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Thank you for your question concerning Shooter. Has the issue improved at all since last evening?
Did he do any activities that could have resulted in this injury or did it come on for no apparent reason?
it just happened at midnight
Can you look and see if his pupils are the same size?
We went for our normal nightly walk around 6:30. He appeared fine at that time. I went out after that. When I got home around 11pm he was walking funny with his head down. we went to bed upstairs. My friend stopped by around midnight, shooter went to the door down stair and could not go back up, He let out a yelp when I touched the left side of his neck. I took off his collar and he yelpped again. I directed him to lay down and rest there. This morning I feed him. he did walk a little, but still with his head down. He let out a yelp when he got up. He's now laying down again
Okay, thanks for the additional information
So since the neck and the leg are affected, this is likely to be an issue with the spinal cord where the nerves for the front leg come out of the spinal cord (this is called the brachial plexus region)
There are a few things that could be going on to cause this, and to really figure it out you would need to pursue further diagnostics
1 - intervertebral disc disease - disc material is present between each vertebrae of the spine, and if the disc material becomes unhealthy, it can herniate into the spinal cord area and cause pain, lameness, and sometimes even paresis/paralysis - unfortunately an advanced test is needed to look for this such as an MRI or a myelogram
2 - a tumor developing around these nerves or within one of these nerves. This is less common than disc disease but can happen. Only an MRI can differentiate between a tumor and a disc
3 - an infection or tumor of the vertebrae - both of these would be apparent on x-ray because of the changes that would be present within the vertebrae bone
So as far as finding an actual diagnosis, those are the things you would need to look into
Of course a soft tissue injury, muscle pull, etc is also possible but without some sort of traumatic activity (pain after jumping off of something high, rough housing with another dog, etc) makes this less likely
If you wanted to try some treatment before going into further diagnostics to see if he improves at all, you can certainly do this
An anti-inflammatory such as a corticosteroid (prednisone) or a dog specific NSAID, such as Rimadyl, would be good options to try for a few days to look for improvement
Intervertebral disc disease can definitely improve with rest and anti-inflammatories, however sometimes there is no improvement with medical management and surgery needs to be considered for adequate improvement
Here is an article concerning intervertebral disc disease - http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=3223
I do have stairs and he goes up and down all the time. I've seen him in the past twist his back leg pretty good once.
Okay - so it is definitely possible that the stairs could have resulted in an injury
Unfortunately navigating the stairs should be eliminated from his activities regardless, is this a possibility?
just until he recovers or for ever?
I would honestly say forever would be safest. If this is just a temporary injury, it would probably be more likely to occur in the future if navigating the stairs is the cause
I know that makes things difficult, but is that a possibility?
Also, is Shooter overweight at all?
Getting him to a leaner weight, if not already, will help tremendously, regardless of the cause
no he is very fit. The house is a split house so without access to the stairs he would be cut off from alot.
Hmm. How about putting a baby gait, and only allowing him to navigate them minimal times daily?
Also, if someone comes to the door and he is upstairs, it can stop him from running down to quickly, etc
So basically what I'm saying is if it wouldn't be fair to completely stop use of the stairs, I would significantly limit the use
He is obviously too big to carry up and down, so I think that is your best option
he runns up and then turns half way on the stairs all the time.
Yes - so I would place a baby gate for most of the time so he can't do this
That will certainly help
is there any pain meds I can buy at Petsmart to give him for now. He's way too big to carry and bring into the vet
At petsmart no, not really
You should definitely talk with your vet before doing so, but aspirin is an okay OTC choice
tylenol, aleve, etc ARE NOT
Plain aspirin though, no additives
I typically give 10mg PER pound bodyweight, 2-3x daily as needed if I am unable to give better options
But definitely just run by your vet before giving, he/she should be kept in the loop!
Is intervertebral disc disease curable in dogs?
If the disc has herniated, the only actual cure is surgery
To remove the disc material that has herniated into the spinal cord canal
Do you have any further questions?
I have the same thing and Ican tell you surgery does not work on humans very well.
If it is just bulging and has not herniated, anti-inflammatories and rest can potentially clear up all of the symptoms, however the bulging disc remains and can cause future problems
ok thank you very much.
It's done on dogs a lot, only as last resort
We have pretty good success but it is definitely more challenging in larger dogs
We only really consider it if there is constant serious pain (like what Shooter is doing now, continued on for a few weeks despite rest and meds) OR if there is any paralysis
ok thank you
Any other questions?
nope thank u