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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

3 weeks ago, we replaced the carpet w/ hardwood floors in our house. We've got some temporary (took from bathrooms) rugs in the den, office and bedroom so that our dogs don't hurt themselves running.

One afternoon, 2 weeks ago our Bess- 10 yr old Maltese- started showing symptoms of pain:

  • Shaking
  • Arched back
  • Whimpering and not being herself
  • Constant paw licking (actually has been going on for 5 weeks- before new floors)
  • Wouldn't sit on her butt like she does usually
  • Wouldn't put pressure on her front leg
I took her to the vet and they felt her spine and tested her flexibility and couldn't figure out what was up.

Her breath seems worse too- if that could actually happen. Her breath has been brutal for the last 2 years. I asked the vet what we could do, and she said that regular teeth cleanings is about all you can do.

She was prescribed Prednisone and a pain killer. We gave her the Prednisone as directed, but only gave her a pain killer 1 or 2 times.

Everything seemed fine until this afternoon when she showed the symptoms above again.

She cried and seems like she can't sit down.

We're concerned that this maybe something else than a bone.

Any ideas????
 

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I would have xrays done right away. As for her breath, I adopted a nine year old who has bad teeth and at the time bad breath. I started using Leba III. Prior to having her teeth clean her breath cleared up.
 

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Wish I could help. My only thoughts were possible arthritis/slipped disk. Pancreatitis (that was my bichons problem when she was stiff and arching her back) vet initially thought bad back. The floor cleaner used?? allergies?

Sorry those are my only guesses. I think a repeat visit to vet is in order though. I don't see any point in giving pain meds if you don't know what the pain is.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Silverhaven- the vet too wondered if it was a slipped disc and checked each vertebrae (with her hands) and concluded it wasn't that.
 

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If the vet does not know what is wrong, why are they giving Prednisone to suppress the immune system? That doesn't make sense to me. If it were my dog, I would take her to an internist and get some x rays asap. Bad breath is often a symptom of digestion issues. The other symptoms certainly point to pain, and if it were me, I'd find out what is causing it asap. Masking the symptoms is a temporary fix.
 

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I would get another opinion too. If there's that much pain and at that age you want to get things taken care of ASAP. Any chance of anal gland problems with the non-sitting issue?
 

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Pancreas maybe,kidney stone? I hope they find out what's wrong quickly,poor little one. Those golden years can be tough,we want them to be as gold as they can be.
Keep us posted!
 

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Silverhaven- the vet too wondered if it was a slipped disc and checked each vertebrae (with her hands) and concluded it wasn't that.
Then I would be concerned about pancreatitis :( the emergency vet thought back problems and did the exact same thing, then she was ok for a couple of weeks then the same happened again. Bloodwork said pancreas. That would prob. explain bad breath due to tummy issues too. That is an emergency situation, so I would def. go back to a vet. My Sophie got it, and got over it on three occasions, on the worst she had to go in for iv fluids. Could your dog have eaten anything it shouldn't, particularly like raisins or something? or something very fatty?

Anyway I would just go back to a vet. More investigation is needed.
 

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When they x-rayed Amber to check for bladder stones ,it showed she was getting arthritis in her spine.just starting but it was coming. If there's more than one issue going on,it'll show.

When Amy had pancreatitis,she'd walk hunched too. They gave her meds to kickstart the pancreas and it worked. She had to take them a couple times,but it gave her pancreas ,just the right noodge,it worked for a long time,until she got to be 15,then it was just too much for her...

10 is still young enough for it to work so hold hope!
Hugs,Michelle
 

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Let us know how it goes! It still sounds to me like a worsening situation with a herniated disc as that would explain all of the symptoms (except for the bad breath, which could very well be unrelated). We get herniated discs a fair bit in my family (usually involving great pain, sometimes a numb foot, and sometimes requiring surgery). Perhaps she injured herself further when the new floors were installed by jumping off furniture like normal but landing harder than she's used to?

As others pointed out, there could be a myriad of other reasons for her symptoms. However, a herniated disc covers all of her symptoms and I'm guessing it's more difficult to diagnose in a dog since she cannot answer the vet's questions and MRIs are probably not feasible. I do know that x-rays often provide inconclusive results for this purpose.

And I'm just guessing, but perhaps prednisone was prescribed due to the likelihood of inflammation from an injury or herniated disc. It just seems like a reasonable medication given the circumstances as it does have anti-inflammatory properties.

Poor baby... hope you get some answers today and I hope she's still eating well despite the pain.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry for the delay, here's what the vet said-


  • They took an xray and couldn't see any disc/spine issues. But then again the Dr said she was moving a lot which makes reading the xray harder.
  • After blood work, vet said 2 liver enzymes were elevated, but he said this could be due to the Prednisone. He also said her levels were high the last time they checked in 2009.
  • Regarding her breath- he said "her gums are very, very inflamed" and she has gingivitis. We just had her teeth cleaned in Feb 2010. He thinks this is a separate issue.
  • He did notice that when he checked her flexibility that she whelped when he moved her shoulders. He said that the shoulder joints may be the problem.
  • He gave her a shot of Convenia (antibiotic) and prescribed Tramadol (pain).
The vet couldn't pinpoint what is wrong. She's still not feeling well this morning. She likes to crawl under the bed when she's not feeling well and last night she did the same. The problem is- she couldn't get out under from the bed and yelped when we pulled her out.

Poor girl hasn't eaten breakfast today... and she's an eater. I mean an eater.

The vet said for us to call back in 48hrs if she's not feeling any better. I asked them what the next step is if she's no better. He can refer her to a specialist who can run some tests and even an MRI... but we'll cross that bridge when we have to.


Thanks for all the suggestions and advice.
 

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so sorry :( poor thing

I would see an orthopedic to get really good xrays and is part of a specialty hospital with an internal medicine specialist and neurologist so they can all work together to get to the bottom of this.

this seems more spinal to me especially with the leg being affected - could be top part of spine affected since front leg.

If it were pancreatitis your dog would be vomitting mostly and tossing and turning and in pain as well but I did not see that you said any vomitting or diarrhea going on.

Not wanting to sit down could be anal glands so if they are not swollen on both sides of anus probably not that

The specialists sometimes have better xray machines that are digital so did you get your xrays on a cd if not then it was probably the older xray which is still good just not as good as digital which sees things better on a small dog.

If it was kidney the bun and creatinine would be off on blood work in most cases or show up in urine so did they do a urinalysis?

Liver enzymes can definitely be off with medication so if just sligthly high probably not that

I hope your baby is feeling better soon and you can get to the bottom of it

here is some info on back pain

Neck and Back Pain in Dogs

your vet gave tramadol with steroid bc tramadol is for pain relief but does not have an anti-inflammatory and gave steroids for anti-inflammatory and those two are safe to be given together. I was concerned until your last post of vet mixing nsaid with steroid so glad it was tramadol. Sounds like you have a good vet since they did the tramadol with steroids but since your dog is still having pain with this I would do further investigation as this should be controlling the pain :( You can mix nsaid and tramadol for extra pain relief but many vets try to avoid nsaids if they can which sounds like your vet did this. Nsaids should not be given to dogs with ibd or digestive issues or dogs on steroids so does your dog have digestive issues?

when things are not picked up on blood work it is usually orthopedic or neurological related as most other things will come out in the blood work.

sorry I keep thinking of things - you said your vet said the liver enzymes were elevated on prior blood work - was your dog on meds then and was your dog bile acid tested for this? I doubt it is of concern due to age but this could be another reason vet did not prescribe nsaid due to liver values being off as vets do not usually like to give nsaids to dogs with liver issues as that drug affects the liver and kidneys and dogs on nsaids have to be monitored closely if given long term to make sure it does not affect the liver and kidneys.
 
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