About Neck Pain in Dogs

Take signs of neck pain in your dog seriously.
Take signs of neck pain in your dog seriously. (Image: damedeeso/iStock/Getty Images)

A dog experiencing neck pain will exhibit one or several symptoms that owners can observe, including slowly walking, holding its head lower than normal, neck muscles can spasm, and the dog might yelp or cry out in pain. Some dogs experiencing neck pain also show signs of tetraparesis and ataxia, which means the dogs seem weak and stumble, in all four legs.

Cervical Disk Disease

A dog's spinal cord can become compressed from a herniated disk. Damage to the intervertebral disk that is supposed to cushion the layers of bone and nerves in the spine dries out and becomes herniated.

Central Nervous System Inflammation

When the membranes surrounding a dog's central nervous system get inflamed, it is referred to as meningitis. A dog's owner might observe the dog showing any of the other signs of neck pain combined with sensitivity to other stimuli, depression, fever or vomiting. Low blood pressure is also a symptom, but not a readily observable one.

Other Causes of Dog Neck Pain

A number of other serious neurological complications can cause neck pain in dogs, including tumor, caudal cervical spondylomyelopathy, which is Wobbler Syndrome, and many others -- all of which require veterinary care.

Get Veterinary Help

If any of the symptoms and signs of neck pain are visible, dog owners should seek veterinary help immediately, to determine the cause of the pain and to initiate treatment and pain relief.

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