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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 dog has a stiff neck or muscle in her upper body. Its

Resolved Question:

My dog has a stiff neck or muscle in her upper body. It's warm to the touch, and she doesnt look happy, but she still wags her tail like normal. She is an 11 year old- rat terrier and is overweight. She has a kennel mate ( a 10 month old puppy of hers) and the puppy is acting fine. The sore dog strains to bark, and had a hard time bending over to eat this morning. I've noticed it for a few days and gave her baby aspirin each morning. She is walking ok, and her stools are normal. She can be a drama queen, and I try to not overreact. Any ideas?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Candy replied 5 years ago.

Hello,I would love to help I just have a few additional questions.Each answer is typed individually so please allow me a few minutes after your reply.


Does her neck seem sore if you touch it?


Other then the stiff neck is she having any other symptoms such as lethargy, fever, not walking normal , loss of appetite ?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She is ok with me touching her neck as long as I don't try to push on it too hard. She felt warm on her head and neck this morning. She is walking a little bit slower, but still walks around the block with me in the morning. She is still eating, but not as much as she usually does. She usually way overeats, and now she is just eating and moving on.
Expert:  Candy replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information.


Unfortunately without seeing her and running a few tests there is no way to know for sure what is going on.

The most common cause of a stiff neck in dogs are.

*Meningitis- Symptoms include fever, stiff neck, hyper-reactivity to touch, and reduced mobility due to stiffness.

*Pinched nerve

*Ruptured or herniated disc in the neck- This is possible but we normally see limping or paralysis in the front legs or in some cases all 4 legs

*Problems in the brain such as a tumor could also be the problem in a senior dog.


I do not think this is just her being a drama queen it should like she is in pain and I would suggest getting her into a vet as soon as possible.


I would take a rectal temp.Normal is 100.5-102.5 anything over 103 or under 100 and I would have her seen tonight in your local animal emergency. If her temp is normal I would have your regular vet see her tomorrow.


Until then try to keep her still and quiet, lift her food and water so she does not have to bend her neck to get to them.You can try using a heating pad on low across the


I hope all goes well. Please reply back if you have additional questions or concerns



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