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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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My dog has not moved all morning and seems to be very

Customer Question

My dog has not moved all morning and seems to be very lethargic. There is no vomitting or diharea. His eyes are bright,his gums look fine. When I tried to move him,he let out a little cry but there seems to be no broken bones or anything like that. He was fine last night but today he seems to be ill. He is three years old.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

What you report on Murphy does concern me that he is having pain from somewhere so severe he doesn't want to move. Our top locations for this type of pain is either the spine (neck/back) or abdomen. You can gently probe these areas and if he cries out during this, then you found the problem. Either way, he really must be seen today, if you suspect pain this severe. This is not something that should wait until Monday, especially if we think this could be back pain. With back pain it could have started by something he did yesterday and now it hurts a lot today. Another possible indication of back pain is if you get him up (be careful not to get hurt doing this if he is very painful) and he stands or walks with his spine arched or tail tucked or he cannot control his limbs or support himself, then spinal pain becomes more of a concern.

Now, this may not be due to pain. With profound weakness there are other problems we do have to think about such as internal bleeding (check his gums and if they are white/pale then this is a critical emergency and he must be seen now) or anemia for another reason, or even an electrolyte problem or low blood sugar issue or even profound infection. Some dogs during the season changes can get vestibular disease which causes profound vertigo and nausea so a dog may not want to move but usually we will also see his head being tilted and he may have some rapid back-and-forth eye movement.

If he progresses to become back to normal over the next hour or two, then have him rest the weekend (no long walks or rough play and avoid stairs) with normal food/water.

I am at a point I need to know what questions you have. I hope that the information I provided has been helpful.

Please let me know if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer.

My goal is to provide the best answer possible prior to you leaving a feedback rating.

If you received all the information you needed, then kindly submit a rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He did get up for a little while but he is having a lot of trouble walking with his back legs and he stumbles when he walks. When I grabbed him earlier it was around the neck area when he cried.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is acting like he normally does except when he walks with his back legs.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
he won't eat or drink
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.

This really does worry me he is either experiencing a spinal problem such as a slipped disk or something to cause weakness and pain enough to not want to eat. And, unfortunately, this is an indication to have him seen on emergency tonight. If this is a back problem, then the sooner we start treatment (medications) then the better chance he has of a speedy recovery without surgery. The same is true for anemia, if present.

Please keep me posted. I am always happy to answer followup questions. You can reply to this question at any time to submit a followup. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. If there’s anything else I can do, let me know – it’s been a pleasure working with you and I hope to assist you again soon! Kindly submit a rating as you exit our chat.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello again. My dog Murphy is now acting normal he still won't walk, eat or drink but he wags his tail if I say his name. When I went to try and move one of his legs he yelped so I didn't want to do anything else. Do you know what this could mean. Could it be constipation? Could it be a bladder infection?
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.

This poor guy. I do not think this would be indicative of constipation or a bladder infection. Generally for either of those there is a lot of straining to eliminate.

I still remain concerned about his back, even with the pain when moving his leg. But it is possible to be pain within one or multiple joints. Because he remains so uncomfortable, I must recommend you have him seen on emergency this weekend.

There are no good over-the-counter pain relief medications I can recommend. You canNOT use ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Aspirin is a possibility but I do not like the medication because it doesn't work very well in dogs and there is a high risk for issues with the digestive tract. Instead, I recommend if you have prescription pain medication from a previous issue left over, then you could use this. Otherwise, allow him to rest. Bring his food/water to him. And still encourage him to go outside at least three times daily.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay. He started to eat and drink. His back is arched quite a bit when he walks and he stumbles quite a bit. He does catch himself before he falls though. And we are going to take him in tomorrow morning, hopefully.
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.

This remains very suspicious to be a spinal problem. Yes, taking him this morning sounds like the best plan. He needs some pain relief! Keep me posted on his progress and his diagnosis after he's seen.

Please, do not forget to submit a rating as you exit. :)

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Murphy. How is everything going?
Dr. Joey