How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 59033
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 48 years of experience.
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Dr. Michael Salkin is online now

Yesterday my dog all of sudden starting really shaking and

This answer was rated:

Hi, yesterday my dog all of sudden starting really shaking and whimpering and didnt want to stand up on her legs and kept laying down. Today she is still acting different and her legs still seem to be a little weak when she walks. What could be the result of this? It all happened so suddenly and we have been monitoring her behaviour today but cant tell if somethings wrong or if she is pain
JA: Hi there. I'll do all I can to help. How has the dog's appetite been? Any changes in her stool?
Customer: She has been eating, but not been excited for her dinner like she usually is. She walks around it and gives it a good sniff before she tucks in, when usually she scoffs it down. Haven't noticed changes in her stool
JA: Could she have eaten something unusual?
Customer: I'm in the house with my dogs all day and are usually in the same room as them and i haven't noticed her eating anything weird. Although the sun has been out lately so theyve been outside sunbathing a lot, i dont know if maybe she picked up something from outside
JA: What's the dog's name and age?
Customer: Coco, shes 8
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know?
Customer: Her tail has also been hanging down, when its usually up. Shes also been very quiet, even though she tends to bark when the others bark and there is movement at the door, but she hasn't today

Dr. Michael Salkin is typing. Please be patient.

I"m sorry to hear about this with Coco. Which breed is she, please?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
She actually a mix of silky terrier, shih tzu, mini dachschund and a parson russell terrier, so very mixed breed

Thank you. While this must necessarily be conjecture because I can't examine Coco hands-on, degenerative/intervertebral disk disease (a "slipped disk") should be an important differential diagnosis in such a miniature dog. Supportive evidence of a disk may include vocalizing when approached or lifted, having trouble jumping up or down and navigating steps, ataxia (“drunken sailor”), trembling/shaking/panting (pain responses), a change in posture such as the neck held rigidly and head lower to the ground or a "hunch" in Coco's back, and a change in behavior - a normally social dog becoming aloof or, conversely, a normally aloof dog becoming "clingy". Constipation may arise due to pain upon positioning to defecate. Her vet will want to carefully palpate (feel) about Coco's spine looking for areas of hyperpathia (increased sensitivity) suggestive of a disk. Conservative care involves the use of a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam, a narcotic analgesic such as tramadol, and a skeletal muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol or diazepam. These drugs are usually administered for at least ten days. Most simple disks will remiss within a few weeks. It's important to keep these dogs as quiet as possible lest they hurt themselves further.

As for over the counter analgesia, caretakers are constrained to aspirin (Bayer, generics) dosed at 10 mg per pound of bodyweight with food at 12-hour intervals or acetaminophen (Tylenol, generics) which can be dosed at 7 mg per pound of bodyweight thrice daily but isn’t anti-inflammatory as is aspirin. You can give aspirin and acetaminophen concurrently which should provide better analgesia than either drug alone. When giving acetaminophen for longer than 5 consecutive days it's best to reduce the dose to 5 mg per pound of bodyweight twice daily. You must avoid the toxic ibuprofen and naproxen in dogs.

Should paresis (weakness) or paralysis arise in any limb(s), Coco would need the attention of her vet at your earliest convenience. Such dogs are then surgical candidates for spinal cord decompression. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thank you for the info. Would a slipped disk come on really suddenly? she was outside running around and playing with the other dogs and all of sudden began really shaking and whimpering and rolled over. It happened so suddenly. She looks very 'depressed' - im not really sure how else to explain it. Would it be wise to take her to the vet? or wait it out a couple of days to see if it improves?
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
she isnt in any pain when we pick her up or touch her, or doesn't vocalise in any way to suggest she is. She just looks like she is uncomfortable when she is standing up

Certainly. If I'm any example, I suddenly slipped a disc running up stairs and collapsed in a heap. You can see if conservative care is of value before entertaining a vet's attention. See the paragraph above beginning "As for over the counter analgesia..."

Please continue in this conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
ok thank you. i will continue to monitor her
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
shes a bit better than she was yesterday, but still a bit shaky on her legs. could that still be a slipped disk?


I can't set a follow up in this venue and so please return to our conversation with an update at your convenience.

Dr. Michael Salkin and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
ok thank you

You're quite welcome.