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Sally G.
Sally G., Dog Training Consultant
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9625
Experience:  Service/assistance dog training/ behavior /obedience/Therapy dog Evaluator/AKC Evaluator
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I've noticed recently that my cocker spaniel, Chloe, is

Customer Question

I've noticed recently that my cocker spaniel, Chloe, is unable to jump up like she normally does. My partner and I actually found Chloe outside of our home so we don't know the exact age. Her vet estimated was about 2 when we found her (2010) so by now she is about 8. There actually are a number of things concerning me. Her nose seems to have become a little dry and there seems to be a sort of roughness forming at the outer edge of it. Also, her breathing has been quicker than normal. It's been extremely hot recently so I was wondering if all the panting is because of the heat, but we have the AC on the entire day, and end up shutting it off at times because we are so cold, yet Chloe just continues to pant. Or if she isn't panting you can see that she is breathing rapidly, even when she is at rest or even sleeping. Last night I was cuddling with her on the sofa just looking into her eyes and she seemed out of it, I actually began to cry because one command she aaalways listens to is 'high five'. I will put my hand up and say it, and she always is quick to give me a high five. But last night no matter how many times I asked, she just would not until about 2 hours of our cuddle time. I fee terrible that my baby girl is going through this and would appreciate any help. I normally take her to Banfield at PetSmart, but they have been having staff issues and have been closed randomly through the week (so upsetting!) so the soonest appointment they could offer me was 08/02/2016. Any suggestion as to what could be going on with my princess? I appreciate any and all advice. Thank you!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for using this site to help you. One of the biggest signs of a disc issue to the owner is when their dog stops jumping on and off of furniture. You will also see a hesitance or refusal to do things that the dog loves to do such as your high five.

Smaller breeds are more prone to intervertabral disc disease which is when the soft tissue that cushions the disc suddenly or over time hardens and it presses on the spine causing pain. Panting is also a sign of pain so that may be why she is panting more often, Generally an anti inflammatory drug and a pain killer are given at first to see if that will aid the dog but sometimes that does not always work and steroids are needed.

There are concerns to watch for and the biggest would be the loss of use of the rear legs. If that happens the dog needs emergency care.

Until you can get to your vet you can try giving aspirin for a couple of days to help with the pain and inflammation. Keep her well rested with outings for potty only, no long walks, no high 5's or playing. Aspirin is not the best anti inflammatory for dogs as it can cause stomach ulcers so only give for a couple of days tops and see if it helps. Give with food to coat the stomach and let your vet know when you last used aspirin as other pain meds may have to wait until the aspirin leaves the body. Be sure to use plain aspirin and not Ibuprofen or Typlenol type products.

aspirin dosing and information:

I am going to direct you to a site that goes over IVDD in dogs and it will give you some of the symptoms and explain what is happening.

this would be the effects in the lower spine

this would be the affected area in the neck