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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, this is my first time on a forum so I don't know if this is the right place to voice my concerns. I have an eight year old Jack-russel terrier named Tuck. He normally loves to play and be near me but the past couple of days he seems to want nothing to do with me. I do not ever hit my dogs or yell at them so there would be no reason for him to be afraid of me. I took him to the vet because I thought that he might be having problems with his ears as he was scratching them and he licks his paws. The vet checked him out and said that everything seemed to be fine. When I pick him up or touch him he retreats and starts to shiver. I have tried looking around the house to see if something is scaring him but I cant seem to find anything. He is also not as playful as he used to be. I have scoured the internet trying to see if there is something that I missed. I applied light but firm pressure to his body to see if he has any pain.... he did not yelp or moan in any way. He eats his dinner and drinks water. He is still excited to go outside and on car rides. My cousin held him last week and said he yelped once when she hugged him but he has not done it since. I am just don't know where to look any more. I want my baby to be himself again.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I'd get a second opinion. He sounds like he's in pain from something.
 

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Did the vet do any blood tests, stool samples, urine samples, any of that? Scratching ears and licking paws is typical of an allergy to something. Have you discussed that with your vet? I would probably get a second opinion if the first vet doesn't find anything.

If you completely rule out medical, it may just be something that happened, a simple accident, and it may go away on its own. My dog was afraid of our yard for a while, and I still don't know why...
 

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Update.. i ended up taking him to the vet again. They looked at his back, legs, neck and organs and could not find anything. But she did discover a spasm in his back muscles. I think his that might have been the problem. So he got a shot for that and some inflamation tablets. He was acting like his old self again when we got home. But if the problem still persists by thursday he will be seeing vet number 3.

Thanks for the reply?s though. I really appreciate it.
 

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Update.. i ended up taking him to the vet again. They looked at his back, legs, neck and organs and could not find anything. But she did discover a spasm in his back muscles. I think his that might have been the problem. So he got a shot for that and some inflamation tablets. He was acting like his old self again when we got home. But if the problem still persists by thursday he will be seeing vet number 3.

Thanks for the reply?s though. I really appreciate it.
I know that muscle spasms certainly make ME want to snap at people (literally and figuratively). You might want to see if you can get a referral to a rehab specialist, to work on exercises to help prevent more problems in the future.
 

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Update.. i ended up taking him to the vet again. They looked at his back, legs, neck and organs and could not find anything. But she did discover a spasm in his back muscles. I think his that might have been the problem. So he got a shot for that and some inflamation tablets. He was acting like his old self again when we got home. But if the problem still persists by thursday he will be seeing vet number 3.

Thanks for the reply?s though. I really appreciate it.
An option to consider would be a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. A CVA is a Dr. of Vet Medicine first with that additional training. I have several friends whose dogs have gone from nearly immobile to enjoying walks, including a 12ish year old Doxie (a breed known for back troubles) and a Great Pyr with 2 knee surgeries.

If you think long term low dose or "as needed" painkillers might be the right choice, I'd do a complete blood panel now and then each year after to monitor organ function. For a small dog, 8 is on the lowish side of "senior" but many vets figure around 6 years old at the age to do blood tests before giving anesthetics or long term painkiller use.
 

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I know that muscle spasms certainly make ME want to snap at people (literally and figuratively). You might want to see if you can get a referral to a rehab specialist, to work on exercises to help prevent more problems in the future.
I second seeing a rehab specialist, although you might want to call around. In my area, at least, they don't require a formal referral (although ours did request that we have Snowball's records sent over before our appointment). I'm so glad that we went - not only did she identify a problem that our vet had missed, but she was also able to give us exercises to help him strengthen problem areas. It is also common for untreated problems to cause issues elsewhere as they try to compensate for the reduced or changed use of limbs or body parts or whatever. Snowball's previously undiagnosed problem was starting to cause abnormal tightness in his back.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I live in south Africa in a very small town I don't even know if we have rehab specialist.. but I will sure find out. I know all about the dachshund back problems. I rescued one about six years ago from the streets and we went to a vet to take x-rays for his back to check if he had any problems as we did not know his history. They took x-rays yesterday of Tucks back as well to see if he got hurt on one of our walks or playing with his brothers. Everything is fine with his bones. They will do more extensive blood panels tomorrow to just to be sure we did not miss anything. I would never put my dog on a long time pain killer if it is not absolutely needed as I cant think it is a very healthy option for him at his age. Tuck was also a rescue but I got him when he was 11 weeks old. The guy I got him from wanted to have him put down because he was the runt and not doing well so I took him. He has been in perfect health ever since I got him. What troubled me most was he was not snappy towards me he just wants to avoid my touch and picking him up, which he has never done. He is not a lap dog per say but he would never cower away from me like that.

But lets hope that the pills he got solves the problem. otherwise I will be seeing another vet to see if there is something that they missed.
 

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Being in constant pain is also not particularly "healthy" - especially for an older dog who may already be not particularly active.
 

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Being in constant pain is also not particularly "healthy" - especially for an older dog who may already be not particularly active.
Exactly.

Remember that some pain killers like anti-inflammatory meds don't just work to block or dull the pain but to treat the underlying cause of it if inflammation or such is the cause.

My male dog Chester has been on "as needed" NSAIDs for arthritis for about 2 years now. He takes a low dose when I notice him getting stiff due to over-exercise or cold/damp weather and takes that for a couple days and then might go a few weeks without it. Blood work shows no problems and he is many times more comfortable taking the pills as needed than suffering stoically. He plays, he romps (to the point that I want to slow him down!) and gets up and down off the floor or furniture more easily etc.
 

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As I said if it is not needed........ I just want them to be absolutely sure of what the problem is! I just want to be 100% sure that this is the problem and there is not something else that could be worsened by taking pain killers etc. he will be going in today for more extensive blood work.

I only want the best for him as I do for all my animals. my oldest dog recently passed away and he was 18 years old so I know all about having them on low dose arthritis medication.

He is still a very active dog. loves to play ball and go on walks and run.

thank you all for the replies and care. I do appreciate it a lot.
 

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As I said if it is not needed........ I just want them to be absolutely sure of what the problem is! I just want to be 100% sure that this is the problem and there is not something else that could be worsened by taking pain killers etc. he will be going in today for more extensive blood work.

I only want the best for him as I do for all my animals. my oldest dog recently passed away and he was 18 years old so I know all about having them on low dose arthritis medication.

He is still a very active dog. loves to play ball and go on walks and run.

thank you all for the replies and care. I do appreciate it a lot.
Check with your vet, but as far as I know there are very few conditions that are made worse by low doses of pain killers. Liver problems, which would show up on bloodwork, and GI issues which would also be pretty obvious, are two. But to be honest, if your dog is in pain NOW, you should be aiming to alleviate it - regardless of whether you know the cause or not.
 

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I have been giving it to him!!! He still gets the shivers though! We are waiting for the bloodwork to come back. And they only gave him 3 pills so thats till Friday. He will be going back tomorrow
 

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I have been giving it to him!!! He still gets the shivers though! We are waiting for the bloodwork to come back. And they only gave him 3 pills so thats till Friday. He will be going back tomorrow
I don't think either of us meant that you were not giving the currently prescribed painkillers. Just that you should not overlook the potential benefits of future/on-going low dose use for fear of some minor risk of side-effects. Quality of life is important after all.

You might have different brand names of pain meds and of course different availability, but definitely talk to the vet about various options. If they only gave him 3 pills, that makes me guess that the current meds are something like Tramadol which is an opioid so that means both pretty strong and a controlled substance. Or something along those lines. All the dogs that I have given that too showed digestive upset after about 3 days (it was given after surgeries like spay or eye surgery etc).

There are non-opioid options that are easier to purchase larger amounts of because they can't be abused by humans and also are more suitable to a small dose each day. NSAIDs like Rimadyl, Previcox, and Deramaxx (and even though they are in the same class of drugs, dogs may respond differently to each-- Chester has no side effects on Deramaxx but has digestive issues on Previcox). There are steroidal meds like Prednisone which are more often for short term use.

Basically, go over what your options are with your vet for your dog, your location and your budget since the arthritis medication your older dog was on might not be anything like what your vet would recommend currently for this dog.
 

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I don't think either of us meant that you were not giving the currently prescribed painkillers. Just that you should not overlook the potential benefits of future/on-going low dose use for fear of some minor risk of side-effects. Quality of life is important after all.
Yes, this!
 
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