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Dr. Amanda
Dr. Amanda, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 799
Experience:  Associate Veterinarian
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I just searched dog is whining and arching back... acting

Customer Question

Hi, I just searched dog is whining and arching back... acting strange, tail between legs, shaking
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 1 year ago.


My name is***** and I am sorry to hear that Dudley is acting so strangely this morning. Based on your history, it sounds like he is in pain. When he is "arching his back" is his back going up and curved like a rainbow or does his belly go down so his back looks like a spoon?

Is he having any vomiting or diarrhea? Eating and drinking normally? Any changes in urination? Does he usually jump on and off furniture or go up and down stairs? Is he still able to do that now?

Please answer these questions so that I can help you and Dudley today.

Dr. Amanda

Kansas State University,

College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2001

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Dr. Amanda,
Dudley has not been vomiting or has not had diarrhea to my knowledge. His back is curved up like a rainbow - similar to when he has a bowel movement - but not as pronounced. His tail is between his legs and he whines when we try to pick him up.
He seems to be eating ok, my wife gave him a bacon treat (Beggin brand) and he ate it - but is not drinking. But drank earlier today.
Over the past 2-3 days, he has not been as lively - and sometimes needs help going down or up a couple of stairs. We've been watching him - but until this morning, he has been mostly normal.
Hopefully I have answered your questions.
thank you!
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the added information. Based on your history, I think Dudley has back pain. The most common cause of this is a blown disk in his back.

Here is a link to a detailed discussion of this condition:

For home care, cage rest is the best option for him. If you are able to take him to your regular vet or the local animal emergency room, they will be able to prescribe pain medication that is safe for dogs to help him be more comfortable. There are no safe over-the-counter pain medications for dogs.

I hope this helps,

Dr. A

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
A follow-up question Dr. A,
I reviewed the article you referenced on back pain. Wouldn't Dudley have sensitivity or react if I were to stroke my hand along his spine? I do this while petting him, and he is not reacting negatively at all.
Also, he's settled down and is not whining any longer. Kind of like what I mentioned before, not as lively, not jumping, but walking slowly - not arching back now.
Any added insight?
thanks again!
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 1 year ago.

Just a gentle stroke down the back often isn't enough to elicit pain. I like to place my thumb on one side and fingers on the other side of the back muscles and squeeze. The dogs will jump twitch or flinch,but they rarely cry out.

The walking slowly, rounded back and not jumping are hallmark signs of back pain in dogs so I am basing my thoughts on this.

I'm going to be off line for about 2 hours but I will check in this afternoon.

Dr Amanda

Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 1 year ago.


How is Dudley this evening? Is his back feeling better? Any improvement in his energy level?

Dr. A

Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 1 year ago.

Do you have any more questions for me?

If you are satisfied with my assistance, please take a moment to use the stars at the top of the page to rate my answer so that I will be compensated for helping you today. For future questions, you can find me here:

Best regards,

Dr. Amanda