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Thank you for your question. My name is***** I have been a small animal veterinarian for 13 years and I'd like to help with your question.
Your situation is a difficult one for a few reasons. First, given the limited description of pain in your boy I think a buldging disc is a reasonable diagnosis. It is actually very common in the breed and causes intermittent sharp pain. Sometimes that pain is the only symptom. And as for tests... it requires a MRI or CT scan (maybe a myelogram) to diagnose a disc problem These tests are not something that most vets have in their clinic. You would have to go to a specialty center and with no paralysis associated with the pain, most specialty centers would not consider your dog urgent enough to see right away. So I am comfortable with her doing no tests and I am comfortable with her giving pain relief.
The problem is... that a buldging disc can cause a lot of problems, but is not something that they would typically die from in that short time period. So one of two things has happen... either he died as a reaction to the drugs or a diagnosis was missed. Without having an necropsy to determine the cause of death or the specific drugs and doses it is hard to say more.
I will tell you, that if I saw your dog and I found no problems other than the pain, I would have treated with pain relief (not sure what they gave and if I would have done the exact same drugs) and recommended he stay in the hospital for observation. However, if you as the owner felt he would be more comfortable at home I would have let you take him home. So I have a hard time finding any fault in what she did.
I hope that helps, but if you have additional questions please let me know.