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Candy, Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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My Shih Tzu began to yelp today out of no where while just

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My Shih Tzu began to yelp today out of no where while just standing there. We examined all of his feet and legs and he did not resist or yelp, We held him and petted him everywhere and he did not yelp at all at first. Then we noticed when he jumped he yelped again and could not get comfortable. While laying down we were able to pet him on his back and stomach and hind legs, when we touch his chest area he let out alot of yelps and cried. not so much his front legs, more so his chest. What should we do? we gave him a treat and he will eat, still wagged his tail a little. He is not so much limping, just looks uncomfortable when he is walking and I noticed he walked a bit crooked and not straight when he was going accross the room. We have left him alone and he still looks like he's hurting but he hasn't been yelping.

I am so sorry your little one is having trouble.


As a human also owned by shih-tzu's I can tell you that these guys are prone to both back and neck injuries. Often we see this pain radiate to the chest or stomach areas.


It is possible what you are seeing is due to an injury in the back or neck Injuries can happen rather quickly and often with out the owner knowing. Moving to quickly slipping when running rough play or something as simple as jumping on or off of furniture has been known to cause such injuries While this is more common in small breeds like Dachshund , shih-tzu's pugs, corgies, basset hounds etc it can occur in larger breeds.


Dogs that are overweight are more likely to have back problems than leaner dogs.

Some back injuries involve simple muscle soreness. However more serious problems such as , disc injury or degenerative disc disease, cervical disc disease may be the problem. This can cause extreme pain, loss of muscle control, nerve damage and paralysis. A dog that has suffered a disc injury may show some of the following symptoms yelping when handled, lethargy, shivering, whimpering, loss of appetite, trouble urinating or defecating, reluctance to climb steps, lay down, get up or jump, may be unable to move, paralysis of the front or back legs or limping may also be seen.

Read more here


Treatment will depend on the severity of the problem. Dogs with mild injuries may be treated with steroid injections anti-inflammatory medications and rest. Pain medication may also be needed Surgery may be recommended if the damage is severe and does not respond to other non evasive procedures.

He really should be seen by a vet in the morning until you can have him seen do not allow any jumping, running, playing. Prevent all walking if possible only up for potty breaks


It is also possible he has injured a rib if he hit something or was playing to rough.


If he is very painful and he is not on any medications then aspirin can be used short term. This is dosed at 5mgs per pound of body weight every 12 hours. If you are going to have him seen by the vet in the morning and you can keep him comfortable then I would suggest holding off on the aspirin as this can alter what medications your vet can give tomorrow.


I hope all goes well,please reply back if you have additional questions or concerns


Candy and 5 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you so much! That is what I was thinking it could be. But I needed to know he will be okay through the night. We don't like the 24 hour clinic here. Thanks again!
You are very welcome he should be fine waiting until your vet opens in the morning. Please let me know what the vet says. This is my favorite breed so I tend to worry about them ..