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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20171
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My dog Jet has issues at this time of year he starts getting

Customer Question

My dog Jet has issues at this time of year he starts getting jumpy, very difficult to touch, put on lead and screams at anything that he can. Jet has always been a timed dog since a pup even eating want eat out a bowl of the grass floor that it. Want eat out our hands we got to go to his level if it falls out our hands he will scream and run. The dog looks like he gets beaten and battered and we never put a hand on him. I don't know how much I can take of this as I am getting cross. I have spent a lot of money getting MRI all the rest and told nothing wrong for a 9 year old in April lab he is in good health, hips are fab for his age. We were told he had a back injury slip disc but we're told there was nothing wrong. Nany advice cause I'm end of teacher and might have to put him to sleep
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 4 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,

My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.

I am having difficulties understanding your post perhaps you were using a small device to post it.

As I understand it, the dog is 9 years old?
He has done this for the entire 9 years but only at specific times of the year?
During the rest of the year he allows you to touch him without screaming and running away?
Does he only eat out of your hand?
Is that all year round or only during these incidents?
On one had you state that he had (has) a back injury but then you said that they told you nothing was wrong? Was the MRI done on the spine or another area?
What breed is he?
Has he had any obedience training?
Do you use a neck collar or a harness on him?
Was a myelogram ever done?
What medications were used?
I do really need to no exactly what methods and medications were tried so that I do not waste time typing out things that you have already attempted.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Jet will be 9 in April. Know he started doing this a couple years ago we are not sure why or kicked it off. Jet is at his worse this time of year but can be like this most of the year just not as jumpy. No he does not like us touching him most times worse at min. No he eats on the grass and only takes the odd treat out of our hands and only if we are at his eye level. If the treat falls he yelps and want touch it with no incoragement at all. We were told he had a back injury and this was maybe the reason for his behaviour he had MRI last year and there nothing there all clear. Jet is a Labrador retriever and trained gun dog never done gun dog though as I would not allow it. Did 6 months training with a gun dog trainer when he was 1. If he is being awkward we put chest harness on but he has a slip collar lead on, never had a collar unless night collar and flashing. Trauma do land metacam. They not really working at minute. I think he lonely as we'll. Gaynor Good
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 4 years ago.



As I'm sure you know, this behavior is not normal. However, labs are prone to a condition called degenerative myelopathy which can also cause problems with the rear legs and paralyses. You can read about this here:

You can read about testing here:


Unfortunately, the site does not allow me to make clickable links, so to view the supporting websites, you will need to copy and paste the link into a new browser window or tab.

In a lot of cases there is no pain, but complications due to the condition can cause pain. They do have DNA testing available and it sounds like you have had other testing done (MRI) that would rule out other conditions. So the first thing I would do is go ahead and have a DNA test done to check for DM. Even though it is not totally accurate to rule out DM, it at least helps determine if it is indeed DM.

I would suggest a raised platform for the food and water bowls or even a water bottle much like guinea pigs use might be a good choice. This would allow him to eat and drink without having to lower his head. I would get a light weight harness for him and use that rather than any type of neck collar. If he has an issue in the cervical (neck) area of the spine, you do not want to have any undue pressure exerted on it including petting which might explain the dog not being open to touching.

I might also conside a CT scan or myelogram looking at the neck area. I really feel this is health based more than behavioral in nature and hope you investigate that avenue further.

I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Funny he does have a few of those issues but most of his pain is front and front left side of leg and knock. Does loose his footing and balance on back legs and trips if he runs round gets term our terrible down his back legs left leg worst. As for eating with head up he always had his food high up but it got dropped want do it we tried for a year. Everything else sounds about right. Not sure if they tested for that when they took spinal fluid last year I can't remember and can't put him through that again.
Gaynor Good
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 4 years ago.
DNA doesn't require any kind of invasive procedure. In many cases, only a cheek swab is necessary. That is where a small brush is used to collect cells from the inside of the cheek and put into a sterile envelope and mailed to the company providing the results. See that on the following page.

In fact, you can send the sample for testing yourself.