Wednesday, April 22, 2015

1177. An 8-year-old Shih Tzu has an arched back

April 21, 2015

"I better have him checked as she had been having an arched back during the past 2 days," the fair tall lady in her 30s, wearing a contrasting dark blue dress showed me a video clip of her dog walking with a "camel's bump".

"He would go to the bathroom and lie down there," she noted this unusual behaviour.
"Did he have difficulty in peeing?" I asked as house-trained dogs go to the bathroom to avoid peeing onto the apartment.

"No problem."

I palpated the dog's abdomen twice. During the first time, he winced slightly when I palpated the kidneys but the spinal column palpation showed no pain. I got the dog onto the floor to walk. He was walking normally with no hunched back.

"My dog will recover whenever he is at the vet," the lady laughed. Yet there was something wrong with him.

On the second palpation after the walking, I had my assistant do a video. This time, the dog reacted when I pressed the thoracic-lumber spinal column. There was some degeneration or pain in the spinal disc and that was why the dog hunched his back the last 2 days.

"The problem is with his disc at this T/L junction," I said. "He feels the pain and so does not walk to walk much. He walked with a hunched back and went to the bathroom to lie down. In case he needed to pee, he did not need to walk far." This was my hypothesis.


In Singapore, many young pet owners are well educated and do research. They use the smart phone to video unusual behaviours or clinical problems. For this lady, she would not permit me to do dental scaling since I use anaesthesia. "My groomer will do the dental work," she was afraid that her dog could die from anaesthesia.

Some dog groomers now provide dental scaling without anaesthesia and this is what some owners are interested.


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