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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14857
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My question about our mixed terrier Buddy was answered however

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My question about our mixed terrier Buddy was answered however I'm not comfortable with his progress. He has laid around all day with none of the normal interaction with us. On occasion he will yelp in pain and once his foot was slightly touched when my husband walked past and he really "screamed" and jumped.

Since the Vet found no evidence of back trauma I'm confused as to the cause even tho I'm told it isn't uncommon for back problems not to show evidence.

He is taking 1/4 tablet of Robaxin. I'm told he should show signs of improvement by Mon. I am so upset to see him like this and I'm worried this could be something more serious or lead to a more serious problem.

I want your opinion of his present treatment; should something be added and once he gets past this how can we prevent it happening again?

Thank you.

Hello, I am really sorry to hear that Buddy is still uncomfortable even with Robaxin (methocarbamol).

It isn't at all uncommon for the adrenaline released while they are at the veterinary clinic to over-ride significant pain and make it very difficult to find the source of pain when we are examining our patients.

I am not surprised he is still uncomfortable because while Robaxin eases muscle spasms it doesn't help the primary source of pain, which is pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots.

Veterinary drugs we can add include steroids or a nonsteroidal like Metacam, Deramaxx, Previcox or Rimadyl as these will reduce the inflammation and pressure on the nerve(s) which is the primary source of his discomfort. If those aren't enough we can add another drug in the opiod family called Tramadol and/or another drug called Gabapentin.

I understand that you don't wish to overmedicate him but by using an anti-inflammatory (steroids or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory), a muscle relaxant like Robaxin, and a medication purely for pain such as Tramadol we can use lower doses of each and get him much more comfortable. If he cannot rest and relax he won't heal as well or as quickly.

Best of luck with Buddy, please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I understand this can cause paralysis and I want to know the likelihood of anything like that happening to Buddy. Also are there precautions we can take to keep this from happening again once he's healed this time. Also is this just a spontaneous thing due to his back (he's part dachsund and we understand this is a common problem for them) or is did he sustain an injury?

The less he does activity wise the better and the less chance he has of damage such that he ends up paralyzed. I believe that using an anti-inflammatory also lessens the risk of paralysis. If he will rest quietly in a crate that is ideal. No running, jumping or stairs for several weeks. I cannot say if he will be paralyzed but if he isn't so far that is a good sign. In most cases we see paralysis within the first day or two.

In most cases intervertebral disc disease happens spontaneously but keeping him on the thin side will reduce stress on his back and neck. I also recommend using a harness rather then a collar reduces stress on his back and neck, as a harness distributes forces more evenly.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm sorry to be a bother but should paralysis occure is there a treatment for that... outside of surgery altho I understand surgery is an option? And keeping him quiet while healing is one thing and we'll be sure to do that but once he is healed is there a protocol that might keep this from happening again? Thank you for your advice.

If he does become paralyzed surgery is the best option for him, but sometimes medication alone and rest will allow him to recover.

The only protocol for keeping him healthy is keeping him lean, not letting him jump on or off things, and really crossing your fingers as in some dogs it just seems to happen no mater what we do, unfortunately.

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