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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28970
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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notice my dog (havanese) not as active on walk yesterday she

Customer Question

notice my dog (havanese) not as active on walk yesterday she did not run but had no signs of leg/paw injury - she was not limping - when returned home went to pick her up in usual way with one hand under back end and other under her ribs and she let our a loud yelp - have checked her all over and only occassionally when touching between her front legs does she yelp - she is walking with her head low but no other signs very wary of us and was sitting in corner - she is eating and toilet no problem - this morning she is jumping on and off chair with no signs of distress but again when stroked her at front she she yelpes - advice please
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
Thank you for the good history you provided. Vocalizing when lifted and holding the head low are pathognomonic (particularly indicative) of a cervical myelopathy (spinal cord disorder). We would be most concerned about degenerative disk disease (a "slipped disk") in an 11 year old Havanese.

Ellas's vet should be able to confirm pain in Ella's neck by palpating the cervical spine and performing hyperflexion and hyperextension tests - a nice way of saying overbending her neck in many directions. X-rays might confirm my suspicion but most of us will rely on the history and physical exam findings for the diagnosis.

Treatment is exercise restriction, antiinflammatory drugs - either steroids such as prednisone or nonsteroidal antiinflammatories such as carprofen or meloxicam, muscle relaxants such as diazepam or methocarbamol, and narcotic pain relief if necessary. Most dogs will remiss within 3-6 weeks although a few worsen in spite of our care. These are surgical cases, then. If paresis (weakness) or paralysis appears, surgery is contemplated.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

I'm going to check back with you in a few days for an update. Please feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

Please disregard the info request.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

many thanks for advice - will take her to the vets this morning but she is much improved this morning - head now up - have not attempted to pick her up to avoid further distress but as with a lot of small dogs she is a drama queen - she was left in car for 10 minutes before walking her and she does like to sit up on the parcels shelf at back or jumb from back to front seat and I am thinking that maybe she has landed/twisted badly as it does appear that resting her and not letting her play with toys etc she is improving with time but will get advice from our vets - many thanks for prompt reply

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
You're quite welcome.

Yes, our dogs don't always suffer from something with a big name. Sprains and strains can look like the more serious disk disease!

I'll speak to you soon.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

she is now back 100% so assume she just sprained or twisted badly and resting done the trick

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.

What a good update! Thank you for taking the time to do so.

 

You may receive an inappropriate follow up from the site ostensibly sent by me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.