Dog Veterinary

Ask a dog vet and get answers to your dog health questions

Ask a Dog Veterinarian,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

Reluctance and slow to climb up and down steps. eating,

Reluctance and slow to...

Reluctance and slow to climb up and down steps. eating, drinking normally. no shaking or signs of discomfort when touched anywhere.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?

Pepper and she is 10-11

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Pepper?

Chi mix. normal vet visit 3 months ago, Behavior has been going on for about 4 days.

Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question
Answered in 2 minutes by:
8/16/2017
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,165
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question

I am sorry to hear that your pup Pepper seems to not be her usual energetic, perky self for the past 4 days, difficulty going up and down the stairs.

I am glad she eating and drinking.

Is she limping, or does she seem to be walking/moving more gingerly than usual?

It sounds like she has some musculoskeletal pain that is making her feel lethargic and reluctant to do the things she usually easily does.

There are several reasons for lameness/musculoskeletal pain

Dogs that are painful will hesitate jumping or climbing stairs and display the sort of behavior she is, either because it hurts to do the activity or because they feel weaker than usual. They tend to sleep more because they are painful when they are up and moving around, and it can be exhausting guarding themselves, tensing their muscles, and having to work harder to do what used to be so much easier.

This is most commonly associated with a problem with their intervertebral discs, which are the spongy cushions between the individual vertebrae in their back and neck. These spongy discs can move or rupture and place pressure upon the spinal cord which can lead to pain, and in severe cases paralysis.

Radiographs can sometimes be diagnostic but often early on in the disease process, because the discs are soft tissue not bone, everything will look normal. An MRI is the best way of diagnosing disc disease.

If the dog is painful but has no evidence of paralysis we can try strict rest, anti-inflammatories and pain medications for several weeks to allow healing.

If there is evidence or weakness or paralysis then surgery by a board certified veterinary neurologist, as soon as possible, is indicated.

Ideally she would see her veterinarian. If this is indeed a disc problem your veterinarian can prescribe a steroid or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory to relieve pressure on her spinal cord and nerve roots, as well as something for pain too, such as Tramadol. And if she is having painful muscle spasms then a muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol as well.

She should be closely confined starting now. No stairs, running or jumping. If you have a crate for her I highly recommend using it. The less she moves around the more comfortable she will be and the faster she will heal. She should go out on a leash to relieve herself. Do not use a collar for her, a harness which more evenly distributes forces if she pulls on his leash is better. You will need to confine her for several weeks, even as she starts to feel better or she may reinjure herself.

You can alternate warm and cold compresses on her back and neck muscles for 10 minutes at a time several times a day. Cold reduces inflammation, and heat helps soothe painful muscle spasms.

Keeping her on the thin side is recommended to decrease stress on her back, but is no guarantee that she won't have another episode. Once a dog has one bad disc the likelihood of another is very high.

If you are interested in reading more here is a link to an excellent article about intervertebral disc disease, its causes and therapy: http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Dog-Health-Center/Bone-Joint-Muscle-Disorders/Intervertebral-Disk-Disease/Symptoms.aspx

There are other less common causes of back pain such as infections, tumors of the vertebrae or the spinal cord itself or fibrocartilagenous emboli but far and away disc disease is the most common cause of back pain in dogs.

If she doesn't seem especially painful it may be that she has some sort of internal organ or endocrine disease that is making her feel very sluggish. Ideally she would have some screening bloodwork done, a complete blood count, biochemistry profile and thyroid profile if she seems more weak/tired then painful.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,165
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified
Dr. Kara and 87 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Hi,

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

Dr. Kara
Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question
Was this answer helpful?
Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,165
18,165 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.

Dr. Kara is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete!

Bev & GeorgeBoca Raton, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie

Dog Veterinarian

904 satisfied customers

Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy

Medical Director

16,147 satisfied customers

UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management

Dr Scott Nimmo

Dr Scott Nimmo

Dog Veterinarian

10,315 satisfied customers

BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }

Dr. Gary

Dr. Gary

Dog Veterinarian

10,063 satisfied customers

DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)

Dr. Scott

Dr. Scott

Veterinarian

9,615 satisfied customers

15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

9,533 satisfied customers

15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian

Rebecca

Rebecca

Dog Veterinarian

8,299 satisfied customers

More than 30 years of companion animal practice.

< Previous | Next >

Related Dog Veterinary Questions
My 4 year old, large Lab appears to have pulled a muscle in
My 4 year old, large Lab appears to have pulled a muscle in his back leg. He doesn't cry when I press on it but limps and doesn't want to put weight on it or stretch it out. There are no broken bones,… read more
Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter
Doctors Degree
14,324 satisfied customers
I think my dog ate a bone or maybe a lot of bones. She is
I think my dog ate a bone or maybe a lot of bones . She is restless and heavy panting obviously in distress. It's the middle of the night here. What is your advice? … read more
Sean Egan
Sean Egan
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
414 satisfied customers
Her right leg is lame for about a month now. Her shoulder
Her right leg is lame for about a month now. Her shoulder Area hurts her. Her teeth are very bad. She has an infection in her mouth and is on antibiotics, Gallaprint and Rimydal. She eats ok but not l… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
He has had lameness in one leg for 2-3 weeks, and the vet
He has had lameness in one leg for 2-3 weeks, and the vet did not see any obvious cause. Today he started having lameness in the other hind leg, too. There is no known injury. I am hoping there is a s… read more
Dr. Stacy
Dr. Stacy
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
650 satisfied customers
My dog was diagnosed with Larygeal Paralysis and is taking
My dog was diagnosed with Larygeal Paralysis and is taking Prednisone. He barks constantly for food and treats … read more
Rebecca
Rebecca
Dog Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
8,299 satisfied customers
Suddenly was unable to walk. No wounds. Leg muscles tight.
Yes no wounds. Leg muscles tight. Whines when he lays down. He is in pain any over the counter meds for pain … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
10,122 satisfied customers
My sister's dog, a 6 month old chocolate lab has paralysis
Second opinion] My sister's dog, a 6 month old chocolate lab has paralysis in his hind legs, bloated stomach (possibly full?), excessive drooling, loss of appetite, and loss of bladder. Blood tests ar… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
My sister's dog, a 6 month old chocolate lab has paralysis
My sister's dog, a 6 month old chocolate lab has paralysis in his hind legs, bloated stomach (possibly full?), excessive drooling, loss of appetite, and loss of bladder. Blood tests are fine, so what … read more
Rebecca
Rebecca
Dog Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
8,299 satisfied customers
Abnormal behavior. Walking around, stopping, going to places
Abnormal behavior. Walking around, stopping, going to places she never goes. Acted like a crazy dog in the car. Is now panting heavily … read more
Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary
Dog Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
10,063 satisfied customers
5 month old rotties just started walking with rear leg lame
5 month old rotties just started walking with rear leg lame x rays and lime show nothing.he takes 2-100mg 2 times a day been on for 1 week no improvement at all don't eat have to give ice cubes by han… read more
DrSarah
DrSarah
Veterinarian
DVM
269 satisfied customers
Havanese dog experiences paralysis: walks then suddenly
Havanese dog experiences paralysis: walks then suddenly stumbles forward, or is eating, starts shivering then legs buckle… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
10,122 satisfied customers
My beagle dashound had a temporary paralysis of rear legs
my beagle dashound had a temporary paralysis of rear legs then went to back door dragging legs and then laid on her side unable to move and diffuccutly breathing with water saliva coming out her mouth… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
She's having a muscle spasm in her neck/shoulder. Muscle
Hi there, she's having a muscle spasm in her neck/shoulder … read more
Rebecca
Rebecca
Dog Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
8,299 satisfied customers
Dog (large greyhound) swallowed a bone on the morning walk.
Dog (large greyhound) swallowed a bone on the morning walk. I tried to get it out of his mouth but he swallowed it. About 1.5 hours ago. No choking or anything worried about it passing through the int… read more
DocPaul
DocPaul
Doctoral Degree
709 satisfied customers
Our dog swallowed a chicken bone on our walk today, it was
our dog swallowed a chicken bone on our walk today, it was about 1.5 inches long and just ten minutes later started to pee blood, although not much urine was coming out she would squat and then a litt… read more
DocPaul
DocPaul
Doctoral Degree
709 satisfied customers
Stiff muscles, can't walk, still can eat (has a good
Stiff muscles, can't walk, still can eat (has a good appetite), still wag tail, but cannot move voluntarily, no bleeding, no smell, was active yesterday … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
10,122 satisfied customers
No vomiting, no food no water, no paralysis of either
No vomiting, no food no water, no paralysis of either side,-panting and the shivering came in waves … read more
Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
9,533 satisfied customers
Just researching muscle atrophy to the temporal muscle on
Just researching muscle atrophy to the temporal muscle on left side … read more
Dr Linda
Dr Linda
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Doctoral Degree
1,507 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x