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Last night we noticed he wouldn’t jump on couch as usual. I…

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Last night we noticed...

Last night we noticed he wouldn’t jump on couch as usual. I noticed that his stomach is very hard. I took him for short walk thinking he needs to go to bathroom. He did go a little and looked normal. Got up this morning and found he had pooped a lot in our living room, different consistently. This morning his stomach still hard and he vomited a small amount and it was white like milk. What can be causing this.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?

He hasn’t eaten anything different, so I don’t think it’s that, he is whining a bit, just not himself. He is a 8 year old chihuahua.

Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Dog
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Answered in 4 hours by:
11/29/2017
Dog Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 9 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 36,163
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Dog Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 9 months ago

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner and I'm sorry to hear of this with your Chihuahua. My initial thought was that his not jumping up indicated spinal pain and his hard stomach and gastrointestinal distress indicated constipation seen with spinal pain associated with intervertebral disk disease in an 8 year old miniature breed.

Degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk") should be an most important differential diagnosis in such a miniature dog. Supportive evidence of a disk may include vocalizing when approached or lifted, having trouble jumping up or down and navigating steps, ataxia (“drunken sailor”), trembling/shaking (pain responses), a change in posture such as the neck held rigidly and head lower to the ground or a"hunch" in his back, constipation, and a change in behavior - a normally social dog becoming aloof or, conversely, a normally aloof dog becoming "clingy". Your vet will want to carefully palpate (feel) about your dog's spine looking for areas of hyperpathia (increased sensitivity) suggestive of a disk. Conservative care involves the use of a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam, a narcotic analgesic such as tramadol, and a skeletal muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol or diazepam. These drugs are usually administered for at least ten days. Most simple disks will remiss within a few weeks. It's important to keep these dogs as quiet as possible lest they hurt themselves further.

Should paresis (weakness) or paralysis arise in any limb(s), he'll need the attention of his vet at your earliest convenience. Such dogs are then surgical candidates for spinal cord decompression. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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