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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28486
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Have 45-50lb american bulldog has been getting around fine

Customer Question

Have 45-50lb american bulldog has been getting around fine till yesterday evening when started showing signs of limited movement and pain. Doesn't want to get up whines and tries but acts like is too painful for her. Felt around backside on legs up on back around tail also...whined and acted like was bothersome/painful more so around back of legs and butt area too. I was able to coax her to get up and walk outside briefly to attempt to let her go to bathroom... made it just outside with some duress but no urination or bowel movement.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Has had issues with needing anal glands and had them expressed early this year...but she didn't have this kind of limited mobility or pain present.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I understand your concern at this time. Maggie's symptoms are important but not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder. If she over-exercised recently, I would make a case for simple muscle or joint soreness which could be addressed with aspirin dosed at 10 mg/lb with food twice daily. If she has been slowly progressing to this state, osteoarthritis becomes more of a concern and rather than aspirin her vet is likely to prescribe a prescription nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug such as meloxicam or carprofen +/- a narcotic analgesic such as tramadol. I also have to consider that a systemic illness now exists which is manifesting as a lethargic immobile dog.

Please do a few things for me so I might determine if this is an urgent situation. Please check her gums and tongue color. They should be nicely pink - not whitish (anemia) or bluish-greyish (hypoxia/cyanosis/lack of oxygen to her tissues. Please assess her respiratory rate at rest. She should be taking less than 40 breaths/minute. Finally, please take her rectal temperature. Any body thermometer will do when placed 1.5" into her rectum for 1 minute. Normal is 100-5-102.5F. Let me know what you find.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Gums and tongue are nicely pink and look good...breathing is about 30/32 breaths minute .... no thermometer available right now and she acts nervous/defensive when was exploring/feeling butt region. She is just laying down on her bed but acts as is if a strain and painful at any attempt at significant movement. Was able to schedule appt. with vet for late morning...but not typical vet that I prefer she sees and worried about moving her and stressing out.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I appreciate your doing that. The important vitals are good. I'm pleased to hear that she'll be attended to shortly. How has her appetite been? Any other symptoms - vomiting, diarrhea, sneezing, coughing, lameness, scooting on her bum, licking her bum?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Appetite is still good...not exhibiting any of symptoms mentioned. Except some lameness... due to whatever is causing her pain in backend.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you once again. Make sure the vet palpates Maggie's spine for areas of hyperpathia (increased sensitivity) as well as her legs and hips. You want to see her joints hyperflexed and hyperextended to see if pain can be elicited. Please return to our conversation with an update after Maggie has been attended to.