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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29792
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My boy Rocky, his stomach is hard, I tried picking him up

Customer Question

My boy Rocky, his stomach is hard, I tried picking him up and he yelped, obviously in pain, as I checked realized his tummy was hard not swollen though, it feels shaky inside him, he relaxed as I rubbed his belly or just held it firmly, he didnt yelp if I. Applied more pressure but he seemed to relax a little, I have notice he hasn't been eating much either last couple of days. I was going to put him in a warm bath.??
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. How old is Rocky?
Customer: he is 9, about 15lbs, he's a chihuahua/Being mix.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Rocky?
Customer: His shots are up to date, still likes his treats, I just added his wet food back in with his dry, he gets a 1/3 of the 12-15 oz can, he's always been finicky with his food, but he was turn away from most of his food before I got him the wet Alpo, he always like it..
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Please let me know if you still need help. May I have an update on Rocky, please?

His tense abdomen and yelping can indicate both abdominal and spinal pain. At 9 years of age a miniature dog is at risk of degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk") which can cause just what you described. 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". Rocky's vet will want to carefully palpate (feel) about Rocky'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 11 months ago.

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

Dr. Michael Salkin