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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28526
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 8yr old min pin/shitzue woke up stiff and walking funny.

Customer Question

My 8yr old min pin/shitzue woke up stiff and walking funny. He is very guarded in his abdomen and walks with his hind feet sort of together. Wobbly. He has not wanted to eat today and seems like he is unable to poop. When he pees, he isn't able to lift his leg enough not to pee on his front leg. He wantsaid to be where I am, otherwise I think he would just stay in bed. I'm very concerned and quite broke......ūüėď
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: I've palpation him all over and he has no particular painful spots. His abdomen is ridged
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Wobbly?
Customer: If he wasn't trying to poop I would think he looks like a nerve is pinched. His back is hunched, tail tucked, and moves very slow. Will not jump onto my lap, and doesn't want me to hold him. Which is unusual.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with him. You're right on the money. He's showing the symptoms of degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk"). Constipation is common with disks if only because it's painful to posture to defecate.

Degenerative disk disease should be the most important differential diagnosis in such a miniature dog. 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". His 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), he'll need the attention of his 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.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin

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