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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28474
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My bassett appears to be in pain all of a sudden. She

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My bassett appears to be in pain all of a sudden. She trimbles/shakes, yelps if I try to lift her, seems to have difficulty coming up 3 steps from the yard to the house, not passing much stool (which is really unusual), and not eating very much. She's 8 years old, no other health problems known, urinating ok, and drinking water. Her abdomen appears to be firm, distended, and tender. No vomiting. Does she probably have a bowel obstruction? I can't afford a bunch of testing or surgery, I have some medical bills of my own!
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: Bassett hound
JA: OK. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did She 's eat anything unusual?
Customer: No mess, not sure why you said that. No unusual food, hasn't been in the garbage-I'm positive.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about She 's?
Customer: No I think I've told you everything

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

I'm sorry to hear of this with your bassett. Back rather than abdominal pain is my main consideration...the back pain associated with degenerative disk disease - "a slipped disk".

Supportive evidence of a disk includes ataxia ("drunken sailor"), shaking/trembling (pain responses), difficulty jumping up or down or navigating steps, a change in posture - holding the neck rigidly and head lower to the ground or a "hunch" in the back, vocalizing when lifted or approached, and a change in behavior such as a normally aloof dog becoming "clingy" or, conversely, a normally social dog becoming reclusive.

Her vet will want to perform a thorough physical exam paying particular attention to your bassett's spine. Areas of hyperpathia (increased sensitivity) suggest a disk. If found, conservative therapy involves 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. Keeping her as quiet as possible at this time can avoid her hurting herself further. Most dogs will remiss from a simple disk within 3 weeks. If paresis (weakness) or paralysis arises, she would need the attention of her vet at your earliest convenience. Those patients may be surgical candidates for spinal decompression.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
What about the firm distended abdomen and not having much bowel movements?

Constipation is common in association with back pain. Patients will avoid positioning themselves to defecate because it's painful to do so. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Can you help me with dosages on meloxicam and tramadol? I have those and I'd like to try those to see if it makes a difference. She weighs 41 pounds.

Meloxicam is initially dosed at 0.1 mg/lb once daily and half of that daily thereafter for a minimum of 10 days. Tramadol is dosed at 2-5 mg/lb up to thrice daily. Always start with the smallest dose and increase if need be. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you

You're welcome.

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