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Why does my dog suddenly yelp when touched?

I have an 8-year-old miniature dachshund. The last two or three days, he's been yelping like he's in pain or like he's startled/scared. It first happened on Thursday when I picked him up off the chair so I could sit down, and I assumed I may have accidentally grabbed him a little too hard when lifting him up. But over the next couple days, he yelped again when another dog playfully bumped into his shoulder, and when I barely touched him under his chin. It doesn't happen all the time and it isn't always in the same places. Sometimes I can pick him up without a problem, and other times he yelps. Most of the time I can pet him, scratch his years, etc, with no trouble, and sometimes he'll suddenly yelp even if I'd touched that spot two minutes before.

He's been refusing to use the dog steps for getting on and off the furniture - up until last week, he would jump up and down (I have been trying to train him to use steps since he was a puppy to no avail), and the last few days he prefers to sit and cry until someone helps him up or down.

He seems to be walking okay - a little slower than usual, but no limp and he's not favoring any particular leg or either side. He doesn't want to run  - three days ago if I said "Outside?" he would run as fast as his tiny legs would carry him to the door, and would run around the yard with the other dogs (one's his age, the other's two). But now he looks at me and whines until I put him on the floor and then walks slowly to the door, does his business and comes right back inside. He spends a lot of time resting instead of playing like he used to.

His appetite's good, he drinks plenty of water, seems to be eliminating waste without a problem. His eyes are clear and he responds to sound. I can't figure out what's wrong with him, as there seems to be no single place that hurts and it's not constant.
2 Responses
974371 tn?1424653129
Doxies can be prone to back problems, which may the case here.  Since this has been going on for a while and somethung is painful, I would get him to the Vet for an exam. They may suggest X-rays.  In the mean time, I would not be letting him try to jump on and off the furniture and would carry him up and down steps.
Yesterday I took him to the vet, who did X-rays to check for injuries and said it wasn't his back and nothing is broken. But because the reaction is inconsistent in both place and frequency, he's not sure what's wrong either. He recommended glucosamine and said if it's still happening in a month to bring him back and they'll run some more tests.

We don't have any stairs - the steps I referenced are dog steps for him to get up and down from furniture without jumping, but he won't use them anyway.
441382 tn?1452810569
As Margot has said, dachshunds are extremely prone to spinal problems because of their long backs.  It sounds like your dog has either slipped a disc or herniated one.  Only MRI will be able to tell for sure, but an xray will give the vet an inkling as to whether or not there may be a problem because there will be a narrowing between vertebrae that will be visible on xray if there is a disc problem.  If nothing shows up on xray, MRI may be necessary to determine exactly where the problem is and whether or not surgery is an option.

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