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My 10 yr old shih tzu started crying and limping 4 days ago…

Customer Question
My 10 yr old...

My 10 yr old shih tzu started crying and limping 4 days ago on her rear left leg. I was at work and my daughter called me crying. She and my younger shih tzu started fussing/fighting (this has become common over the last month or so?) anyway, I called my vet because he knows my dogs history. She was injured badly 9 years ago and fractured/shattered her pelvis. She had to be seen by a specialist where she had to have her pelvis wired/screwed back together. She has been phenomenal for almost 9 years w/zero issues. When I called the vet they said he had just left for vaca and had no one there who could see her. I told her what happened w/the dogs and explained the fight lasted maybe 10 seconds and then my daughter said she yelped and ran under the bed. I left wrk came home and she was drooling and upset. She would not put any weight on her back leg but I didn’t think there was any way she could have been hurt badly because the other shih tzu is quite small, only 5 lbs. they advised that I could take her the ER vet but they didn’t think anything was broke based on what I was saying and that she may have pulled a muscle. She has continued to put zero weight in her leg and only gets up when I carry her outside to go to the potty. She has been eating boliled chicken and laying around. I have made sure she is getting water as well. Tonight she started whining and I went to pick her up and noticed she had pooped in my daughters room and she seemed to be having a lot of difficulty. There were spots of blood on the floor. I took her outside and she continued to squat like she was trying to poo but when I went to check there were only little soots of blood. The vet should be back Tuesday but now I’m wondering if something serious is going on? What are your thoughts?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help your dog. What is the dog's name?

Lizzy

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Lizzy?

Nothing I can think of, she seems normal other then the laying around. That is only because her leg I assumed. She hasn’t had a great appetite but is eating a whole chicken breast each day throughout the day. The drooling only happened the 1st evening and she has seemed fine. Well, obviously not fine but okay other then her leg. I figured we would baby her and make sure she was comfortable until the vet got back tues or wed? Now I feel terrible but I loath the ER vet locally. They basically charge an arm and leg to either do surgery that’s unnecessary or suggest putting them to sleep. I have heard horror stories. Unless it’s a last resource I’m not taking her there.

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Just FYI; wanted to add she was spayed several years ago
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Oh, I guess I should add she just turned 11 years old w/no history of health problems other then the injury to her hip/pelvis 9 years ago.
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I checked her temp as well rectally (thinking maybe she was constipated?) abs there was no blood or stool on thermometer. Her temp was 101
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Omg, she just turned 10 not 11 and the accident was 9 years ago...
Answered in 6 hours by:
12/10/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 6 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,251
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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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.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 6 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 Lizzy, please?

Regretfully, assessing the extent of injury is very difficult from afar. Keep in mind, however, that not only the leg may have been injured but also her spinal cord when hind leg lameness has arisen. Without a thorough exam of her leg and back you're necessarily constrained to over the counter analgesia such as aspirin dosed at 10 mg per pound of body weight with food at 12 hour intervals or acetaminophen which can be dosed at 7 mg per pound of body weight thrice daily but isn’t antiinflammatory as is aspirin. You can give aspirin and acetaminophen concurrently which should provide better analgesia than either drug alone. You must avoid the toxic ibuprofen and naproxen in dogs.

If you have a human or canine narcotic at home please let me know and I’ll see if I can give you a dose for it. Her tenesmus (straining to defecate) is likely to have caused the bleeding you saw. This behavior is seen with spinal cord disorders which can make it difficult for a dog to posture and eliminate normally.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I’m at wrk rt now but could you tell me if that kind/extent of injury can happen from 2 small dogs wrestling/fighting? Not viciously, but it seems my younger Shih tzu is wanting to be the dominant lately... anyway, she does walk but puts zero weight on her rear leg. Then comes in immediately and just lays around. She can move her leg because when I pick her up she does a swimming type movement. I can move her leg and sometimes get zero reaction from her, but other times if I push around at the joint/muscle area around her upper/inner rear leg she will snap at me. She never snaps/bites, so I know it hurts when I do that. But then other times I can do the same thing and get no reaction at all... she will just lay there. This is so hard because I love her dearly and our normal vet is away on vacation. I’m not sure who to trust because I don’t want someone to tell me euthanize her. I have heard horror stories about ER vets and due to her age I worry that’s what they might say.. I know my vet will give me the best options but he’s not here... I know it’s alot of questions but I am just scared about thinking there could be a spinal injury. Can that really happen from such a mild tussle? When I called the vet the tech thought she may have pulled a muscle or have a joint problem? I’m just scared now, even more because of the rectal bleeding and straining.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 6 months ago

A simple stub of the toe can strain or rupture the anterior cruciate ligament in Lizzy's stifle (knee) - a common cause of non-weight-bearing lameness. She could have jumped up and landed "funny" on that leg and luxated (dislocated) her hip. No one is going to tell you to euthanize such a patient. There's no reason to believe that Lizzy represents an emergency. Analgesia such as I mentioned above should suffice until her regular vet can attend to her. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Oh, thank god! Thank you. I realize you can’t/don’t see her but based on her symptoms what do u think will need to be done? Is this something that would heal in time or something she would need surgery for? Again, just like you, the tech hadn’t seen her. She was only basing her “diagnosis” on what I had told her (same thing I have told you). She lets me do anything to her feet and knees, she only seems sensitive (at times) around her inner hip, near her vagina. At the muscle/joint area. Like I said, her lameness and now the rectal bleeding and strain has made things so much scarier. I will definitely give her the medication you said. I have left over prescription meds for my German Shepard but I know those are way too much for her. I am messaging my sightsee tonhave her send me a pic of the bottle now.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 6 months ago

Regretfully, I can't know that without a hands-on exam. She needs to be carefully palpated (felt) by an attending vet. I'll watch for your next post concerning those meds for your shepherd.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I have a bottle a Carpofen 100 mg chewable tablets.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 6 months ago

That's a good choice for Lizzy and is dosed at either 2 mg per pound of body weight once daily or 1 mg per pound of body weight twice daily.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thank you for all your help.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 6 months ago

You're quite welcome. 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.

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