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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10207
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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Just trying to learn more about intervertebral disk issues.

Customer Question

Just trying to learn more about intervertebral disk issues. Our Frenchie, has been having back issues for the past week. Xrays showed nothing,but he is now on pain pills and steroids. Still intermittent issues in the morning or when the pain pills wear out, before next dose. Seems to be acute spot middle to lower back. My question is if we do MRI (expensive), what are the potential outcomes they could find and what are the potential cures (surgery, non-surgical). Sad, wanting to help our Buster, but trying to be smart about resolutions and cost.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. John replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Thanks for writing in. My name is***** and I would be happy to help you. The MRI would just confirm a herniated disk or something else impinging on the spinal cord. You cannot see a herniated disk on an x-ray. You may see signs of it, such as other calcified disks or a narrow disk space. Really, a neurologist wouldn't consider surgery for a herniated disk, unless Buster starts to lack the ability to move his rear limbs. Otherwise, conservative treatment with strict rest and pain/anti-inflammatory therapy would be recommended. Sometimes adding a muscle relaxer or gabapentin can help with further pain control. If not improving with conservative treatment, then an MRI might be a good idea to rule out other potential causes of spinal cord impingement. It could be a tumor (although less likely with his young age) or even a unstable vertebrae. They may need to be rested for a few weeks in order to recover, so it may take time. I hope this is the information you are looking for. If not, please let me know.

DISCLAIMER: My goal is to make sure that you get all your question answered and all the information you need. If you are satisfied with my answer, please rate it. If you feel like it is not helpful to you, or if there is more information you need, please respond back to me before rating. Realize that our conversation is not intended to diagnose or treat a condition. There has to be a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship established with an exam, according to law. You should always follow up with your vet.

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