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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29773
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My dog is 12 years old. I've had m since 2006, he's been

Customer Question

My dog is 12 years old. I've had him since 2006, he's been acting sluggish, unable to lift his head, walking very slowly, and not eating like he normally does. He has a history of joint pain. Can you help me???
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Inability to lift the head suggests cervical (neck) pain as we might see with degenerative disk disease or, less commonly, a tumor in or around the cervical spinal cord or even spinal meningitis. A careful physical exam might reveal an area of hyperpathia (sensitivity) confirming one of these myelopathies (spinal cord disorders) and X-rays or MRI might be necessary for confirmation. A cerebrospinal fluid tap is less likely to be ordered in a 12 year old. Pragmatically speaking, I'm not going to perform advanced imaging and invasive cerebrospinal fluid testing at his age but I will perform a basic senior/geriatric diagnostic panel of blood and urine tests and institute a potent nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam along with a narcotic analgesic such as tramadol.

Until you can have him attended to by his vet, you can administer an NSAID you might have for his joint pain and if not, administer aspirin at 10 mg/lb with food repeated at 12 hour intervals in a pinch. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin