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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30403
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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12 yr old tsi tzu that is partially blind and deaf....she is

Customer Question

12 yr old tsi tzu that is partially blind and deaf....she is now walking w hunched back, lethargic and her neck feels swollen.....Am I jumping to conclusion this is cancer...we have limited means so would need your logical answer. Thanks
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the dog. What is the dog's name?
Customer: So
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dog?
Customer: It is more the hunched back and swollen neck...can't afford a vet
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I am a Veterinary Nurse with over 15 years experience and I have assisted in the care of many pets with this particular medical concern. It would be my pleasure to assist you today. Is it possible for me to obtain some additional information from you about your companion?1) When did the hunched walking, lethargy and swelling in her neck begin? 2) Where in her neck are you seeing the swelling? 3) Is she still eating and drinking?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1. About 3-5 days ago
2.entire neck has swollen
3. Yes not as much but yes
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the additional information. It will take me 10-20 minutes to type out a detailed response for you. You are welcome to wait, if you would like. The website will also generate an email for you once I have responded and you can revisit the chat with a link included in the email. After reading my response, if you have questions, you’re welcome to respond and I will help you further. Otherwise, once you’re satisfied with our dialogue, please take the time to rate the assistance you’ve receive from me. This is how I will be compensated for my time.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.
Hi, JACustomer. I apologize for the delay. I made a reply earlier that obviously did not post. At her age, it's very possible that this is cancer but it's not a definite. If we see swelling in the neck, there are a few characteristic places that we often see it. This link details this: overall swelling of the neck could be something as minor as an allergic reaction. To be safe, I would go ahead and give 1-2mg/pound of benadryl by mouth. The closest dose for a Shih Tzu will probably be 12.5mg (which is 1/2 of a 25mg caplet). You can give this every 8-12 hours for at least 24 hours to see if there's any effect on the swelling. I'm glad to hear that she's still eating and drinking. Keep a watch out to see if there are any changes. Swelling in her neck may make it hard to swallow, so aim to give her soft canned food or soften her kibble with water so she can swallow it more easily. Did my response help to answer all of the questions that you had regarding your companion? If you have other questions, please reply and I’ll help you further.Once you're satisfied with our dialogue, please take the time to use the star rating system at the top of the page to leave a rating for me. Until this is done, I will not be compensated for helping you today.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'll follow up for PitRottMommy for you. A hunch in the back is pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of myelopathy (spinal cord disorder) and, less commonly, abdominal pain. Her neck may not be swollen but, instead, contracted in a way that ameliorates the pain of a cervical (neck) slipped disk - not an uncommon disorder in the Shih Tzu. Conservative therapy for a disk involves a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as the prescription carprofen or meloxicam, a narcotic analgesic such as tramadol, and a skeletal muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol or diazepam. These drugs are available through her vet. Aspirin dosed at 10 mg/lb with food twice daily may suffice in a pinch. True neck swelling as might occur with cervical lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) or, less commonly, swollen salivary glands does occur but isn't consistent with a hunch in the back. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This was helpful...however we are of limited means. All vets in our area charge 150+ for initial consultation and have said they will want to do a blood test which is also costly before prescribing anything....Is there a online way to get prescription or anything over the counter?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I understand your financial constraints. Unfortunately, the only over the counter drug of value would be aspirin as mentioned above. You must avoid the toxic ibuprofen and naproxen. We're not allowed to prescribe through this venue. Mea culpa.$150 for an intial office exam sounds very pricey to me. Do you have an ASPCA animal hospital available to you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dog is in pain and that is obvious...the asp a can't take until next Sunday...
If this is what you think it might be is this a temp fix or do you think will get through?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
The aspirin and the tincture of time can normalize dogs suffering from a simple slipped disk within three weeks. It's difficult for me to predict how any one patient will do but keeping them very quiet so they don't hurt themselves further is half the battle. If you saw paresis (weakness) or paralysis arise in any limb(s), her prognosis becomes poor. Those dogs become surgical candidates which I understand isn't an option. Please continue our conversation if you wish.