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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28934
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Earlier tonight my 4 year old pins her chihuahua mix dog

Customer Question

Earlier tonight my 4 year old pins her chihuahua mix dog jumped off the couch and cried out, yelping and biting himself because he was in pain. Immediately took him to an animal hospital where the vet said that he seems to be doing better because he was walking around and wagging his tail, but he had a high arch in his back and thought it may be a slipped disc. He said to hold off on X-rays for now and sent us home with some medications - tramadol and carprofen rimadyl. He also said to keep him resting and no walking, jumping for 2 weeks. Now that he is home he does not look comfortable at all. He took the medication with some ham and drank a bit of water, but he has trouble sitting and he's managed lay down to sleep but he can't seem to keep his head down, it keeps floating up almost like something is pulling his head back, all the way until his nose is pointing toward the sky, reapeatedly and this is keeping him from being able to sleep. I'm not sure how to help him, he doesn't have any vomiting or other symptoms. His eyes look fine, his gums are kind of pink and dark gray, no drooling, his breathing appears to be fine except frustrating exhales. This has been going on all night please help
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Sonny. A "slipped disk" is, indeed, likely and although he has a "hunch" in his back, the disk might be in his cervical (neck) spinal segment which is more likely to be the case when cervical hyperextension (his nose pointing to the sky) is seen. If conservative care in the form of a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID such as carprofen + the narcotic analgesic tramadol + a skeletal muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol or diazepam isn't sufficient, Sonny becomes a surgical candidate for spinal cord decompression. X-rays and even MRI need to be considered in such a patient. A Chiari-like syndrome (anatomical malformation where the spine meets the skull) can mimic the signs of a cervical disk and also needs to be considered when cervical hyperextension is noted.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.