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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19798
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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Ambrosia( ), My 12 year old, female Yorkey is my heart and

Customer Question

Ambrosia( Amber for short), My 12 year old, female Yorkey is my heart and soul sister. She was diagnosed with pancreatitis and for the last few years we give her digestive enzymes meant for humans sprinkled on each meal of boiled chicken and cottage cheese twice a day. Carrots for treats. Live in mountains, outdoorsy.
Our Issue:
Three weeks ago she stopped jumping up onto the couch. Weird?!? but she would let me pick her up onto the couch or bed without issue. At first. Then I noticed fleas. Got meds immediately then her but was bothering her too much to ignore so I took her to the vet. They expressed her anal gland and diagnosed a mysterious back problem. Sent me home with anti-inflammatory meds mixed with mild pain meds to dose once per day. She got better one day then worse the next. A week later I'm back at the vet because she's in obvious pain. They diagnosed her with hemorrhoids and clean it up a little and send me home with ointment for her bum and stronger pain medicine. She keeps getting worse now. Is constipated, taking bm's every other day and small at that, so very uncomfortable at all times, suddenly hates and cowers when I pick her up, won't drink water so I am giving her Pedialyte, winds and whimpers when she's not sleeping. Yesterday I noticed an abrasion on her forearm so I cleaned it and wrapped it.
What should I do? She's normally energetic at all times and now seems to be struggling for every moment. I don't want to go back to the vet a third time at 150 bucks to get diagnosed with anal problems that aren't improving.
Tried so far:
The medicine that the vets gave us which include an initial anti-inflammatory/pain gel taken orally, then stronger pain medicine pills and ointment for her butt. I've also tried keeping her rear end clean with baths daily. We've changed her food to pumpkin and cottage cheese still with the enzymes and added mineral oil. Also give her Pedialyte because she won't drink water.
Can anyone help? I would be so unbelievably grateful. Amber and I would both be
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 2 years ago.

Hello. I'm sorry to hear about your dog.

I would actually agree that it sounds like back pain. A disk herniation in the back will often times lead to weakness, reluctance to jump up and pain when picking them up. When picked up under the abdomen, the back arches and it presses on the spinal nerve roots. I treat similarly with anti-inflammatory meds (Rimadyl), nerve pain meds (Gabapentin) and sometimes an opiate (Tramadol). I also encourage strict cage or crate confinement for 2-3 weeks. If they start feeling better and then go to run around of jump up, they can re-injure the back and you start from square 1 again.

I don't think this is due to anal gland issues. Hemorrhoids also don't occur in dogs, so that's not the issue.

I would do the strict exercise restriction and then see if things are improving. If not, I would see a veterinary neurologist. They may elect to do an MRI and CSF tap to find out the exact cause of her signs and see if anything else needs to be done. With compressive disk herniations, surgery may be the only way to remove the painful disk. Most will recover with medical management, but some do require surgery. A tumor or cyst may also require surgery. Meningitis may require steroids or antibiotics. There are many potential options with treatment. A disk is the most common, though.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hey Dr. Gary, Thank you for your answers. I do have a few follow-up questions, thank you. Of the possibilities you mentioned, can you tell me what is the best way to get her up and down stairs w least amount pain? Where or how should I pick her up? Also, really dogs don't get hemorrhoids? I wonder if my vet is full of it or my husband miss heard? I hope to blame my husband... And not lose all faith in my vet. What are the whiteheads on her bum then? Should I leave or treat them? Finally, if it's been 3 weeks since she initially stop jumping and has been getting worse, how much longer should I give it before I force myself back to the vet's office?Thank you so much for your help/time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There are a bunch of articles on dogs' hemorrhoids online... What is the reason do you think? I'm not doubting your knowledge, I am theirs actually, but what's the contradict really about? Do you have an idea? I love/hate the Internet for being ambiguous. ūüėí
Thanks again, and again!!
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 2 years ago.

The best way to carry these dogs is by supporting the front and back half to keep the spine straight. I usually put one arm in front of the shoulders and the other between the rear legs.

Yes, dogs don't get hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are enlargements of certain blood vessels around the anus. Dogs don't have these types of vessels. It's also a disease where gravity pulls on the vessels. It's a disease of vertical walking creatures. We don't see them in 4-legged animals.

Dogs do get many diseases around the anus- polyps, tumors, peri-anal adenomas, ect. The best option for these lesions is to biopsy them and see what they are.