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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 9-year old Italian Greyhound mix has had twitchy muscles

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My 9-year old Italian Greyhound mix has had twitchy muscles in his neck neck for about an hour. He is other wise fine -- doesn't appear to be in pain, acting normal, eating, drinking, jumping on the couch with no problem. Two days ago I took him on a hike and we went down sort of a steep ridge that seemed to stress him out, but he didn't act injured. He got over heated on the walk but was later okay. Incidentally, I'd recently changed his food, so he's had diarrhea too. I withheld food for twenty-four hours and fed him last night. Seems okay so far, except for this neck twitch that just started.
Hello, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been a veterinary nurse for 26 years.Thank you for allowing me to assist you today.

I am sorry to hear Digby is having some trouble. I just have a few questions so I can better assist you.

Was he being leash walked when on the hike and if so does he use a collar or harness?

Does he seem to be having any trouble moving his neck up and down or side to side?

Any trouble with the front legs?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi, I used a harness and he isn't having any trouble with neck or legs.

Thank you for the additional information.

The most common causes for muscle twitching in the neck are a slipped disc, disc compression, disc disease or pinched nerve in the cervical spine. It is possible that going down the steep ridge applied extra pressure on this area of the spine.
Click here for more on cervical spine problems.

As long as he is acting ok and not having trouble with movement of the neck then I would just keep an eye on him. What I would suggest is apply warm compresses for 20-30 minutes every 2-3 hours to see if this will calm the spasms.

If you have a heating pad you can use this as well.

If you feel like he is in pain then aspirin can be used short term for 1-2 days at a dose of 5mgs per pound of body weight every 12 hours. This should be given with food and only given as long as he is not on any other medications.

If this continues or he begins to act painful , has trouble moving his neck or limping on the front legs then I would have him seen by a vet. If you find he does need to see the vet and you have given aspirin be sure to let them know as this will limit the type of medications they can give.

I hope this helps and he feels better soon. Please reply back if you have additional questions or concerns.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I see. Thank you. So, if it was caused by the hike, it's possible that he will recover in a few days? Should I continue to take him on walks, or is it better to let him rest?

Yes hopefully this is just do to over exertion from the hike and some rest and warm compresses will help clear this up.You can do short easy walks but I would not do any hiking and I would try to keep him from jumping on and off furniture if possible for the next 7-10 days
Candy and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Stacey,

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

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Candy! Thanks for following up. The heating pad worked and the twitching went away immediately. I'm still dealing with the unrelated diarrhea problem though. I'd switched his food a while ago which gave him diarrhea. It went away for a day, but on that day, he seemed like he had something in his throat that he was trying to cough out so I stupidly gave him milk to wash it down. That night he got diarrhea again and he's had it for about three days: small amounts, pudding texture with small amounts of bright blood occasionally (like a drop at the end but not every time). I withheld food and am now giving him plain white rice and boiled white turkey. Everything else is totally normal -- he acts completely fine: happy, energetic, etc., but I'm worried! Thank you for your help.

Yay I am so glad the heating pad helped.

It could be the food change or the milk that has caused the diarrhea. Dogs are lactose intolerant so that is pretty common. I would try the bland diet for 3-4 days and see if that helps. You can also give Pepto Bismol 1 teaspoon per 20lbs every 8 hours. If the diarrhea continues I would have the stool checked for parasites and or bacterial overgrowth.

Thank you so much for taking the time to update me. Please give him a good pet from me.

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