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He won’t jump on the couch and acts like he is scared. He…

Customer Question
He won’t jump on...

He won’t jump on the couch and acts like he is scared. He isn’t acting like himself

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the dog?

He isn’t acting like himself.he isn’t playful, he will not jump on the couch. He wants to sit right beside someone and be he trembles periodically

Veterinarian's Assistant: Where does the dog seem to hurt?

I can’t tell that he is hurting anywhere. Is nose does seem runny

Veterinarian's Assistant: OK. No obvious pain. What is the dog's name and age?

Dabo 21/2

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

He does seem to have skin allergies

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/15/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,138
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.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Sure
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

I'm sorry to hear about Dabo. He sounds very uncomfortable. I suspect his trembling and refusal to jump are bot signs that he is in pain.

Dogs that are painful will hesitate jumping or climbing stairs and display the sort of behavior he is, either because it hurts to do the activity or because they feel weaker than usual.

Unfortunately some dogs are prone to 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 he should see his veterinarian. If this is indeed a disc problem your veterinarian can prescribe a steroid or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory to relieve pressure on his spinal cord and nerve roots, as well as something for pain too, such as Tramadol. And if he is having painful muscle spasms then a muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol as well.

He should be closely confined starting now. No stairs, running or jumping. If you have a crate for him I highly recommend using it. The less he moves around the more comfortable he will be and the faster he will heal.

He should be taken out on a leash to relieve himself. Do not use a collar for him, a harness which more evenly distributes forces if he pulls on his leash is better. You will need to confine him for several weeks, even as he starts to feel better or he may reinjure himself. Keeping him on the thin side is recommended to decrease stress on his back, but is no guarantee that he 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

If you cannot have him examined right away and he is still eating and drinking ok, but is really miserable tonight the only over the counter anti-inflammatory that can be used in dogs is buffered, enteric coated aspirin (like ascriptin). Aspirin does cause stomach and intestinal irritation and ulceration as well as clotting problems so should not be given for more than 2 to 3 days consecutively and should always be given with a meal. If you choose to use it watch for lack of appetite, vomiting, blood in the stools or dark tarry stools and stop immediately if you see those. Do not use aspirin if your dog has liver or kidney disease or a history of a sensitive stomach or clotting problems, or is not eating.

The dose for aspirin is 5mg to 10mg per pound of body weight orally every 12 hours (about one half of a 325mg aspirin for an 18-35 pound dog every 12 hours). Always give with a meal. Do not use for more than 2 or 3 days.

Be aware if you choose to use aspirin and it doesn't help your veterinarian will be limited on what they can give as there must be a 5 to 7 day washout period between different nonsteroidals or nonsteroidals and steroids.

You can try alternating warm and cold packs on his lower back and neck areas for 10 minutes at a time several times a day.

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.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Could he not just maybe have a cold or something?
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

Dogs don't tend to get "colds" like we do, because they aren't as out and about (working, socializing, shopping) as we are.

They do get respiratory infections from exposure to other dogs (doggy daycare, boarding, obedience class, groomer, dog park), but those pups are coughing, may have runny eyes and noses and run a fever. I would not expect lethargy alone as a sign of a respiratory infection.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
His nose is a little runny and he has some eye discharge
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

He may have a respiratory infection then, but if he hasn't been exposed to other dogs it seems less likely.

It makes much more sense for a dog with back or neck pain to show his symptoms. There's really no reason for a dog with a respiratory infection to not want to jump.

If his discharge in his eyes and nose is clear then you can take a watch and see approach.

Baby him a bit to keep him eating, let him rest, encourage fluid intake and see how he comes along or if his symptoms progress.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago
Hi,

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

Dr. Kara
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