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How Do You Figure Out What Hurts?

Guest Liz_in_PA

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Guest Liz_in_PA

Over the course of the weekend, Dash has been quieter than usual and letting out yelps while lying still. It's not when he's moving. It's while he's lying on the sofa and sleeping. No one is bothering him or even jarring the sofa. This is different from his usual whiny, don't bother me while I have control of the sofa grumbles.


I know something is wrong because he let Bonnie take his pig's ear.


My guess is that when I was juggling the two at the groomer while she was clipping nails, that Dash might have pulled a muscle. How do I test this? When I put down the skillet for pre-washing, he didn't want to help. When I moved it to his raised dish area, he did a fine job cleaning it. I've run my hands on his legs, shoulders and neck with no response. Their leashes were coupled together--does that encourage neck problems?


Confound: he was yelping so much last night that I gave him a meloxicam which took about an hour to kick in. I didn't touch him yesterday as he seemed in pain. So when I was touching him today, it was after the meloxicam dosage.


Besides the skillet cleaning test, what other things can I do to try to pin it down? Should I have DH touch him in hopes that Dash might be more honest with the man than the momma?

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I am going through this with Fuzzy right now. He slipped on the ice and went down, and also slipped on the kitchen floor, maybe a day apart. Two nights later he is crying when he turned on his bed and went up the stairs on his belly. He was also turning his foot over when he stood for a while.


Off to the vet again. I told her that I thought it was his neck or his shoulder. Sure enough; she examined him, found his neck to be stiff and spasms in his shoulder. He had an acupuncture treatment with electronic stim and he is taking tramadol and gabapentin. He is doing much better.


If only they could talk and tell us!!!

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin and Mama Mia in Lower Delaware
Angels Brandy, John E, American Idol, Paul, Fuzzy and Shine
Handcrafted Greyhound and Custom Clocks http://www.houndtime.com
Zoom Doggies-Racing Coats for Racing Greyhounds

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Sounds like cervical pain to me. When they lay lateral and try to rise lifting their heads hurt-- is that when you hear him cry?? I would continue the metacam and rest him-- no more collars--harness walk only. Of course vet visit in order if you don't see any improvement.

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Someone from GT sent this to me a long time ago:



How to check a Dog. This is in order. Use for pin pointing where pain is coming from and in some cases you will be able to fix an injury yourself.

1) Make sure dog is standing straight and has equal weight on all legs.

2) Straddle the dog, your legs should be just behind the dogs front shoulder/ legs.

3) Best to have dog muzzled. Plus have a little treat they like.

4) Gently with right hand, open palm, place on left hand side of dogs mouth and gently bring head round to dogs right hand shoulder. This can also be done using a treat in front of the dogs nose and moving treat to the shoulder, the dogs nose should follow. The dogs nose should be able to touch shoulder.

5) Repeat for left hand side.

If there is any hesitation or stiffness or refusal you may have a neck problem.

6) Place open palm over dogs nose and gently push dogs nose to under chest. A treat for the nose to follow should have the same effect.

Dogs nose should be able to go just between front legs or to the chest is ok too.

7) Slowly bring dogs nose back up towards the ceiling.

If there is hesitation, stiffness or refusal you may have a neck problem.

8)While still standing over the dog. Cup the elbow in your palm and push out so the leg is straight - opposite leg may come off the ground. Dogs ears should also be able to be placed in align with outstretched leg. Place your hand on dogs head and gently push down til the ears are level with leg.

9) Repeat for other side.

10) Place palm of hand in V of the dogs outside elbow. Bring dogs leg back towards you, elbow should move freely up - not to far - you are just checking range of movement with this check.

Now for the Back. Make sure the dog is standing straight. Not turned to one side.

11) With thumbs, find either side of the spinal column, Push down to find ligament/muscle (this will take a little force/pressure) With thumbs move down the spinal column - do not drag but rather find each individual disc/ gap and press down. All the way to the base of tail.

If there is twitching of muscle or head turning or a yelp, try and find the exact spot where the discomfort is.

If it is around the neck area that requires a chiropractor. If it is anywhere from behind the saddle section to the base of the tail that too requires a chiro. In these cases the dog needs to be lifted and twisted to get the disc back into place. Only experienced people should do this.

If the discomfort is from the shoulder blades to the end of the saddle you can have a go at it yourself. It does require confidence and precision.

With the hard area of your palm ( the area where the thumb muscle attaches to the hand) Place both hands along each side of the spinal column so your fingers are pointing outwards and your palms are on the raised muscles on either side of the spine. Make sure your hands are level with each other. Then give a short sharp push. It is similar to using a drain plunger with the amount of pressure needed. Dog may give a small yelp(dont worry) You should feel or hear a click - this will be the disc sliding back into place. Might take a couple of goes to get it in.

Your dog may have a good body shake right through to the tail. Generally this is a good sign the disc went back in.

Re-check the whole back again using thumbs.

Now that the back is in or if the back was ok continue on to check the legs.

To Check Back legs.

12) Stand to side of dog(its ok if the dog leans on you). Take dogs knee bring it up slightly and push leg back behind dog - it may go out to the side slightly before going back. Technically your dog should be able to hold his weight on that leg that you are holding so don't worry if the other leg is off the ground.

13) Repeat for opposite leg.

If the dog is uncomfortable with the leg going back you may have a problem with -a) small muscle tear in the groin area. B) Hip problem. c) whip muscle or hip support muscle problem.

To check for muscle tears or muscle soreness- large muscle areas - use your forefinger and middle finger to move around the muscle in a circular motion( with a small amount of pressure) to try and pinpoint the exact part causing the pain.

To check for areas that you can get to both sides of eg. whip muscle, large back muscle. You place your forefinger and middle finger on one side of the muscle and your thumb on the other and gently work your way down the muscle - then back up to the top move along slightly and repeat.

If you can pinpoint where the pain is coming from that is your area to work on -

TIP- If you have a hand held massager you use on yourself then this is perfect for the dogs as well - if it has a heat setting even better. Remember to keep the massager moving in a circular motion, and make sure it doesn't get too hot for the dog.

If the pain is coming from an outside muscle such as a hip support or the main back muscle you can massage some liniment into the area. This will help the same as it would for you if you have a sore muscle. It will also stimulate blood flow to the area which will aid in faster healing.

For the front legs.

14) Straddle the dog and reach down to the front foot of the dog. Bend the wrist so the toes are touching the back of the front leg or close to.

15) With the wrist in normal position gently turn to either side (rotating the wrist).

16) Check inside the stopper hole - you do not have to be straddling to dog to do this. Take foot off the ground and place finger(no fingernails here please) and with a little downward push with your forefinger poke in the hole. Run 2 fingers up either side of the ligament which connects to the actual stopper pad, check movement for discomfort.

To treat stopper and wrist injuries the easiest is to soak a bandage in Epsom salts and warm water then wrap around wrist. If there is also pain in the stopper hole you can soak some cotton balls in the same mixture and place into hole before wrapping with bandage. Repeat this 2-3 a day and if you can soak a second bandage in preparation for use later that would be great. Remove first bandage rinse and place on second bandage - then soak first bandage for use later. The longer the soak the better.

If the wrist is not supple and will not bend easily it could be a number of problems. Stopper tendon injury, ligament damage, broken bone, joint stiffness possible arthritis.

You all know the products you can use for joint problems - you can also use celery seed capsules that you take for yourself (human vitamin supplement). It will take a few weeks to notice a difference( same as any preparation)

Remember some joint formulas work for some dogs and some don't - It takes a bit of time to find which is the best for your dog.


17) Check each toe individually by moving each toe up and down and side to side to check for range of movement. Check quiks to see if there is any dirt or sand wedged in them.

For blisters from the toenail beside that has been rubbing, clean and dab with betadine or similar then file any rough edges of offending toe and tape. For taping you can cut up a material bandaid if you like into a small strip to wrap around end of toenail - this can stay on for weeks. If its a serial offending toe you may need to keep it wrapped permanently. Always make sure the toes is trimmed without any rough edges.

For toe dislocation - depending on the severity you can pop them back in yourself. You use the same amount of pressure as you would popping your own finger back into place. You do it quickly and with confidence - trying to be gentle will only add to the pain. You must do it in one quick motion - its going to hurt ( it hurts us so your dog is not different) but its better to get it back in sooner rather than later. If it is a severe dislocation a vet trip is in order. If you can get the dislocation back in yourself, wrap or tape toes together to keep them stable and this will give the tendons time to heal.



Phoebe (Belle's Sweetpea) adopted 9/2/13.

Jack (BTR Captain Jack) 9/28/05--11/2/12
Always missing Buddy, Ruby, and Rascal.

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Guest KennelMom

Anything with the neck/back I feel better with a trained eye/hand doing the examining. You don't want to go moving the neck this way or that and make things worse. Sometimes you can watch their whiskers and when you move over a owie spot, they'll "wince" with their whiskers. Things you can observe on your own....have them "watch" a piece of food...left, right, up, down...are they moving their head/neck freely. Is there one direction they're resistant to turn? Are they getting up/down off furniture like usual? If they are, are they moving the way they usually do (ie, jumping, climbing, etc). See if you can observe them from a distance in the yard at a walk, a trot...it takes a good eye to find lameness sometimes.


You can have your vet teach you some range of motion techniques...for future reference, you may want to pick up a copy of Care of the Racing Greyhound....they cover a lot of this stuff in there.


If it's enough pain that you feel you need to give medication and it's not better in 24-48 hours, I'd be at the vet.

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Guest Liz_in_PA

I am very unlikely to do any manipulations. I have no desire to hurt him or get bitten.


But what I will do is the treat movement and watching of the eyes and whiskers. That's very helpful information. Thank you. He'll take it easy for a couple of days and we'll see what happens.

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Guest Liz_in_PA

He jumped on the bed today for the first time in 4 days, his tail is wagging again, and he was willing to follow the ham in all directions with his head so I think that maybe another day or so of rest should have him back to normal.


Thanks for the advice it was comforting. We now know what to watch for.

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