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Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Over 30 years experience in veterinary medicine and surgery.
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I have a 13 year old Bichon Frise who seems in pretty good

Customer Question

I have a 13 year old Bichon Frise who seems in pretty good health but in the last few months he has developed a habit of stopping short on walks and jerking his head back as if he has walked into a spider web or the like. What might cause this and is there something I can do about it if it gets worse? Might it be an eye problem?
Thank you for any help you can offer
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
Hi,Welcome to Just Answer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and would like to help you and Jack tonight.Dogs do have vision problems with age. . .their lenses become less pliable and they can't see as well up close. This may be the problem for him. Has your vet told you that he has nuclear sclerosis?Dogs can also develop cataracts, but these are usually secondary to diabetes and are not the usual cause for this diagnosis. Has Jack been drinking excessive water and/or urinating excessively or more.Do you think that Jack's actions could be because his joints or back hurt, or that he is not feeling well otherwise? Does he have any other symptoms?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, our vet has not said anything about nuclear sclerosis, and he hasn't been diagnosed with diabetes, nor has he been drinking more water than usual. He always urinates a lot of times on walks, but not very much in any one place. I don't know about his back or joints though he is often a little stiff when he gets up from sleeping. No other symptoms that seem related to
his vision.
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
Nuclear sclerosis causes the lens to look grayish, but is not the same as cataracts. Dogs can see with these, but their vision does seem to be impaired a little. . .sort of like with our need for glasses as we get older.
When a dog is slow to get up and/or a little stiff, this is a sign of arthritis. Sometimes we use NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs) to see if these behaviors cease. If they do, then we know that arthritis and/or back pain was the cause. You and your vet may want to try one of these.
One other thought I have this AM: Is Jack being walked on a new leash or collar in the past few months? If so, I wonder if this could be the cause of Jack stopping and jerking his head back?

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