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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2818
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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Our yorky is suffering what seems like spasms of pain when

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Our yorky is suffering what seems like spasms of pain when he yelps in distress for several seconds and we seem to be at a loss to help him. This is happening two or three times a day. He has had an operation to remove a small lypoma on his shoulder which we and our vet thought may be the cause 10 days ago, but these symptoms have not gone away. He is on pain killers for the op, but it was not a big op.so I am wondering if there is something else we should be considering?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Hello,I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about Mutley. I'm so sorry he's got you worried, but I'm glad you're looking for the information you need. The very first thing that comes to mind based on your description is that these might be seizures. I'd recommend trying to capture an episode on video and showing that to your vet. It can be really difficult to distinguish pain from seizure activity, particularly in some little dogs. If he is indeed having seizures, the step would be to perform basic blood tests to rule in/out some potential causes of seizures (unless this was already done before the surgery). I'm also a little worried that your vet thought the spasms of pain were being caused by a lipoma on shoulder. Small lipomas are harmless. Sorry to bring that up and perhaps confuse you further, but based on your description, that doesn't make any sense to me. You may join the conversation by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
There are also some different types of compulsive behaviors that will cause this type of vocalization and movement, sort of like a person with tics. If this was truly pain, I would expect Mutley to have other symptoms like lameness, difficulty with mobility, vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss, and others. Additionally, it would have improved while he was taking pain medication post-operatively. In short, I think it's highly unlikely this is pain. Does what I've said so far make sense? I want to be as helpful as possible. If you are satisfied with the information I've provided, please take a moment to ACCEPT my answer and rate my response to I can be compensated for speaking with you today. If you are not, please let me know how else I may be of assistance. Thank you for using our website.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I presume you will have had my last communication which I sent as you sent your second response to me. Yes your advice is making sense. The bot***** *****ne is my concern that there may be something brewing in his spine or brain.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, I've only received one reply...
"I presume you will have had my last communication which I sent as you sent your second response to me. Yes your advice is making sense. The bot***** *****ne is my concern that there may be something brewing in his spine or brain."
So I'm worried I missed an initial response of yours.
In regards ***** ***** worried that something is brewing in his spine or brain, yes, unfortunately, that is a possibility. There are many different things that can cause seizure activity, and the presence of a tumor (benign or malignant) is one.
The most common reason is idiopathic epilepsy, but most dogs with that start having seizures when they are much younger (around 3-4 years). Also, the frequency is not nearly as great as what you are experiencing.
Unfortunately it is very difficult to diagnose brain and spine lesions. The best way to do that is to get a referral to a specialty center where Mutley could have an MRI or CT scan performed. There are also some veterinary neurologists if you have access to one of those.
If Mutley were in my care, I'd definitely pursue this by seeing a specialist if at all possible. His case is very unusual.
I wish I had better news for you...
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