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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 2796
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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. I would like some advice on my dog as he seems unwell.

Resolved Question:

Hello. I would like some advice on my dog as he seems unwell. From this morning he has not been himself and won't climb the stairs. I tried to pick him up and he cries in pain. His stomach is rock hard and every now and again it des goes soft. He seem to like his tummy rubbed but it hurts if you press too hard. Can you help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Dr. Jo :

Hello,

Dr. Jo :

I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about Coco.

Dr. Jo :

I'm so sorry he isn't doing well, but glad you're looking for the information you need.

Dr. Jo :

You may join the conversation by typing in what you want to say, then clicking REPLY. That way we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided.

Dr. Jo :

Can you please tell me what kind of dog Coco is and how long you've had him?

Dr. Jo :

Also, has he been vomiting?

Dr. Jo :

While I await your reply, I'll offer the following...

Dr. Jo :

Two things come to mind when I read through the description you've provided: back pain and belly pain.

Dr. Jo :

I'm worried Coco may be experiencing something as serious as a slipped disc.

Dr. Jo :

It's important to not let him run around or jump or down off of anything if this is the case.

Dr. Jo :

Some dogs are more sensitive to pain than others, but I'd be inclined to take his symptoms very seriously.

Dr. Jo :

Until you can get him to the vet, please do the following:

Dr. Jo :

-Minimize all activity. If he were a person I would advise confining him to bed.

Dr. Jo :

-Keep food and water within easy reach for him.

Dr. Jo :

-Monitor for vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, lameness, or appetite loss. Your vet will want to know if any of these things are present.

Dr. Jo :

-Avoid the temptation to give any over-the-counter or home remedies, even aspirin for pain. These can be unsafe and make things worse.

Dr. Jo :

I see you are standing by...

Dr. Jo :

Does what I've said so far help?

Dr. Jo :

Just type in what you want to say then click REPLY.

Dr. Jo :

I want to be as helpful as possible, but need some feedback from you to continue.

Dr. Jo :

Some types of diseases or injuries are more or less likely depending on what kind of dog Coco is.

Dr. Jo :

I would like to discuss this with you further, but can't really narrow it down any more than this based on the information you've provided so far.

Dr. Jo :

If Coco were my patient, I would want to see him as soon as possible, even if that meant on an emergency basis outside of regular office hours. I'd start with a thorough physical examination including some neurologic tests to check his reflexes and evaluate for the possibility of a ruptured disc.

Dr. Jo :

He may need x-rays as well, or blood tests to find out what the problem is.

Dr. Jo :

Then he can be given the appropriate treatment.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Please remember I am here for you and am happy to discuss this with you until you are satisfied with the information I've provided.
You may return to this page at any time to review the information and/or post more at no additional charge to you. I will be notified of your response via email and will do my best to help.
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If you are not, please let me know how else I may be of assistance.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Dr Jo. Coco is a Dachsund and I have had him since nine weeks. His stomach seems to be causing him massive pain as it is not soft and does not go in under his ribs like before its all solid and really hard. Sometimes you can here little noises coming from his behind but not often. He is still eating and drinking fine it just seems very uncomfortable for him because it is so hard. He can walk fine just touching his stomach hurts.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply. I'm sorry I was not online before, but I will do my best to help now.
Even though his stomach feels really hard, I'm still worried about the possibility of this being a slipped disc or back pain. I say that because back problems are really common in dachshunds. Additionally, if the problem really were with his stomach, it's very unlikely he would still be eating and drinking just fine.
Dachshunds will tense up their bellies when they have back pain, especially when touched anywhere near the sore area.
Please check to see if Coco tenses up and holds his breath when you apply gentle pressure along his backbone. If she does not, then back pain is not likely part of the problem.
Another thing to check is called proprioception. Check this by gently flipping over Coco's feet while he is standing up so he is standing on the knuckles of that foot. A failure to flip the foot back over so he is standing on it properly is an indicator of a serious back problem. You can watch a video on how to evaluate Coco's postural reactions here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VR4lpMdvjvw
Additionally, a dog with back pain as the cause of his tense belly should be reluctant to jump up on things, or go up or down stairs.
If all of these things are normal on Coco, then it is unlikely he is acting this way due to back pain.
Dachshunds can also suffer from various forms of bloat, but as I said above, I would expect him to either vomit, try to vomit (have the dry heaves), or not be interested in eating or drinking. Please let me know if you see any of those signs developing. Also watch for diarrhea.
You indicated he seems to like having his tummy rubbed. When doing this, it is best to do it in a clockwise direction on him. That will move things along in the direction of digestion.
If this isn't back pain, or a stomach problem, it's also possible that it's a problem with something else in his belly. You could be feeling an enlarged spleen or liver, or the accumulation of fluid in his abdomen. All of these things are also serious and warrant a trip to the veterinarian, even though he is currently eating and drinking just fine. You'll want to catch a problem like this sooner rather than later.
Again, even with the new information you provided, my number one concern for Coco is that this is back pain. Back problems in dachshunds are common and very serious and can rapidly lead to permanent paralysis, therefore early medical care is very important.
I'd still advise having him seen by a vet as soon as possible, and do the best you can to minimize his activity (especially any running, jumping, or stairs) in the meantime.
I hope this information is helpful to you. Please let me know how else I may be of assistance. I want to be as helpful as possible.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply. I felt along his spine like you said and pressed along it and that didn't seem to bother him . I flicked his paws over like you said and they flicked back. I had him a minute ago in my lap lying down and his stomach was flat and I was rubbing it and pushing at the same time and that didn't bother him then I touched just down the side between his ribs and leg and that was where it is really painful and he tenses and cries and even snaps if you touch it. I will ring my vets tomorrow as it is causing him a lot of pain

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for doing such a good job to check Coco over as instructed. It is a huge relief to know that he is not showing any of these other signs of spinal pain or a slipped disc.
Gentle clockwise massage will help stimulate digestion and the moving along of any gas or other ingesta that could be causing this belly pain.
It also bears mentioning that dogs do not get appendicitis, in case you were worried about the possibility of that based on Coco's belly pain.
I'm relieved to hear you'll be taking him to the vet in the morning if he is still having trouble. That way you'll be able to find out for certain what the problem is and what needs to be done about it. I'll be here if you have any questions after visiting the vet.
Meanwhile, I'll keep my fingers crossed that his pain subsides overnight. I hope both you and he have a restful night.
Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Just checking in to see how things are going with Coco. I've been wondering how his night was and hoping he's improved this morning.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Dr Jo. Just to let you know Coco was okay during the night as long as I didn't touch him. He got worse today and was in a lot of pain and started panting a lot and not able to get comfortable. We took him to the vet who checked his back and that was okay but said his stomach was tight and causing him a lot of pain. His temperature was also okay. He has kept him in and will give pain relief first and then an enema. He said he will also do an ultrasound and X ray of his stomach and may have to anaesthetise him if there is anything in there so they can have a look. Thank you for you help. Susan.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
I'm glad to hear Coco was okay during the night. I was worried he might have a very difficult night. I'm sure you hated to see him get worse during the day, but I'm glad he's in the care of the vet now.
I'll keep my fingers crossed for a speedy recovery.
Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any additional questions. I'm here to help.
If you are ready to leave the chat, please remember to rate my response as this is the only way I am compensated for my time. Doing so will NOT, however, close the question and you will still be able to post more. I'll be notified via email.
Thank you again.
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 2796
Experience: DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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