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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28936
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My Japanses Chin, Jimmy Choo, has just gone thru a separation

Customer Question

Hi, my Japanses Chin, Jimmy Choo, has just gone thru a separation from his normal life this past month. I past a month in the hospital leaving Jimmy home with close family. Loved and dotted on. When I returned he is soo lethargic and his legs seem week. Jimmy has a hard time waking. I do not believe he is in any pain but does tighten up when I press his belly. Instead of sitting with me he looks for small spot on the floor. HELP. My baby has something going on.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I agree with you, Jimmy Choo's behavior is worrisome. Paretic (weak) legs and difficulty walking (ataxia/"drunken sailor") are indicative of a generally weak dog but also of both myelopathy (spinal cord disorders) such as intervertebral disk disease (a "slipped disk") in a miniature dog such as he as well as encephalopathy (brain disorder) particularly if his front limbs are affected. "Tightening up" when his belly is pressed is consistent with both belly and back pain. In fact, just vocalizing when approached or touched is consistent with spinal pain. Jimmy's behavior indicates having his vet take a look at him. A thorough physical exam paying particular attention to his spine should be performed. If palpation (feeling) of his spine finds areas of hyperpathia (increased sensitivity), a disk is likely and might be conservatively addressed with a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam, a skeletal muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol or diazepam, and a narcotic analgesic such as tramadol. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.