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I am watching my parents dog while they are away on vacation, his name is Chico ( named after the dog in the movie Friday After Next ) , and he has been having what looks to be muscle spasms, when he was first dropped off things were ok, he was playful, happy and loved to eat!

He is a Chi mix with another breed , and lately within the past week he has been sick, he looks like he doesnt want to move, and sometimes he breaks out in squealing and honking for no reason at all


He has no broken bones to my knowledge , the reason why i know this is because when he feels good he runs after our cats and he barks at them and he does this without any evidence of pain.

But then a day later he is back to moping around and having his " seizures " , where he looks to be in pain!


One night he was sleeping with me and he broke out in the middle of the night squealing and honking , and since he was laying on my arm i could feel his neck tightening up.

We took him to the vet and they prescribed him pain killers, anti inflammatory, and a steroid.

They said give him the medication and wait for up to 2 weeks to see how he reacts .


It has been about a week now and he has only felt good enough to play and run for maybe 2 days out of the past week.

He was born in 2001 and is an older dog, we took a video of him when he was honking, it was really brief but this is what he does but on a much longer scale ..


sometimes he goes on and on and i feel like the neighbors are going to call the cops or something ...

I told my parents what is happening and if he has ever acted this way and they said NO


If anyone has any ideas please feel free to post it here , we are getting desperate !

We need help since we feel really bad seeing him this way !!
 

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Bless his heart! It definitely appears that he is in pain and he seems to anticipate the pain when you move him or touch him? The vet didnt say anything? What dog food does he eat? Has their been a change in any food intake while your parents have been gone? If so then maybe Pancreatitis? Can you push into his tummy without him crying? If you push into his tummy where it gets narrow, right beside his penis and he looks down when you do this or cries out then it could be Pancreatitis. Has he chewed up any toys? Got a hold of a bone or could have ingested anything as such? If so then a possible obstruction? They will tense up sometimes when they have the above issues. What did the Vet say? Did he have any ideas?
 

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Did the vet do an x-ray? If there is something internal, it may show up in an x-ray. Also, if the vet feels it is muscular, could it be lyme disease? When my cockapoo had it, I didn't know it. He would get very yippy and growl if I moved him and didn't want to get picked up. After the vet treated him with medication, he got totally better and he was around the same age or older.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I appreciate the responses , the vet felt an xray wasnt necessary since he did a thorough exam on his heart, his temperature , and the rest of his vital signs.

The vet said it may be due to an inflamed disk in his spinal cord causing him to erupt in spasms, he determined this because when he examined his neck he noticed a little swelling .

So we took the vets advice since he is qualified to make that determination. He also said a 2 week period of taking his medication as prescribed should do the trick and he should be better .

I don't want to question the vets expertise but i don't see how that is possible since Chico has only felt better for 2 days of the past 6.

And he is almost out of medicine. I feel really bad when he goes into his seizures , i feel helpless.

One thing i have noticed when he goes into his spasms if me or my wife massage him on his neck he calms down, i don' know if it's because it soothes him or if that actually helps him to feel better.


@ Yoshismon- we have been feeding him the same dog food he has been eating all along, my mom stores it in a tub with a lid so i cant say what kind of dog food it is.

The one thing i know for sure is he is allergic to chicken, anything with chicken in it will cause him to shed bad, i mean shed like his fur falls off, but other than that he has no other allergic reactions. And since we have cats that love to eat chicken i think it is possible he might have gotten into their food bowl.

We have since removed the cats food bowl from the floor and moved it up higher. I also have not tried to push in his stomach, i can't remember the vet doing that to him, i do know he did some exams and determined his neck muscles were stiff possibly due to spinal cord issues . Also i would think if he ingested something or ate something and was feeling crappy, he wouldn't have been able to run and jump for the day.

Normally when they ingest something they will feel like crap and not want to move at all.


I am running out of ideas but will try anything at this point to make his crying go away.
 

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Normally when they ingest something they will feel like crap and not want to move at all.

Not necessarily true. When my Dane had an obstruction at first he was fine for the most part but would tense up at times. I have seen them tense up and look like they are spasming from gas pain as well as pancreatitis.

I agree that if the vet did not do a xray, that may be a good idea. Did he check for a UTI? I know some of the suggestions I am throwing out there are a bit odd but with it coming on suddenly like you said just makes me wonder? Also dogs are notorious for hiding pain and when they are in pain that act differently so you never really know what they are thinking....sad they cant tell us :-( The neck swelling is throwing me off a bit though.

We have some very knowledgeable members here so hopefully some more will chime in soon ;-)

I hope it is nothing serious.
 

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I would call the vet office and let them know that he is not showing any signs of getting better. I know you may feel like a pest, if you call, but this is like having a child, and you feel even more helpless because you cannot comfort them. Besides, the vet may have been expecting more results by now, even though he said two weeks! I don't know where you live, but we are coming up on a long weekend and your vet may not be available after today until Tuesday.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you ! I pray he gets better i didnt want to tell my mom but i felt she needed to kn ow , you know in case he takes a turn for the worse ( i really hope not ) . She said she felt bad after seeing the video of him in pain like that.

It is possible he has a pinched nerve somewhere in his neck or spine , but what i dont understand is the way he will feel better one day and wag his tail and bark and play and jump as if nothing hurts, then the next day he is back at it again???

Thats what is throwing me completely off . Also when he eats he wants to eat on the ground on his stomach, not sure if the spasms are causing him to do that but i never noticed that before, he used to walk up to his food bowl and dip his mouth into it and now he wants to lay on his stomach while he eats.

My guess is maybe it hurts him to lean his head down???

I dont know but i am getting desperate for a solution to his problem.

I am uploading other videos to youtube so i can show what he typically looks like laying down and moping ....

I really hope he gets better
 

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I would call the vet office and let them know that he is not showing any signs of getting better. I know you may feel like a pest, if you call, but this is like having a child, and you feel even more helpless because you cannot comfort them. Besides, the vet may have been expecting more results by now, even though he said two weeks! I don't know where you live, but we are coming up on a long weekend and your vet may not be available after today until Tuesday.


yeah im gonna be calling the vet and see what he says , at the least i would like to get him some more medication because he is running out of Tremadol ( sp? ) the pain killer prescribed to him .

It looks like when he takes it he is able to relax and not go into his spasms as often.

The first day he went spasming he would go on and on , but since being on the medication twice daily he doesn't honk and squeal as often
 

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He definitely needs an x-ray. It looks to be back pain to me. If your vet doesn't think it's necessary, find another vet. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for a dog to be in that sort of pain. He needs a complete workup with bloodwork, x-rays, etc. to figure this out. Just medicating him and sending him home is negligent.

He is also seriously overweight, so once he starts feeling better - I'd definitely get him on a weight loss plan! He will be healthier for it. All that extra weight is stressing his joints and making his back problems much much worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah we will be calling the vet at lunch to see what else can be done . I agree he should not be in that much pain and possibly due to the vet maybe not wanting to or doesnt feel the need for an xray...i feel really bad for the little guy , he is normally a playful dog and is very loving so to see him that way breaks my heart!

My parents leave his food bowl out instead of regulating it, and since he cries for them to feed him ( he loves to eat ) they just give in, they are weak and they give him what he wants. If it were up to me i would get him the good dog food , and feed him 3 times a day. But since i am only watching him for them i can only do what i can do right now.

Here is another video i took , it's typically what he does and how he acts right befoe a spasm episode ...you can see he looks agitated and uncomfortable .



When he gets up and puts weight on his right shoulder , it looks like it hurts, but i can tell he doesn't react to that shoulder at all when he feels good.
Last wednesday he was feeling great , and we played with him and rolled around on the ground with him and he didn't even flinch.

But when he has his spasms it's like his body hurts.

Is it possible that when he has those spasms it causes him to scream as if in pain? I wish he could talk to say where it hurts, it wold make things so much easier.

When the vet finds a solution i will post in case any other Chi owner ever sees this type of behavior .

I appreciate everyones help
 

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When I worked for a veterinary neurologist we saw many dogs that looked almost exactly like that with those same symptoms that had disc issues, anything from bulging discs to ruptured ones. The spasms are very painful and are probably what are making him scream. I've seen and heard it a lot.

I would get him to a vet that does neurology, get x-rays done and see what they say. If it's a neck or back problem he shouldn't be allowed to do any jumping (on the furniture or anything) and no leashes attached to his collar. Ideally he should be confined so that he moves around as little as possible.

I hope he feels better soon! It's awful to see them in such pain and feel so helpless.
 

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When I worked for a veterinary neurologist we saw many dogs that looked almost exactly like that with those same symptoms that had disc issues, anything from bulging discs to ruptured ones. The spasms are very painful and are probably what are making him scream. I've seen and heard it a lot.

I would get him to a vet that does neurology, get x-rays done and see what they say. If it's a neck or back problem he shouldn't be allowed to do any jumping (on the furniture or anything) and no leashes attached to his collar. Ideally he should be confined so that he moves around as little as possible.

I hope he feels better soon! It's awful to see them in such pain and feel so helpless.

Yes this is what the vet said!!! You got it right on the money !


I wonder why he opted to not take an xray though?? Is it possible that maybe he has see this type of behavior so often he already knows what it is based on a physical exam??

He did say he has seen this before and like i said he has felt better after being on his medication for a couple of days. If he does have an inflamed spinal disc what could cause that ?

Is it just from having a slipped disc?
 

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The pain can be from the disc bulging out of it's space between the vertebrae and pressing on nerves. The disc problem can be caused by an injury from jumping off a couch or something, other trauma, etc. Being overweight is also a primary cause. Getting some weight off of him is not just a good idea but necessary at this point.

I'm not sure why he didn't do an x-ray, I would insist if it was my dog but that is up to you.

What meds is he on?
 

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The pain can be from the disc bulging out of it's space between the vertebrae and pressing on nerves. The disc problem can be caused by an injury from jumping off a couch or something, other trauma, etc. Being overweight is also a primary cause. Getting some weight off of him is not just a good idea but necessary at this point.

I'm not sure why he didn't do an x-ray, I would insist if it was my dog but that is up to you.

What meds is he on?
Well i just got back to work, i went and dropped him off at the vet and she explained to me that if his disc has moved out of place or is inflamed, any type of exercise will aggravate it and will cause it to become inflamed again.

They are going to be reexamining him and i insisted they take an xray if nothing else for peace of mind .

I will be returning to the vets after work hopefully with some good news.

He is/was currently on Tramadol 50mg for pain ( 1/2 tablet by mouth every 8-12 hours as needed for pain )
Methocarbamol 500mg 1/4 tablet every 12 hours , Prednisone 5mg 1/2 tablet 2x/day for 3 days , then 1/2 tablet 1x day 3 days , then 1/4 tablet once daily for 3 days



I hope its nothing more serious than an inflamed disc, because with meds he should be able to get back to normal and then we can get him a diet plan to lose weight, i will have to talk to my parents and tell them why it is a good idea to not give him everything he wants, i mean i know they love him and mean well but it isn't healthy for him to be overweight.

Especially since they are known to have joint issues


Got my fingers crossed
 

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That med regimen is pretty much exactly what we use in the cases of non-surgical back and neck issues. I'll be crossing my fingers that the x-rays don't show anything too bad and that with plenty of rest he will bounce back from this.

Glad you will be able to talk to your parents about it too. Make sure you show them the videos of him screaming in pain, that might really drive home the point that he must lose weight because it is really hurting him. It would be hard to deny it after seeing the video.
 

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That med regimen is pretty much exactly what we use in the cases of non-surgical back and neck issues. I'll be crossing my fingers that the x-rays don't show anything too bad and that with plenty of rest he will bounce back from this.

Glad you will be able to talk to your parents about it too. Make sure you show them the videos of him screaming in pain, that might really drive home the point that he must lose weight because it is really hurting him. It would be hard to deny it after seeing the video.
yeah she already saw the video and began to cry , i felt bad showing it to her but i felt even worse if she continues to feed him the way she does .

What would be a good diet to have him on to lose weight? Like a child he cries and whimpers when he doesn't get his treats , but i dont want him to stay overweight any longer , but i also dont want him to go hungry either.

I can't tell when he is satisfied after eating, because i will put a small portion of food in his bowl ( btw he loves lamb based dog food ) and he eats it up as though he hasn't eaten for a week.

I don't want him to go hungry or to be fussy because he isn't satisfied .


The vet hasn't gotten back to me yet ...maybe no news is good news?
 

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so the vet said his xray didnt show any signs of foreign ingestion or any broken bones , they said it looked like he has artheritis in his neck , they gave me more medication ( same as above ) to help with the inflammation.

i will continue to give him what the vet gave me and go from there.

i hope he gets better
 
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