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my 5 and a half year old bernese mountain dog hasen't been feeling well for 3 days. she is usually very active. now she does not want to do anything but lie down. it seems she has pain while going up steps. but we went to an emergency vet and they checked all her limbs and there seems to be nothing wrong with the legs themselves. we aren't sure if something is internally or externally causing her this pain but something is clearly wrong. when she stands she seems to be shaking a bit, and often when she goes to stand from lying down she lets out a very faint yelp while pushing herself up. this major change in behaviour changed very suddenly, over night you could say, and i hope someone can help diagnose her. thank you.

She may require X-rays to see if there is anything wrong with the joints or the bones.  Often, non-specific pain could be a muscle or a tendon strain, a ligament stretch or even nerve pain, which will not show up on X-rays.  Your vet may have to try different pain relievers if the X-rays are clear to relieve the pain and let her have some comfort. Rest is also very important in these orthopedic cases, so don't encourage walks or runs with her for a few days.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf


Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats


I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

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