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Injury or Disease/Medical Condition

I arrived here at your site after Googling "muscle spasms in dachshund" and have been reading about the various causes ... my doxie is 4.5 years old and never had any health problems.  I began to notice a spasm in her neck visible enough to jerk her head slightly, a continuous spasm, about a month ago, this followed by fatigue, holding her head down, shaking, but the odd thing is that she will all of a sudden seem "normal" again, only to recede back into this odd state with the spasms & disturbing behavior where she will stare down at her bed, paw it, turn in circles, seem wobbly, and lay down ... when getting into the doggie bed, she seems to have trouble with mobility as one hind leg will keep missing it's spot to put her all the way in the bed.  I took her to an ER several weeks ago, shared I was afraid I hurt her by jerking her leash , was prescribed Carprofen 25 mg and Buprenorphine, this was 11/29/14, and I have stopped the meds, but she is not back to herself ... now I wonder if it's something other than an trauma or injury to her neck ... I picked her up under her front legs the other day and she yelped, so I believe something is going on in her shoulder/neck area ... though the vet at the ER, without performing any tests or looking into her mouth diagnosed trauma to TMJ joint "as a result of the leash incident" ... I am at a loss as to what to do because this vet said if this is diagnosed still there is nothing I can do but make her comfortable, and with time and rest, she'll heal ... so I have not sought additional treatment due to the costs & with a hope she will heal in time ... I will be very grateful to hear your thoughts.  Thank you.
4 Responses
462827 tn?1333168952
These are classic signs of Intervertabral disk disease (IVDD) ...Doxies are the #1 breed for this disorder...Google &  read everything you can about this.....

This is one reason why many small breed dogs should wear harnesses., not leashes attached to collars.....

There are many things your Vet can do.....Don't fall for the expense of an xray.....Normally, it won't show the protruding disk/disc......

Your dog is presenting with classic symptoms & the ER should have recognized them!!!!! Actually, they did recognize; just wanted you to spend more money on testing, which you chose not to do & IMO is unnecessary....

The treatment is pretty straight forward.....However, more damage can be done if treatment & precautions aren't taken soon....

Again, google this disease...You will find plenty on the subject.....Good luck & let us know.....Karla

Avatar universal
Thank you, Karla!!  I am so grateful to you for sharing your thoughts & insights ... I have been messaging a cousin who is a vet and she is suggesting the same.  Can you tell me, if this is IVDD, what is the treatment plan I should expect to hear from the vet, and are you able to provide some guidelines to help, so that when I am with the vet, I am not vulnerable to an experience where I am charged for unnecessary tests and/or procedures?  And she has been symptomatic for about a month ... did I wait too long, do you have any thoughts?  Is there anything I can do for her to help her be more comfortable?  Hot bath?  Pain meds?  Thank you again!!  
Avatar universal
My four-year-old dachshund is showing some symptoms for IVDD, but after reading more about it, her symptoms are mild & she is showing the minority of what I see listed ... is this a progressive disease where the symptoms worsen?  She has muscle spasms, doesn't lift her head, avoids going up or down the one step through the laundry room to outside, she has an appetite but won't eat her regular dry food, she is eating chopped turkey & chicken, etc., food I am preparing for her, Her symptoms are not ongoing and continuous ... sometimes she seems like her old self & others she seems incapacitated & mentally somewhere else.   If anyone has or had a dog diagnosed with IVDD, please share your experience ... I have decided to "crate" her to limit movement, and will give her an anti- inflammatory ... I will be very grateful to hear your experiences! Thank you!!
Avatar universal
Hi EveJen,
My dachshund actually started having herniations at age 4, that is the avg. age for a doxie that is prone to this to happen.  He was crated, given intermittent prednisone and also a few treatments of acupuncture.  He was a VERY athletic spunky dog who as a young pup (first few years of life) would soar into the air like Snoopy and tear up and down our stairs.  All the wrong things for a doxie :(  We were ignorant of this being an issue !  Now, Bart 13 1/2 years later is a real trooper and I am in all modesty a homegrown expert on doxies , fan and fanatic of the breed.  Getting back to your concern, Bart did end up having IVD.  At first I thought that this was another herniation and it could be treated with crate rest,etc..acupuncture was NOT helping, he was quickly losing mobility all together.  I live in the Winter Park, FL area and there is an excellent surgical Vet group called Affiliated Veterinary Specialists.  Many of those vets graduated from the U of FL . Bart had actually ruptured a disc and if not treated, he was now going to go further into paralysis.  It was a very expensive surgery, but successful and he was his old self and a wiser old self.  He stopped attempting many of his more infamous antics and we were of course much more watchful of any jumping and compression to his spine.  Doxie begging which he never really did that much of is very bad for the spine.  Doxie's should be carried with two arms supporting their spine horizontally.  A fabulous  17 page report on dachshund and IVD is  one prepared by the Dachshund Club of America  : Canine Intervertebral Disk Disease.  It was online.  Also, Integrative Treatment of Intervertebral Disc Disease by R.M. Clemmons , DVM, PHD who is from the U of FL is an enlightening and helpful 5 page discourse talking about diet, behavior, massage & acupuncture.  I always put Vitamin E into my dog's food, Dr. Clemmons found this suppplement to improve a dog's compromised spine and tissues.  A very holistic brand of it is by Jarrow.  My dear Bart is very sick now with a prostate tumor, so I am trying to treat him and keep him comfortable.  I would chatter about doxie dog health and diet some more, but need to get to bed! I have been up distressed searching for answers to what maybe close to the end for my most precious friend.  Lisa
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