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Sore black lab?

Species: Dog
Breed: American Black Lab
Age: 5-8 years
Hi,
I have a 6 1/2 year old extremely active Black Lab named Miller. He loves to jump and catch balls and jump and catch Frisbees. On Tuesday, we think he might have strained something in his abdomen area - he isn't limping, yelping or whimpering when you examine him - his activity is just less than normal. Food and water consumption is fine...he is just slower to get up on the couch or fetching a ball. It seems to bother him for any kind of stretching. Can I give him Aleve or something else for inflammation? He has a prescription for Tramadol 25mcg but I wasn't sure if this would help in this case. Thanks so much!!!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm sorry to hear that Miller is not feeling well. Any time a lab doesn't want to be active, we know there is a problem!

It would be uncommon for a dog to strain something in the abdomen. However, what you have described could indicate a back problem. Often if dogs have a sore back they will be reluctant to jump and move slowly. A back problem can be hard to pick up unless you are trained in doing back exams, and even then, sometimes it can be hard to diagnose.

There are other possibilities, as his symptoms are kind of vague. Are his gums nice and pink? I've seen dogs with abdominal bleeding have symptoms like this. If this were the case then his gums would be very pale. If you think this is happening then he needs to see a vet right away.

It's also possible that he has some abdominal cramping causing him pain. Most dogs with this will have a lack of appetite, but then in a lab it takes a lot to put their appetite off.

I never recommend over the counter medications for pain relief in dogs. There are a few reasons why. One is that if there is something going on with his kidneys or liver or if there is bleeding then an over the counter medication like Aleve or aspirin could make these worse. The other is that these medications can stay in a dog's system for several days. So, if you end up going to the vet's and they want to give him some steroids or a prescription non-steroidal medication they may not be able to give him anything until the first drug is out of his system.

The Tramadol could be helpful if this is just a pain problem. However, I can't legally advise you on the specifics of administering medications over the internet.

Is there any way that you could have your vet see Miller today? If this is a back problem then they can prescribe medications that will really help. They can also do some neurological examination to make sure that this is not a serious back problem. Some dogs with back "strains" can go on to get a prolapsed disc which could cause paralysis. Although this is uncommon it does happen. Treating early and giving strict rest is very important when there is a potential back problem. If this is not a back problem then your vets can help you figure out what it is!

If you are not able to get to the vet right away the best advice I can give is to keep Miller as quiet as possible and make sure that he doesn't do any jumping or running.

I really hope he is ok!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.