Back Problems...Again

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


Don't bother- me...i'm- sleeping.
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 2:05pm PST 
Hi everyone!
I'm looking for a little pep talk. I took Lucy (10 year old mutt - 9.5 lbs) in for her vaccinations on Friday at 11:30 a.m.(she got Distemper and Bordatella vaccinations - Rabies shot isn't due til next year). She did great at the vet and we came home - no problems all night - she ate and drank like normal. I should probably preface this by stating that Lucy is the laziest dog around - she loves sleeping in the sun or on my bed.

Saturday morning she was fine - went outside to go potty and spent the rest of the morning sleeping. I ran out to the store and put her in her kennel when I left - When I came home, about an hour later, I took her out to go potty again and she went and came back in, happy and ready for a treat. I sat down to watch tv and she was sitting on the floor in front of me. All of the sudden, she stood up and raised her front left paw. At first I thought she was hurting from where they took blood from her for her heartworm test the day before, but then realized it was her other leg. She kind of contorted her body a little and raised her back and tried walking away. I picked her up and she was shivering a little - like she does when she's cold - not the kind of shaking I would think she'd have if she was having a seizure. I put her back down and she raised her front right leg and then her rear right leg. After this she seemed ok. She was a little skittish, but I thought she might be in pain still. I immediately called the vet - worried that she could be reacting to her vaccinations. They told me to bring her right in.

Once at the vet, I explained what happened and he asked me to put her down and watch her walk. He then did a thorough exam - took her temp, felt her stomach and range of motion of all of her limbs, etc. (She was at the vet 1.5 years ago with a back problem that was similar to the incident that occurred on Saturday). He looked at her xray from back then and did a physical exam of her back and said that she was Very tender near her lower vertebrae (she was previously diagnosed with spinal stenosis) - you could see her skin/muscles twitch as he applied very light pressure in this area. He said that what he thinks happened was that her back muscles tightened and caused the pain and involuntary movement of her leg. I explained that she did jump in and out of the car the day before and she's always jumping up and down off of furniture. He said that the shots she got the day before could've caused muscle stiffness and pain and that the jumping (more than ususal) could've aggrivated everything. I told him my worry that maybe this was a seizure (never seeing a seizure before, I don't know exaclty what they look like) and he indicated that what I explained to him didn't sound like a seizure at all - no violent shaking, no drooling or staring off in space, and a couple other indicators of seizures. He gave her an anti-inflammatory and she's been great since that. I do keep her kenneled while I'm at work - so she could've had other incidents like this that I don't know about. I guess more than anything, I'm looking for reassurance that she didn't have a seizure. I trust my vet, but sometimes, I need to hear things from other dog lovers or people who've had similar experience. She's an older dog and I just want to make sure I'm doing what's best for her. Sorry this is incredibly long!
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 3:04pm PST 
That sounds like he is absolutely correct and on the ball. Having had Frenchies for years and years, I have seen plenty of back issues and you are describing back pain/spasm. I especially like that your vet acknowledged the vaccines might have had a contributing effect. Many vets would deny any connection!
Your vet sounds like a keeper to me!!!
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 3:54pm PST 
I agree with Toto, and no, it does not sound like a seizure. Usually there, there are bookends of rather distant or unusual behavior in between the seizure itself. The dog may start to look restless and pace right before one, seem less responsive to your voice, etc. I can't quite explain, but my Cocker Spaniel had seizures for about one year (fortunately now no longer) and a few weeks ago, just by the "vibe" I saw in him, I looked at my foster Maltese and realized he was heading into a seizure. Nothing physical, just affect. The physical part of the seizure is usually quite short, then behavior slowly readjusts back to where the dog was. This doesn't sound like what you are describing, and I do find Toto's take very sound. Also concur....that vet is a keeper!


Don't bother- me...i'm- sleeping.
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 4:30pm PST 
Thank you so much for the reassurance, it really makes me feel better. I'm probably one of the most paranoid pet parents around! Lucy seems even better today. Her back isn't quite as tender as it usually is, so I know the rest and anti-inflammatory is doing its job. Thanks again for your advice and kind words. Oh and I agree, my vet is a keeper! We love him!
Scooter,- PAWS

Power of the Paw- for those who- need it
Barked: Wed Mar 27, '13 5:24am PST 
Lucy, join the paranoid parents club....it's pretty large group here on dogster laugh out loud paranoid may sound negative so maybe the diligent parents club? Glad you asked and glad they were able provide you with some assurance way to go

I caught a- squirrel once...
Barked: Thu Mar 28, '13 1:32pm PST 
So glad to hear she is doing better!! I can relate - Kally has had back problems off and on for YEARS. I've been on here many times with lots of questions (please feel free to read my previous posts)! She is 10 years old as well and weighs about 22lbs.

Really what has helped us the most is minimize her jumping as much as we possibly can. This has led to us somewhat modifying our home - we have blocked off the stairs so she can't run up and down the stairs quickly. My husband also built her two sets of doggie-steps - one set is big, goes the length of our bed so she takes the steps to get in and out of bed. The other steps are smaller and go to the couch - we have the rest of the couch blocked so that is her only way on or off the couch. We also never let her jump in or out of the car anymore. So far this has helped tremendously. From what I've read, jumping can really exacerbate a back problem due to all of their body weight slamming down at once when they land, especially on a hard surface.

Something worth trying for sure! I can't tell you how much better Kally has been once we got really strict with the jumping and blocking her access to things she could jump on or off of. Good luck!!