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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28573
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have a 16.5lbs.7 yr. old bischon terrier mix. she has

Customer Question

I have a 16.5lbs.7 yr. old bischon terrier mix. she has spent one night in the hospital. blood test, lime disease test , urine, pancreatic test and xrays. eating ok, potty ok. she is in pain. lays around. up tempo breathing. slow moving. all test and xrays are negative. Vet gave Tramadol 50mg. 1/2 pill 8-12 hrs. for pain. we are stumped. any ideas?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
her white cell count was slightly elevated. dr. gave clavamox. started it on Tuesday.9/6/16
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Can you tell me, please, where pain was elicited upon examination of Wrigley? Tachypnea (increased respiratory rate) can be an indication of pain but isn't pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of it. Oftentimes these little dogs are suffering from spinal pain which doesn't necessarily show up in X-rays. MRI might be necessary to spot degenerative disk disease and spinal cord compression.

Supportive evidence of a disk may include vocalizing when approached or lifted, having trouble jumping up or down and navigating steps, ataxia (“drunken sailor”), trembling/shaking (pain responses), a change in posture such as the neck held rigidly and head lower to the ground or a"hunch" in his back, and a change in behavior - a normally social dog becoming aloof or, conversely, a normally aloof dog becoming "clingy". Wrigley's vet will want to carefully palpate (feel) about your dog's spine looking for areas of hyperpathia (increased sensitivity) suggestive of a disk. Conservative care involves the use of a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam, a narcotic analgesic such as tramadol, and a skeletal muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol or diazepam. These drugs are usually administered for at least ten days. Most simple disks will remiss within a few weeks. It's important to keep these dogs as quiet as possible lest they hurt themselves further.

Should paresis (weakness) or paralysis arise in any limb(s), she'll need the attention of her vet at your earliest convenience. Such dogs are then surgical candidates for spinal cord decompression. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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