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Old 02-18-2012, 10:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What could this be?? Dobe in pain...

My husband and I just came back from dinner and were gone for only about an hour. When we came home, our 3 y/o dobe hesitated to come down the four short steps to the front door and greet us.

He whimpered and was shaking. He kept his head quite low and was definitely not himself. I've looked him over, checked joints and basically checked everything I knew how on his body. I put pressure in a lot of different places on his body to try and see where the pain was coming from but he didn't react. I'm no expert but it seems like the bottom of his neck may be a little swollen. Once again, when I looked it over and placed pressure on it... he seemed fine. When he walks, he doesn't have a limp in his gait but he is definitely very careful about each step. He hesitates to go up/down stairs and will not jump on the couch or anything. He is also very hesitant/careful to lie down.

I'm taking him to the vet first thing in the morning, but in the meantime does anyone know what I could try to do to make him more comfortable? Does anyone have experience dealing with something like this in the past? Any ideas what we could be dealing with?

On a few different occasions in the past 2 years he will be standing next to us being scratched and looking very comfortable and all of a sudden will whimper super loud seemingly out of nowhere. Then that would be it. He would be back to his old self within minutes and the episode wouldn't repeat for 6 months or a year. We've taken him to a vet where bloodwork and everything was done with positive results. The vet at the time told us to monitor this, but not to worry about it right now. I have a feeling that what's happening to him tonight may be related Help! I hate seeing my baby boy in pain.
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It may be a pinched nerve, how does he do when you try and have him turn just his head to look one way and then another?

Does he seem to be keeping his head and neck straight and rather stiff as far as how much he is willing to move it in any direction?

It could be many things but given how fast it happened and how localized it seems to you pinched nerve is my guess. Does your vet do chiropractic work? We use an activator and have fixed this problem with an adjustment before.

Good luck and speedy recovery!

Also pictures are appreciated as far as the neck swelling
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My beloved Duke (RIP) had similar episodes, but he never whimpered. I came to realize that it was associated with my playing fetch with a Frisbee. I stopped that game and the problem stopped. I suspect the sudden twist of his neck in a certain position was the culprit, but I'm really not sure.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you guys for the replies. I have been monitoring him all night. It's 6am and we both haven't slept. He's been whimpering on and off when he moves and seems very uncomfortable. He is able to twist his head side to side, but I've noticed that he won't lift his head past his shoulders. He's been keeping it very low if he needs to move. He isn't a whiny dog, so for him to be acting like this and shaking, I know that he's in a lot of pain. To my knowledge (mind you he was alone for an hour) he didn't do anything physically that could have put him in this much pain. It was pouring rain all day so we just went for a pretty mellow walk and had a fairly lazy day.

The vet opens at 9:30, so we'll be going there in a few hours.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hope he's going to be ok. If he receives pain meds from your vet, please make sure he doesn't get Deramaxx. It's been known to cause adverse, even fatal, reactions with dobes.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you I will definitely look into that. Ideally I'd like to know what is causing the pain in order to deal with the root of the problem. Hopefully he won't have to take too many pain meds I still can't believe I've been up all night with my furbaby. Time for some coffee.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Please let us know what the vet says. Maybe he has just hurt his neck and predisone or a related drug will put him back to normal. I hope it is something simple to fix.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes, that's what I'm hoping for too LindaH. But although I'm hoping for the best, I cannot help but think of the worst :S It's scary seeing him this way. I just wish the vet's office would open already. I'm on pins and needles.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hope you get to the bottom of what's wrong with your boy. It does sound like a neck/back problem from what you describe.

Do you have Lyme disease in your area? Sudden acute pain in a dog in this area warrants a Lyme test, for a + Lyme exposure can bring on a myriad of Lyme symptoms. The ticks around here seem to all carry it now.
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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sounds suspicious of wobblers/cvi.

hugz to ace!
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Ace and I just got back from the vet's office and sadly, it's not just a pinched nerve. After some testing and x-rays, the Vet says it is Wobblers... which is what I suspected. So, although it's not the worst case scenario of Wobblers (because the majority of times he is fine), we will have to make some adjustments for him. This will include wearing a harness rather than a collar and no wrestling with his friends. This should be ok because hiking is still his favourite thing to do! In the meantime my poor boy has to be kept 'quiet' for two months. I have no idea how he will react to no exercise for that long, but we will do our best. If feels good to know what we're dealing with and be able to work towards preventing it from getting any worse, but it really sucks to know that he has to deal with this for the rest of his life. Thanks to everyone who responded with your ideas. Time for both of us to take a nap. It was a long night to say the least.
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Oh, how sad. Poor ace =( It will be a hard roller coaster but with patience and tlc you'll be able to give him a wonderful life all things considered. Good luck to you both!
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm glad you have your ans now you know what you are dealing with. The unknown is always the worst. Good luck and my best to Ace.
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I am so sorry I do want to offer some encouragement though, there is very good success with wobbler's surgery, and by the time you try medical management with pain killers and anti-inflammatory, you would have spent well over the amout that you would for the surgery and the pain would simply be masked. IMO, go for the surgery as soon as you can and dont waste time hoping steroids and pain meds will fix it because they wont.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm sorry you have his diagnosis.

I would get him started on acupuncture right away. It can make an amazing difference. I've seen a wobblers dog that had to be carried around end up walking again.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I would start him on arnica montana and take him to do cold lazer therapy aswell as have him ajusted..
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:42 PM   #17 (permalink)
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This is an interesting thread regarding wobblers: Wobblers
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm glad you have your answers ................please keep us updated on how he's doing. Hugs to your dog............
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:55 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Please keep us updated on how your dog is doing. So sorry you guys are going through this and I hope he feels better soon!
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:46 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I am sorry to hear that it is Wobbler's. He seems so young to have it. My gal has it but they think she is 9.
Audrey has Intervertebral Disc Disease
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:55 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Hugs to Ace! Good luck keeping him quiet for 2 months!
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:17 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Thanks to everyone for your kind words and advice. I had an amazing Chiropractor that was recommended to me who has had great success with many dogs. However, after viewing the xrays and speaking with my vet he has decided that he will not take Ace in. The risk would be too high that he would cause more damage and this could have devastating effects. Instead, we have to try and manage with lifestyle changes etc. The vet did say that once he fully recovers from this flareup that Acupuncture may be something to look into. We will see. In the meantime, my boy is much better today. He is being himself around the house and it has been quite the challenge to keep him 'quiet'. It's so good to see him back to his snuggly, cute self.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:17 PM   #23 (permalink)
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What testing did they do to diagnose it? It might be worth speaking with a neurologist. That's the route I would take and did take when we had a suspected Wobbler's scare.

(HUGS) I'm sure it's a lot to take in at the moment too. Hope Ace feels better soon.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:27 PM   #24 (permalink)
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In order to diagnose it they did some x-rays as well as just an overall physical. The Wobbler diagnosis cannot be determined 100% without an MRI (is what the vet told me), but speaking from the xrays, symptoms and her experience she said that there is a high likelihood that this is what it is. With that, I also had the xrays looked at by a very reputable Chiropractor who also said that with Ace's condition he wouldn't work on him. I've done a bit of research and apparently Wobblers normally affects the 7th vertebra specifically. The affected ones for Ace are between 5/6 and 6/7. Two of the vertebra are tilted upwards and there is calcification between the ones I mentioned. I will definitely look into speaking with a neurologist though. That's great advice.

At the moment, I'm happy to report that Ace is basically back to himself. He's a little confused as to why he's not going out for big runs... but he's also happy just to be with us. I just hope that I never have to see him in that much pain again!! You're right, it was definitely a lot to take in. I had a couple of missed days at work because I would just show up and be so upset that I couldn't calm myself down and would have to go home (and I'm not generally a crier). I think I've finally started to accept what's going on though...
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:25 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry to hear about Ace. I hope the treatment options will go smoothly. Hugs to you and Ace and lots of positive vibes.
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