I have a precious male 11 year-old Shih Tzu. A few days ago we began…

I have a precious male 11 year-old Shih Tzu. A few days ago we began seeing that he had a stiff neck, but about after 4 days ago we began noticing that on the left side of the neck there was twitching. He was having a difficult time shaking his head. During one night he was on our bed and I moved him a little to adjust him better and he began crying really loud and lowered his left side of the neck and front paw. We finally had him rest on the couch where I slept next to him and watched over him until the morning. While he was resting I notice his paws twitching for a few seconds. In the morning we took him to his vet where they examined him. The doctor said he has chronic neck pain and its mostly likely due to his old age. Currently he eats and drinks very well, has no fever, and poops normally. The doctor prescribed painkillers Dexamethasone, and Enrofloxicin. During our time at the vet Scrappy, our precious Shih Tzu was much better and completely changed. He was able to shake his head completely, walk, and poop with no difficulty. We believe the night rest on the couch did him good because he woke up feeling better.

However, after arriving home a few hours later we had a visitor over were Scrappy got really excited and our visitor barely petted and that were everything started again. Just when we thought he was getting better he began crying really loud and lowered his left side and left paw again. He began walking away while crying. I felt very useless not knowing what to do, just comforting him with words. I was afraid if I touched him the pain was going to get worse. At this point we decided to give him half a tablet of Dexamethasone mixed with a little applesauce.

Currently, we are feeling very confused as to what it can be. I am aware his age plays a factor, but when I see him it’s like he’s trying to fight this pain. I feel like he has cervical Intervertebral Disc Disease on his neck or pinched nerves because he always loved to sleep in tight spaces like the closets on top of shoes, but the vet did not mention anything of it he just said its old age. As of now the only symptoms we see are these pain attacks on the left side of his neck, and a stiff neck that comes and goes. We are not sure what triggers them or what to do when they come. When they are not present(usually after a good rest) he walks normally, but slowly, eats very well, cleans himself on his blanket turning his neck side to side, still loves to greet people, and responds when we call his name. As of now he’s been resting and at times I notice his head twitches a bit. I can see that a lot of the pain is located at the left side of the neck. I am sorry for the long post, but if anyone has advice or had a similar case with your furry ones please share. Thank you.

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Krista Magnifico
3 years ago

My advice is to get a second opinion. I would also ask about pain meds. In my opinion dex isn’t an analgesic. There are others out there. If you and the vet suspect ivdd see my blogs on this. I have lots of drugs that I discuss. I also have much on this about Hank (a cervical ivdd case I had). In general I use NSAIDs and rest or discuss other muscle relaxants or neuropathic pain meds. I also think and X-ray and bloodwork are helpful.
Good luck. Let us know what happens

3 years ago

Good morning. I am so sorry that your pup is in pain. I know how helpless you must feel at times trying to comfort him. I would get back in to the vet ASAP, and while there, I would be very clear about your expectations. Explain your concerns, and suspicions. Request a thorough exam, xrays if you think they might help your vet find a cause, perhaps even bloodwork. Hopefully, they can find out what is causing this. If not, you are also free to find a second, or even third opinion. I hope you are able to find your… Read more »