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PParmar1993

Arched back at 6 months old

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Hi all,

I am new to this forum but was looking for some advice for my 6-month old husky! He is very playful, enjoys walks and is very strong! However, since he was around 5 months of age, he started to show an arched back. This was accompanied with pretty severe muscle tremors (severity: 9/10). We took him to the vet and, after examinations and blood tests, we were told that his new food may not be suitable for him (we had weaned him onto his new kibble completely the before these symptoms occurred). So we were told to put pup onto a gluten-free diet, which we did and the tremors have reduced drastically but haven’t gone away completely (they’re around a 2/10 now). Our pup’s arched back is still present and I’m not sure what this could be. I’ve been scouring the internet constantly for over a month and I’m still not sure what it could be. The veterinary surgeon thoroughly examined his back numerous times and she could not feel any signs of trauma and/or abnormalities. Our pup isn’t that keen to sit anymore, and it can take him a bit longer to do so, so I’m concerned about what this could be. We have used a harness on him since he was very young to avoid straining his neck. But Reading up about IVDD makes me wonder if this is what it is because the usual age of onset is 3 years. Does anybody have any ideas? I have attached some pictures of what this back arch looks like. Your help is greatly appreciated! Thank you 

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Hello! 

No he hasn’t had any yet as this is very expensive and he will need to go under anaesthetic. We are planning to have these X-rays taken when he is castrated once he is fully grown. But I’m concerned that what if this is a degenerative or time-sensitive issue? Have you heard of this happening in such a young puppy? 

 

Thank you 

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Hello! 

An update on this issue...

So pup has had X-rays done and nothing showed up on them. His back hasn’t got any better - in fact, the arch seems to be a bit more prominent at the moment. My guess is that more advanced imaging may be required. :( 

Has anyone had any issues with their dog (or dogs of people they know) where the back is arched in this manner? He sometimes protests when you ask him to sit and seems to find it more comfortable to either lie down or stand. 

Would be great to hear other people’s experiences. I am a first time dog owner so this is all very scary, baffling and new to me...

 

Thank you in advance 

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Yep, he was X-rayed for his neck, knees, hips and various angles of his back. Nothing showed up 😕. Very concerned it’s neurological in nature 

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Poor guy... 

My boy will arch and walk around with his back arched for a few after taking a long nap or if he is not feeling well. (Total drama queen and forces the arch) But it never stays.

Have you looked into  acupuncture? 

If it is not showing up on x-rays it can be a pinched nerve. 

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Oh how interesting! It’s been months for my pup :( he can stretch it and it’ll look normal, but this is usually when he’s super alert  

We havent looked into acupuncture yet tbf. I’m not sure if it is just a pinched nerve because of the other symptoms he’s shown (i.e. shaky legs/doesn’t want to jump into the car/climb stairs). Also the vet has physically examined his spine a number of times and he doesn’t flinch when she does this. 

Thank you for your reply! That’s quite helpful, I’ll look into the pinched nerve just in case. 

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Is your vet a Holistic? 

I ask because normal vet seem to take for ever to diagnose things.

I would check the food. Could be getting too much or too little of something. Do not take your vets word for what type of food to feed. Do your research.

I had a female highbred that passed away from a nerve disorder. I had to take her to Davis to be diagnosed by a Holistic vet. (Not the same symptoms as your pup).

If your pup is not wanting to set or do stairs, there is something they are missing. Definitely look into  chiropractic or acupuncture. 

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Thank you for your advice. In terms of his food, we have done a lot of research ourselves and have literally spent the first 4-5 months we have had him in getting that right. He’s now on a grain-free diet (grains tend to trigger acne for him), and gluten and wheat free (these foods seemed to exacerbate his muscle tremors). 

I’m sorry to hear about your dog :( how old was she? Which nerve disorder did she have? 

We are definitely going to push to find out what this issue is - next steps will be getting a third opinion (we’ve already had two). He can still be quite boisterous though so that’s a good sign! 

Thank you for your advice everyone. From a worried first time dog owner, it means a lot. 

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I did a whole story on her and posted some pics last year. I have no idea what I posted it under. LOL

Long story short... she started to not be able to move her tail. It then it moved to her back end.  Paralyzing each body part as it spread. She never felt any pain.

I forget what it was called but it was such a rare condition that I had to drive her 6 and 1/2 hours each way every visit in order to figure it out and try to keep it from spreading.

It took about 9 months for her to go from happy healthy to deciding it was time.

We were never able to figure out if it was a genetic thing or if it was do to the condition she was in before I rescued her.

 I got her when she was a pup and she was about 10 years old when she passed.

Good luck and hopefully you get answers soon.

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Oh that sounds so upsetting and stressful for the both of you! :( 

I guess it was a relief to know that she wasn’t in any pain, and that she lived to a really good age. 

Yeah, my husband and I aren’t giving up! Because he’s so young we hope that his age will help. Fingers crossed...I will keep you all updated as soon as we know more. 

In the meantime, thanks for the support. :) makes a big difference 

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I think what you need is a spinal CT. Symptoms sound very similar to my border collie Murphy. We got him at about 7 and certain movements made him yelp but other than that he was fine. However as he got older it became more of a problem, he didn’t sit, he was either up or down. His back had an arch to it too. Eventually when he was 12 he was getting out of the stream he slipped. Long story short he exploded a vertebra, the first vet didn’t spot it, he was off his back legs by then. Long story short he ended up having a CT which showed the problem and he needed surgery. I suspect he’d had a weakness there for a long time and the twist getting out of the brook finally finished it off. The surgery went very well, he recovered after about 4 weeks but then one morning he went off his feet again and this time he’d had a stroke at which point we decided it was the end of the road.

Xrays are unlikely to show these type of injuries, CT or MRI will, neither is particularly cheap but if it finds the problem it’s worth it, at least ask the vet what the chances are. Murphy never seemed to be in any pain except for when he tweaked it.


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Oh that’s so useful, thank you. I’m sorry to hear about your dog. Was Murphy able to sit at all? My dog can sit and sometimes he’s fine doing so, but other times his legs wobble as though he can’t hold his weight up properly. He can also stretch his back so it looks as though he has no arch, but this is only when he’s hyper vigilant or stretching in an exaggerated manner. When examining him, the vet does feel along the spine and he doesn’t flinch when she does this. Was this the case for you also?  

I will definitely mention it to the vet and see what they say. I think we’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that we will need further scans to find out more. 

Thanks for your advice! It’s useful to hear other people’s experiences. 

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He did sit but his back was always arched and he couldn’t seem to sit for long. I wish we’d been more proactive in finding out what the issue was but he never complained or seemed to bothered. He didn’t seem to have any especial sensitive spot on his spine.

 

I asked his previous owner a couple of times but apart from saying he met a guy at a service station who took 5 mins to sort him out he just wouldn’t disclose what was wrong.

 

He was such an easy loving great boy who never fussed it was a really bad day when we had to make the decision but a dog who can’t walk isn’t a dog any more.

 

 

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That sounds very similar to mine tbf...sounds like quite a bad back trauma occurred? Thinking about it, I can’t pinpoint anything that happened around the time that he started to arch...

Bless him, it sounds like he wasn’t able to live a fulfilled life at that point though, so I agree. You did the kindest thing for him. I hope I won’t have to make that choice 😔

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I’m not sure he would have needed trauma, as a pup just overdoing something can have consequences that may not be apparent straight away. For example before the CT the vet was explaining it could be a shattered disc or a spinal stroke. The stroke will heal on its own more or less whereas a disc won’t and the quicker it’s seen and dealt with the better chance there is of it healing. With Murphy because the vet pushed the decision on to us it was nearly a month before he had the CT.

I hope you’ve had some progress with him and I wish him a quick recovery.


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