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Hello,

I have a VERY active 9.5 year old Chihuahua / Pomeranian mix which
looks like a black Schipperke. About three months ago, he (Scrappy)
had trouble getting up on his hind legs to fetch his cookie out of my
hand. He was perfectly fine the night before when I went to bed.
From that point on, things have just gotten progressively worse.
After about a week, and more trouble jumping and getting on hind legs,
I took him to my vet. He passed the physical exam and routine blood
tests (also tested for Tick disease). The doctor started him on doxy
for 10 days even though the test came back negative, just in case. He
then tried robaxin and tramadol as things got worse to help ease the
pain in hopes things would get better . They appeared to help but
when off the meds he was still unable to jump on the couch and his
back legs were still weak. I then noticed he yelped when yawning and
chewing his dental bone (may have been the case early on and I didn't
notice) and a sudden wheezing sound when he breaths through his nose
(primarily at night when he has his head down). Also, his oral exam
checked out okay, his x-rays look perfect, and there is not evidence
of a recessed bulbar abscess. He appears to be strong in his front
legs, neck region, and doesn't show any signs of posture change. From
my observation, it seems like he gets worse when laying for a long
time but once he gets moving he is okay. If he has an active day
(walking around the yard, exploring, nothing too physical), it appears
that he is in more pain at night.

Well, three months later, and several other blood tests and more
physical exams but no progress. He doesn't appear to be in as much
pain but still yelps when trying to get up and if he yawns (though, he
has modified his yawn to ease the pain). I am taking him for an
Addison's test on Tuesday and then they want to send him for an MRI.
My question is, is an MRI warranted? I injured myself and am out of
work so the expense is a factor unfortunately. What else can this be
or what else should I be looking for?

Thanks!!
 

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Not a vet here, but here are my thoughts on the leg issue:

At his age, the trouble with the legs could be arthritis of some kind. Especially if you say it is when he gets up. It could also be an ACL issue. Is he putting weight on his back legs evenly? Did the vet mention either of these as a possibility at all?

I would ask the vet about arthitis and/or ACL before going to the MRI.

And as far as the yawning thing, it is possible that he has a tooth problem and it is hurting him. Is he eating normally?
 
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