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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 18130
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My dog a westie is 14 and for the past 2 days when he lies

Customer Question

My dog a westie is 14 and for the past 2 days when he lies down he keeps crying and barking like he's in pain it's not all the time but what would you suggest
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help with your concerns about Charlie. I am sorry to hear that he is vocalizing when he lies down every so often. This must be very distressing for both of you.

Did the paracetamol make any difference for him?
We do need to be careful administering that drug as it can be liver toxic for dogs.

Dogs vocalize for several reasons, but a sudden bark or vocalization is most likely to indicate either pain or fear.
In older dogs I would think of arthritic joints, back or neck pain first. I recommend watching him closely to try and identify what seems to trigger the screech. Is it when his back or front end is going down or does it seem to coincide with turning his neck. Doe he ever have trouble going up or down stairs or jumping? Those would all point toward some sort of pain reaction.

Does Rocky seem normal otherwise, eating and drinking and able to eliminate normally?
Other causes of pain can be abdominal pain due to pancreatitis or an abdominal mass, and those dogs are generally eating less then usual. It is possible that when he lies down he is putting uncomfortable pressure on his belly which leads to the bark/cry.
If he seems to cry out when passing urine or stool then he may have a urinary tract infection or calculi or anal gland inflammation or an infection or colitis.

Does Rocky seem at all mentally confused? Some dogs get senile as they age, that can lead to fear and confusion, and they may cry out because of that.

Since this crying out is a repeated problem for your fellow I would recommend that he see his veterinarian for an examination and possibly some diagnostic testing. It will help your veterinarian if you can try and associate his vocalizations with a particular action, time of day, and his behavior otherwise, including his appetite, water consumption and eliminations.

In the meantime in case this is pain related he should be closely confined starting now. No stairs, running or jumping. If you have a crate for him I highly recommend using it. The less he moves around the more comfortable he should be if this is pain related and the faster he will heal. He should go out on a leash to relieve himself. Do not use a collar for him, a harness which more evenly distributes forces if he pulls on his leash is better.
Make sure he is out of drafts and has a well padded bed to lie on.

If you believe that this is related to arthritis then long term for joint pain I do recommend using a combination of a glucosamine/chondroitin product (examples are Dasuquin or Cosequin) and an omega 3 fatty acid (like 3V Caps or Derm Caps). These work synergistically and improve cartilage health and joint fluid quality and quantity as well as reducing inflammation. They can take several weeks to see full improvement but some dogs do very well with them alone. They are available over the counter.

Another option is a product called Duralactin. This is an anti-inflammatory product derived from milk proteins and it also has omega 3 fatty acids incorporated into it which can be very helpful. See this link for further information:

Best of luck with Charlie, please let me know if you have any further questions.