped up could be due to this condition.
I hope this has helped. If it has would you please click the accept button so I may receive credit for my answer. Thank you and good luck. If you have more questions, please continue
I will absolutely press accept! But one last thing, if he gets the steroid injection will it resolve the problem? Will he be able to overcome this?
If the disc is not too damaged the treatment should help at least to some degree. It is hard to know how much damage is done or how well he will respond, but in my experience,most dogs with this problem get some relief and many get complete relief. Unfortunately, some dogs can always have a weak area where thisinjury has occurred and may be a little more prone to this happening again sometime in the future. I rarely have a dog that doesn't get some appreciable relief . I hope yours does as well./
To clarify, most dogs do get better and most of these seem to not have any problems,but there is the possibility thatthey could have another episode sometime in their life due to the damage that was already done with the first injury. Another thing that should be done after the treatment and especially ifhe starts feeling better is to not let him gfet over active fr a period of 1-2 weeks to allow the damage to heal more completely before he reinjures the iv disc during the healing process.
I will check shortly to see if you have any more questions. If you don't have any more, I thank you for your accept. Have a nice night.