Post # 1
I’m kind of torn this morning about whether or not to take my dog to the vet. Last Thursday he woke up acting weird. He wouldn’t jump at all (very weird for him), and he was taking stairs ultra slow. So I took him to the vet that afternoon.
The vet examined him and said she thought he’d pulled a muscle in his lower back (he’s a corgi, this is a big problem for them). She said not to let him jump at all for a few weeks. She also gave me a 10 day prescription for Robaxin (muscle relaxer) for him. She said give him at least 7 days no matter what, but if he seemed 100% after 7 days i could not give him the last 3.
It has now been 7 days and there has been 0 improvement. If anything he seems to be taking stairs slightly slower. He is CAPABLE of running around faster (he’s done it a few times when he was chasing a cat or when I had a friend over and he was excited), but he chooses not to. My FI thinks my might be milking it. lol. Now I don’t know if I should take him back to the vet now? Or maybe wait until next week.
Pro-vet: It seems like there should’ve been *some* improvement in a week even if not totally healed… what if it is more than a strained muscle and she missed it and whatever it is gets worse while I’m wait-and-seeing??
Pro-wait until next week: I haven’t even finished the course of treatment she gave me for him yet, and there is a chance that the meds are making him woozy/dizzy as a side effect, so that could be the problem with the stairs. The vet could maybe get a better read if I let him finish the meds, wait a day or two for them to get out of his system, and see how he is doing. He doesn’t really seem to be getting any worse at all, so there probably isn’t harm in waiting. I don’t want to jump the gun on this and waste my time and put him through a bunch of (expensive) tests because I’m a known worrier…
Post # 3
I would probably wait until early next week if he doesn’t improve (or earlier if he gets worse). As long as he’s eating and drinking normally and not in pain, then I would just finish up the meds and see what happens.
Post # 4
My thought when I’m torn about whether or not to go to the vet is just to call them and ask. Our cat threw up on the hour every hour for like four or five hours one day. We knew he had eaten plastic and eventually it should stop but it worried us so we just called and they told us to bring him in if he did it again but luckily he stopped so we were happy we didn’t take him in when yet. So my thought is to just call instead of taking him in (and like you said wasting time and money) and asking them.
Post # 5
I”m a worrier as well with most things and especially when it comes to our dogs. I would be torn as well, but I think I would run through the full course of meds. Have you ever taken a muscle relaxer? They definitely make you tired. So perhaps he’s having that side effect.
You know, you could also put a call into your vet and ask for them to call you back so you can at least discuss it.
If he’s not any better after all of the meds are done, I would definitely take him back though.
Post # 6
I personally would wait until the end of the treatment course.
And he very well could be “milking it”, today and tomorrow don’t give him any extra attention or special treatment like you’ve probably done (like we all tend to do when our pets are sick or hurt) since his injury, see if he changes his tune. One of my dogs in particular is a huge “milker”, but when he realizes you’re not reacting to it, he acts normal again.
Post # 7
@mandb122: I contemplated that but honestly I’ve done that before with various things and I have never been able to actually get the vet on the phone! It is *always* the secretary who answers the phone and no matter what the question is, the answer is always “if you’re concerned bring him in to be checked out.” So I just don’t really feel like that is reliable. 🙁
@abbyful: lol i kinda thought he was kidding i didn’t know dogs could do that? He’s definitely gotten some special treatment. Especially because our house has a TON of stairs (5 level split with stairs between all the levels) and by the end of the day sometimes he looks tired and i will just carry him or up or down the stairs so he doesn’t have to gimp around… what a little scam artist if that is what he’s doing!
Post # 8
@CorgiTales: That isn’t a very helpful answer. You could always sneakily call another vet and ask what they think. Our vet didn’t even remember our cat (or our dog for that matter) when we called which was frustrating but they still answered the questions.
Post # 9
I have a corgi mix and literally the exact same thing happened to her. She yelped everytime she went up or down the stairs. We took her to the vet, and they said that she probably pulled a muscle in her back. They gave her pain medicine for us to give to her. After a week or so, she seemed to be back to normal.
I think I would probably wait. As long as he’s not showing any other symptoms, it’s probably just taking awhile to heal. Is he still eating and drinking? Maybe you could block him from walking up and down stairs for a few days? That’s what really bothered our dog the most. Hope he feels better!
Post # 10
@Blueshoes2: he doesn’t yelp at all in pain, he is just so. freaking. slow. like rather than racing up and down like he usually does, he takes the stairs one paw at a time like he’s climbing mt. everest… its kinda pitiful. But yea other than the slowness he does seem totally normal. He is still wanting to play with his toys, still bugs the cats, still thrilled to eat, still drinking normally.
Post # 11
@mandb122: this isn’t one vet its multiple. i move a lot so i have gone to a lot of different vets here. I feel like its kind of a liability thing. Like obviously they can’t diagnose over the phone, so the answer is ALWAYS going to be “bring the dog in.”
Post # 12
@CorgiTales: Ah, that is an issue. Then I agree with the PPs and I would probably finish the treatment and then take him in if he’s still not feeling well.
Post # 13
My puppy did this one time. We lived in an apartment with stairs and all of a sudden he just stopped racing up and down like he used to. Luckily it happened right around the time he was going in to be neutered so they also did a quick xray of his hips to check them out. We never figured out what it was except that a few days later he came down with the same really bad cold that I had (I have never seen a dog sneeze so much or literally have a runny nose).
Anyways, I agree I would wait a few days without the meds to see what he does and then take him back in. More than likely the next option is going to be to run some tests which is going to cost money (bloodwork, xray, ultrasound etc.). Do you know if he is eating/drinking normally? Could the reason be he’s not running around because something is stuck or twisted in his tummy?
Post # 14
- Wedding: June 2014 - Cedar Lake Cellars
In my experience, dogs can read us pretty well and adapt their behavior, but they can’t fake pain or depression. Even if your dog is a genius, he just can’t make that leap. Pain is pain in dogs. And, actually, they tend to be fairly stoic. A slow moving dog can be a pretty big deal.
Also, the adorable corgi shape (short legs, long back) predisposes them to disc problems in their back. He may have done more than just pull a muscle, he may be working on slipping a disc. So, if you are going to wait, please don’t let him take stairs or jump anywhere. That could take a painful problem into a spinal cord problem (= very expensive surgery).
Also, per the phone – your vet should be more than willing to talk to you on the phone and discuss your case. Legally, we can’t diagnose over the phone, but we can give you advice or a general gauge on how concerned you should be. Give it a try, tell them you’re really worried and need to talk to the vet. Any vet should consider that part of their job.
Post # 15
@CorgiTales: I would get a different vet’s opinion. The only reason I say that is because something similar happend to my parent’s dog (husky/shephard) over the holidays. The first vet thought he was diabetic, but then my parents took him to the emergency vet, and it turns out that he actually had some type of “syndrome” that caused him to have fluid on the brain and affect his nervous system. Long story, short – if they would have just followed the course of insulin, he would have passed away. But now, with antibiotics and steroids, he has a 90% chance of survival.
Sorry to hear about that – I really hope he gets to feeling better.
Post # 16
Ugh I’m a nutcase about my dog and I had to do the same thing this week…should I take her or wait? I ended up waiting (her eye was all puffy) and it worked out ok but it makes me so anxious!
I would probably wait until the medicine is done. If it still isn’t working then I’d take him back. At this point it probably isn’t getting worse because it’s not like he’s running around recklessly hurting himself even more if he’s moving that slow.