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Hi everyone - first thank you for a wonderful support board - I've read through some of your posts and the people here are wonderful and have lots to offer.
I'm hoping I can get some suggestions with an issue that's come up with my 6-year old female Shih Tzu. She appears to have some mobility problems which came up quite suddenly. She'll walk and then sit immediately and won't move. Then she'll be quite mobile but then stops and sits and won't move again. She sits for the longest of times which is unlike her and whines. She seems to look at her rear quite a bit - she tremors sometimes which I suspect is due to pain.
She eats and eliminates normally except for last night - she was sitting about 2 ft from her dinner bowl and wouldn't budge - this girl NEVER misses a meal. I even tried to entice her with a bit of chicken - you could tell by her expression she wanted it badly but did not move from her sitting position.
I took her to the vet yesterday, they did a full exam and sent us home w/muscle relaxer and pain meds. If this continues, then we will go with xrays, etc.
Has anyone experienced something like this? I massage her and she loves that w/no pain indicated so it doesn't seem like she's particularly sensitive in any area. I'm just clueless and scared.
Thank you for reading and for any suggestions/ideas/thoughts.
Roxy - Shih Tzu
Zack - Mini Schnauzer
Bella - Shih Tzu (rescue)
Duke - Shih/Lhasa (rescue)
SweetPea - Southern Black Mouth Cur
Mushu - Bearded Dragon (rescue)
Did the vet do a test where he put your dog in a normal standing position and took one of her hind paws and flipped her foot so she was standing on her knuckles, then waited to see how long it took her to put it back in the correct "pads-down" position?
I don't know because the vet took my Shih Tzu to do a full examination away from the exam room....they do that a lot - it's a practice that is also a "teaching hospital" so maybe they do exams for the benefit to vet techs and new vet dr.'s ?
When I take her back, I will ask the vet about the examination you mention - can you elaborate a bit as to what the indications are?
Just as an update, I came home from work and my Shih Tzu was at the door, barking and greeting me, ran to the back door to go outside - she didn't do anything but came indoors and then shut down by sitting immediately - looking back at her rear area and whimpering. She hasn't moved since - I gave her another dose of her muscle relaxer.
Thank you for responding - I appreciate it very much!
Your description is not quite like anything I've heard before. You said she is acting like she's in pain at times, but you have massaged her all over and she has not responded like she has pain anywhere. Maybe it might be worth feeling around her a little more to see if there's anyplace you missed the first time? Possibly try brushing her?
The reason I asked about flipping the paw is, that is a test they do to check for neurological deficits. Shih tzus are one of the breeds that are prone to disk problems in the spine, and when a disk flares up, it can cause a change in the reflexes. A normal dog will flip the paw back to standing position quickly when the paw is put knuckles down, a dog with a disk problem will delay in righting the paw. But your dog is running and not showing signs of ataxia, so it does not really sound like a spinal problem. If there is any chance this might be a spinal problem, then she should be crated immediately so she does not make it worse.
Did they check for hip dysplasia? That is a common problem where the hip does not ride in the socket correctly and causes pain and lameness. But I would expect her to limp. Since you didn't see the exam, you probably do not know if they tried moving her legs to check for hip problems. Hip dysplasia will show on an x-ray. That might kind of fit with the situation where she seems fine, then walks or runs, then suddenly isn't fine. When she looks at her rear, does she look at one side in particular? Seems like if she did, you would have noticed that already, so it sounds like she is just looking back, not at her hip.
Do you know if she is having normal bowel movements? Any idea when was the last time she went? And do you notice anything around her bottom, such as swollen anal glands? It has to be something. Strange that you would take her to a teaching hospital and they did not find what was wrong. I don't know if it's an option, but it sounds like you need a second opinion, which you shouldn't really if you went to a teaching hospital...
Yes, normal bowel movements, normal urine, etc.
I'm bewildered as well .... it's like everything is normal for a short bit then it's almost like someone "turning her off" and she comes to a sudden stop and won't move, starts whining. When she turns her head to look at her rear area, it's a bit of a sudden move and straight to her "rear area"...I haven't really noticed if it's to one side over the other though... I will try brushing her and massaging her again - I have noticed her tail tends to twitch vs wagging ....
I will discuss with the vet the information you shared with me just so I know what types of tests they've done to her. I know her anal glands are okay - she's never had a problem, doesn't scoot or anything. I believe the vet is very conservative and we're just beginning with the "ruling out" process.
Thank you again for taking the time to share your information with me....
Have you found the cause and solution to this issue? I'm asking because I took my shih-tzu to the vet today for the same exact reason and symptoms, it's very strange! They did express her anal glands because they were very full, but that didn't seem to do the trick, plus she wasn't dragging her butt on the floor (or showing any normal signs pointing to her anal glands being the issue). My dog doesn't shake/tremble like she is in pain like you described in your first post, but every other behavior you expanded on, Bella (my dog) is doing as well. My vet didn't prescribe any medication and said to monitor for a couple of days and if symptoms stayed the same or worsened, we'd do an x-ray. Problem is, she also told me that she didn't feel like an x-ray was necessary because upon examining her, she couldn't feel anything out of the ordinary and that Bella never indicated being in pain when being touched in any area(s) during the exam. Any info would be greatly appreciated, she's just not herself and it worries me they couldn't find anything "wrong" today.
Hello! I am having the exact same issue with my 6 year old Shih Tzu for the past 2 days. Noticed he was not walking, just sitting, tail between his legs, the night before last. Since then, I can sit him anywhere and he will just stay there, shakes, looks at me and cries. We brought him to the vet yesterday and they expressed his glands (said they weren't that bad) and checked him all over (no x-rays or anything though). Vet said he looks like he is in great shape. He was running around briefly when he got home from the vet, but a couple of hours later started doing the same thing. Also seems like he is going toward his rear. If I massage him, he is not displaying any pain. If I massage down his spine while he is standing, he will raise his tail (like a reflex) once I get about 3/4 of the way down, but he is not acting right and is certainly in pain & refusing to walk/stand. Have either of you found the cause of this problem? I am VERY VERY upset and worried.
Shih tzus are one of the breeds prone to disk problems, like dachshunds. If it was my dog, just to be safe I would crate him and not let him walk or run around. If your vet did not find anything, that is so upsetting when you know something is going on. Do you possibly have another vet you sometimes go to you could try? Did your vet test his reflexes by flipping his paw so he is standing on his knuckles to see if he corrected it promptly?
Here is information about what to do when you suspect a disk problem. (Look at EMERGENCY INFO) on the righthand side.
Can you give us an update on your Shih Tzu, please? Mine was diagnosed with grade III medial patella luxation and the symptoms sound similar, except for the trembling. Before it got this bad he would be fine and then all of the sudden not want to move. The vet said that's because the joint was coming out of the socket. I hope your dog is better.
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