Beagle in Pain

Updated on September 19, 2010
B.W. asks from Saint Paul, MN
18 answers

Three weeks ago our beagle started showing signs of being in exteme pain. Arching her back trembling and panting. We took her to the vet and they determined that she has inflamation around a vertabrae in her neck. So they gave her steroids and muschle relaxers. After 2 weeks we saw no improvement so we took her back on Monday. They increased the dosages of the meds she has because now they really don't know what's going on. They gave her another pain med and a tick borne med to rule out anything she may have contracted from a tick. It's Thursday and I still haven't seen any progress. She's always hunched over, shaking and panting. The vet said that it may be "Beagle pain syndrome" but again we have seen no progress from the meds in 3 weeks. My husband thinks they are going to tell us she needs surgery which we in no way can afford. But I think there should be some other options to try before we do surgery. Does anybody have a beagle this has happened to? Since they don't know where the pain is coming from it's tough to think of what to do. They talked about an MRI but insurance doesn't cover that. Has anyone heard anything about K-9 chiropractics? HELP!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I have a girlfrriend who uses a pet chiropractor and a very high quality vitamin supplement for her lab. If you are interested in learning more, please contact me and I'll get you her information.

Best of luck

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answers from Cincinnati on

I would look into other vets, especially homopathic vets in your area. Just like with a doctor, if one doesn't know what's wrong with you, you find another. Good luck, because it sounds just awful for your poor puppy.



answers from Los Angeles on

How old is she? Has she had any injuries or other health problems in her life? There are chiropractors for dogs in Los Angeles, but not sure about St. Paul.
Surgery, without a diagnosis, is not feasible or even responsible. Your dog is in severe pain, and if the Vet can't find the cause, it's time to get a SECOND OPINION.
In the meantime, insist on PAIN KILLERS for her. At this point, her pain control is even more important than finding the cause, so first help her feel better- even if it means "knocking her out" with some drugs so she can get some relief. It may be that her pain level is so high that nothing else can help her. She may simply be exhausted by pain.

Saying some prayers for you guys- and your poor pup!



answers from Fargo on

We had a beagle that had seizures. She would arch her back, tremble and pant when she had them. Although it sounds like your beagle does it all the time. She had to be on medicine for the seizures. Pure bred beagles are prone to seizures.



answers from Minneapolis on

If your vet says something lilke "Beagle pain syndrome," then you should directly contact a purebred beagle breeder and ask the same question. Breeders are more than happy to discuss breed issues, if asked. They are intimate with problems and characteristics specific to their breed. Often, they know more than the vets (sorry, vets.)

Google "purebred beagle breeder."

BTW- Purebred breeders are NOT puppy mills. They breed for the show ring.



answers from Milwaukee on

I saw a chiro in the past who also treated pets. Personally, I would call a few in your area and if they do not treat animals, they may know of some who do.

Best of luck and hope your dog heals soon!



answers from Minneapolis on

Minnetonka Animal Hospital has a holistic vet who does acupuncture and I think chiropractic care - I'm sure there is one in or around St.Paul. From the responses, tho, it seems like it may not help. I feel so bad for your pup, and its so hard on you to watch!



answers from Sioux Falls on

Yes! There are veterinary chiropractors! Try to find one in your area. It may be just what she needs!



answers from Madison on

Look up It is run by Stephen Becker, a wholistic veterinarian. I'll tell you my story below, then tell you more about his products.

My cat Blue has feline stomatitis/gingivitis complex, in which his body attacks the dentin in his teeth, leading to painful inflammation in his mouth. In fact, his last bout back in Aug 2009 was so bad that Blue actually dug a hole through the side of his mouth, trying to ease the pain. Not pretty.

Our allopathic vet wanted us to put him on all kinds of meds and steroids. We did put him on antibodies twice to get rid of the infection, then I took him to another small town vet, because our vet said he needed his teeth cleaned and he should have 2-3 teeth removed to "stop" the spread of his gingivitis.

Eh. Wrong. The small town vet said they don't take out good, healthy teeth. She also was the one to tell me that our cat didn't just have gingivitis, but rather he had the feline complex. She did clean his teeth, but his teeth really didn't need to be cleaned. Then she sent us home.

So here I am at home with a cat who has an immune system problem wondering, what do I do now? Like you, we couldn't afford to put him on continual steroids or antibiotic meds, and we sure can't afford to pull out all his teeth (which is the only "sure" way to make sure he never has another flare up). Nor did I want to take out his teeth! We also don't carry pet insurance. And we weren't ready to "get rid of him" just yet, either, without trying something. Instead, I got on the Internet and started looking up feline immunity and came across Dr. Becker's website above.

What I found for Blue is something called Feline SuperFood. I give him 1/4 tsp twice/day in his soft canned cat food (100% all-meat, usually a blend of beef or turkey or chicken mixed with at least one type of fish), along with sprinking some Wysong dental powder over the top and mixing all of it together. After he has eaten ALL of his soft food, then I give him a small amount of hard cat food that's no-grain (meaning it's 100% meat). We're coming up on a year now of doing this for him, and he hasn't had another outbreak. I also put him on a grain-free diet and only feed him food/treats that are free of known allergans (no wheat, no gluten, no soy, no corn, no rice, etc.). He's the healthiest I've ever seen him.

My suggestion to you would be to contact Dr. Becker, explain the situation with your Beagle, and see what ideas he has for you. He makes products for both cats and dogs, and most of his products are to boost the immune system. And all of his products are very affordable (otherwise we wouldn't be doing it. Blue is just a barn cat; we're not interested in spending lots and lots of money on him.). I would think Dr. Becker might have some ideas for you to help your Beagle with his pain. I know how hard it was to watch Blue with his mouth pain; I can't imagine how hard it would be to watch a Beagle in pain.

Let me know if Dr. Becker was helpful, if he has any naturalistic products that are helpful. I really, really like his products and think highly of him. I sent him e-mails about Blue before I started using his products, and he personally answered my e-mails and my questions.

Another idea: pain comes from inflammation, and a lot of inflammation comes, believe it or not, from what we eat. Have you tried putting your Beagle on a no-grain, all meat diet? Maybe give him an organic meat diet until you see some improvement (you can get this at some local organic pet stores; they keep it in a fridge. I'm not talking about PetSmart or PetShop or Mound's Pet Warehouse or any of the commercial pet stores. I'm talking about small, local, natural, organic pet stores. In Madison, WI, we have one called MadCat, which is where I buy all the food for our dog and cat. You might also want to think about giving him reverse-osmosis water to drink; it takes out chlorine and flouride and a bunch of other stuff that shouldn't be in the water. With his immune system lowered, he should be drinking as clean of water as possible. We drink r/s water and so do our pets.). Also, make sure all treats are 100% All-Meat; that way, you know there is NO FILLER in any of it.

Good luck to you and your Beagle.



answers from Minneapolis on

I recently read about a chiropractor for humans who is starting to work on pets, but now I can't remember where. I read the Strib so you could check their archives. Have you tried googling veterinary chiropractors? My dogs have been to veterinary dermatologists, opthamologists, oncologists and orthopedic surgeons. If there aren't veterinary chiropractors, there will be soon! The University of Minnesota Veterinary College, located in St. Paul near the fairgrounds, is another resource. They have an amazing clinic and hospital. If you call them they might be able to steer you somewhere. Although they are a traditional medical facility (not homeopathic), I have found them to be extremely knowledgable and compassionate. They might have information about chiropractors, etc. Finally, I can highly recommend my vet clinic in Inver Grove Heights if you decide you need a 2nd opinion. Good luck--it's hard to see them in pain. I just lost a 17 year-old dog last week. )-:

Updated to add: I just googled "Veterinary chiropractic minnesota" and came up with MN Animal Chiropractic Care at It isn't a clinic, but an organization that provides information and referrals.



answers from State College on

Did they do xrays or test for the tick borne diseases? Xrays may need to repeated to see if there is any change. Testing for tick borne diseases would rule that out at least. It can take several days for treatment to start working. Is she on crate rest and no exercise and no leashes attached to a collar? Probably not the case, but has she been out of the area or out of state at all, there are some regional diseases in one area, but not in another.

Back and neck problems are some of the worst, since pain meds and anti inflammatory are the main treatments. You may be able to do a wash out period and try a different anti-inflammatory if there is another one the vet likes and recommends. It sounds like they are doing the normal treatment and helping as much as they can to keep her comfortable. Elevate her bowls if you haven't so she doesn't have to reach down for them. You may be able to try acupuncture or massage therapy if you have anyone in the area that does either.

Sounds like a hard one for you, your beagle, and the vet. Hope she is feeling better soon.



answers from Minneapolis on

I don't know anything about this problem, but I would get a second opinion. Dr. Peck at the Pilot Knob Animal Hospital in Eagan @ ###-###-#### is a vet I would trust any problem to. We've been seeing him with our cats and dog for over 20 years.



answers from Rochester on

I have an 8 year old beagle that also suffers from back problems. His is in his lower back by his tail and is caused from his vertabrae being to close together and rubbing together. He also does the panting and trembling thing when it is really bad. My vet put him on Metacam and just recently added Tramadol. What meds did your vet give your beagle? Also, my chiropractor said he has helped some pets before, however I have not tried that route yet.



answers from Milwaukee on

Both of my beagles have suffered neck injuries (one had to be on IV morphine and oral pain meds in the ICU at a local veterinary college to control the pain) anyhow, multiple rounds of oral steroids and rimadyl plus TIME is what it takes for our dogs. The injuries can affect walking as well as they have with our male dog. I guess Beagles are prone to neck injuries. I hope she feels better soon.



answers from La Crosse on

When our beagle was a puppy he developed this same type of thing. The poor thing could not move without screaming in pain. It was horrible for all of us. The vet had no idea, and after ruling everything out, and with help from our own research settled on Beagle Pain Syndrome as the diagnosis (but there was never any way to confirm with a definitive blood test). BPS plays out like meningitis in symptoms. The treatment was high doses of steroids, which I was not thrilled to give a little puppy, but we had no choice. I don't remember how long it took to see improvement (a few days...a week?) but we did. That was ten years ago. He grew up to be short and stocky (maybe from those steroids so early on) but seems quite happy in his life. He is still tender with his back (always has been), but doesn't seem to live with pain (never cries out when we pet him, and romps about like a normal dog - though at ten years, he is slowing a bit). I don't know of a surgery that will solve BPS, and calling a Beagle breeder might be a good idea as well. Good luck with this...hang in there!



answers from Philadelphia on

I have a beagle who is 6 yrs old and for the last 3 yrs he has been going off and on with back problems(at least 2 times a yr)and about a month ago the pain came back and isn't going away.I took him to the vet and they did an xray and said it was his neck and gave me meds for him but it's been a week and no sign of him getting better.I was trying to see if other people went through this with there beagle and your story seemed just like mine.The vet said he might need to see a specialist,and I'm thinking omg how much is this going to cost?But I want help for my dog.I can't stand to see him like this.Can I ask if you got help for your beagle?If you have any advise please share it with me.Thank you and good luck with your dog!!



answers from Minneapolis on

um you might want to go get a 2nd different from a family dr.i really hope she pulls costs are just outrageous..go see another vet asap.good luck


answers from La Crosse on

If it is Beagle pain syndrome (and it sounds very much like it is), there is no surgery that will help. Neither will chiropractics. Diagnosing Beagle pain syndrome is basically a process of elimination, but I believe it is mainly done through blood tests. The treatment is a high dose of steroids, but if she is in that much pain and not improving, she should also be given some pain relief, poor thing! I'm not sure if muscle relaxers help BPS at all. I agree with others who have suggested getting a second opinion. Call a few vets and ask if they have experience with BPS. Find one who is an expert. If your vet has expressed doesn't know what else to do, ask him/her to recommend someone. Our vet referred us to UW-Madison a few years for a dog with a different illness, but they had the experts and resources needed there.

Hope your beagle improves quickly - I'll say a prayer for her. Our current dog is a beagle, and they are really a very special breed!

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