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Dr. Tara
Dr. Tara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1053
Experience:  10 years in small animal medicine, special interest in integrative medicine.
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At night my dog these past 2 weeks has been licking his lips

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At night my dog these past 2 weeks has been licking his lips and shivering at the same time and goes on for about 45 mins to an hour. Usually this means for him that he wants to do his bussiness but it hasnt been the case recently. Can you help?



I am sorry this has been going on and I will certainly try to give you some options:


Has he been seen by a vet yet for this condition?

Is there any other change- appetite, urine volume, water intake, behavior, etc?

Any vomiting or diarrhea?

Have you tried warming him during the shivering episodes?

Is he reluctant to move during these episodes?


Thanks and I will wait for your reply.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

No there has been no change in appetite, urine, water intake etc. I have noticed he is reluctant to move during these episodes and sits v.close to me in bed , usually near my head. The episodes do pass though and donot happen during the day, only at night. He sleeps with me under the duvet at the bottom of the bed so I dont think he could be cold .Dacshunds are renowned for under the covers burrowing !! He has in the past suffered from Gastointeritis, 3 or 4 times just for your info. Last night he wasnt shivering but just licking his lips constantly for about 45 mins.

Thanks so much


Thanks for the additional information.


I do think the cause for his shivering is pain or discomfort. I wasn't thinking he was cold but I had to never know. Some people keep their dogs outdoors!! :)


You probably also know that doxies are very prone to back problems. Disc disease can certainly be intermittently painful, especially early in the process. If the mattress doesn't provide a lot of support or if he sleeps in one position too long, he may become very painful. This would explain his reluctance to move. He is at the right age to be experiencing some degenerative back problems.


Gastroenteritis can also be painful (cramping, etc) and may explain the licking which can indicate nausea, however, I would expect symptoms such as a decline in appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea.


The licking can also indicate nervousness, which would be expected if he were in pain.


If he sleeps in a different spot during the day, I would focus on some type of pain, likely from his back just given his breed. A complete exam including spinal compression, can sometimes confirm this. Sometimes an MRI or contrast study of the spinal cord is needed. I would recommend you have him checked as anti-inflammatory medicines can provide a lot of pain relief and will stop the swelling from progressing (at least to a point).


Let me know if you have any other questions. Have a great day!

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