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Nanda & Nelson

Arched back but happy and moving otherwise

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My 5 year old male neutered dog has been arching his back lately. In his life it has happend before, but it was sporadically. I had mentioned it to our vet who couldn't see anything odd.

Now the past month, we were on an active holiday and I noticed him arching his back one morning. It happened after he woke up, tail between the legs and a sad face. It's is only for maybe 20 seconds then he stretches and is fine again. Happy, grabbing a toy and eating without problems.

We decided to not throw frisbees or balls the rest of the holiday. Back from the holiday we have been doing our normal walks and this evening we threw a few balls - he had a nap and gets up with an arched back. Again, it's a couple seconds, he gets up normally, arches his back, looks sad and then stretches it out.

I am not noticing anything odd about him, he never has a problem walk, getting in the car, jumping on logs... Never had a limp, walks normally and in general has never had any physical issues ever since we had him. The arching is short and he quickly 'snaps' out of it. He doesn't really seem to be in pain - but he can't talk so how would I know.

Is this something 'normal' for an active dog? Is it stiffness similar to what I get when I go to the gym?

It makes me wonder if I should have some more tests done at the vet to rule out anything more serious.

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You may want to take him to a chiropractor. I'm wondering if it's his back, or maybe his digestive system? Has he had any problem with gas or moving his bowels?

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When dogs shake they normally shake from their nose to their tail. The shake travels down the entire body. When dogs have something bothering them and they shake it stops at the point of being uncomfortable/painful. Often that will clue you in to location.

 

Sounds like a pulled muscle to me if he is able to stretch it out and feel better but I have had dog with kidney trouble that arched his back, although that lasted longer than your dog. If I thought it was his back I might request xrays. If I thought it was not I would try a animal massage person or chiropractor possibly. Both should be able to feel if muscles are tight and give him some relief

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It's beeb a while but I figures an uodate wouldn't hurt.

I startes to notice that with the arched back, he would also lick his crotch and thus I started checking him out down there. It scared me to find it was swollen like a small tennis ball, immediatley called the vet. She asked me to check again and it was gone... Appartently it is normal and even neutered dogs can have this. It must make him feel odd and that is why he was arching his back

To confirm my theory this was the cause, I checked multiple times when he was arching and it was the same 'issue'. I did get him checked our by the vet who said all was good.

He barely does it now anymore!

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1 hour ago, GentleLake said:

Now that's weird. :blink:

I know... He was neutered at 9 weeks, that is the policy of shelters in Vancouver, Canada. Way, way too young of course. So far (he is 6 now) it hasn't affected him, except, I guess when he is excited, his balls (or whatever is left down there) swells, and makes him arch his back.

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10 hours ago, GentleLake said:

Now that's weird. :blink:

Not incredibly.  The description is, but basically you know how dogs tie?  Ie: The knot?  That's what's going on here.  It's not super common but it happens.  Sort of doggy erection gone wild.   (Awkward,  and I do not even want to talk about some of the stuff that 'excite' my boys sometimes,  whether they're neutered or not >.< )

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30 minutes ago, CptJack said:

...you know how dogs tie?  Ie: The knot?  That's what's going on here.

But that happens in the penis, not the testicles or scrotum, no?

I'm not sure I see the connection. Not saying there can't be one, but it doesn't leap out to me as an obvious explanation.

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13 minutes ago, GentleLake said:

But that happens in the penis, not the testicles or scrotum, no?

I'm not sure I see the connection. Not saying there can't be one, but it doesn't leap out to me as an obvious explanation.

I'm pretty sure that's what she's describing.  OP just said swollen like a small tennis ball down there' - not that it's happening in the scrotum.   It's just base of the penis and it DOES make the dogs arch.  I could be wrong, but I've seen this nonsense enough that that's what I'm assuming is happening because there's nothing else there TO swell in a dog that's been neutered - and testicles don't regularly swell without major medical emergency and screaming pain. 


Basically I think OP here is just either trying to be 'delicate' or doesn't know what she's looking at.  The explanation *isn't* clear, but it's not a big leap.

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5 hours ago, CptJack said:

I'm pretty sure that's what she's describing.  OP just said swollen like a small tennis ball down there' - not that it's happening in the scrotum.   It's just base of the penis and it DOES make the dogs arch.  I could be wrong, but I've seen this nonsense enough that that's what I'm assuming is happening because there's nothing else there TO swell in a dog that's been neutered - and testicles don't regularly swell without major medical emergency and screaming pain. 


Basically I think OP here is just either trying to be 'delicate' or doesn't know what she's looking at.  The explanation *isn't* clear, but it's not a big leap.

Correct that I don't know how to exactly name it and don't really know what is what. Also, English isn't my first language. But yes it happens in the penis area nog where the testicles used to be (I think, never saw them, never had a male dog before)

His private area never developed much as he was neutered so young. Most people think he is a girl as you can't see much down there behind his long hair.

The swelling comes and goes in a matter of minutes. It hasnt happend for a while even though we got a new female unspayed pup ;).

Sorry for the weird description.

Just thought I'd let people know as this is a much less 'serious' reason for back arching and who knows, maybe other dogs may have it too :).

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7 hours ago, Nanda & Nelson said:

...it happens in the penis area nog where the testicles used to be...

OK. That puts a different spin on things then. What you're describing is the swelling of the glands at the base of the penis, and it helps dogs achieve the tie during mating.

And yes, I've seen neutered dogs swell like that. They can become aroused just like intact males, usually when they're around females in heat, but also at other times when they're very excited. In fact, I've seen neutered males penetrate and tie with a bitch in heat.

It's too bad that it's painful for your guy.

BTW, the scrotum in neutered dogs atrophies, even when they're neutered as adults. My current male was neutered at approximately 1.5-2 years old and there's really no scrotum remaining. I'm sure in a pup castrated that young, the scrotum barely had any time to develop at all since the testicle would've been so small.

ETA: FYI: The scrotum is located between the base of the penis, beneath the anus.

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