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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24357
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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What to do next? I took my dog to the vet as she was very

Customer Question

What to do next? I took my dog to the vet as she was very lethargic and yelping for no apparent reason or when she tried to shake her head. They diagnosed an ear infection and started that treatment with Tri-Otic ointment and Rimadyl. A few days later was worsening. I took her back and then did basic blood work, which was normal and an xray of her back. It showed a some discs on the lower back where almost bone on bone. They did a laser treatment and switched the meds to Gabapentin Tramadol and Prednidone. She is sleeping and settled down, but when she moves a certain way she yelps. Today she started limping and will hold up her right paw. Her paw did not seem to hurt before, but now she is favoring it. When laying down when moves that leg she will yelp. Please, any advice would be helpful. Holiday weekend and no vets open.
Thanks
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with your dog. When a front leg is involved the myelopathy (spinal cord disorder) is also present in the cervical (neck) segment of the spinal cord. Holding up that paw is considered a dorsal nerve root signature sign which you can consider the same as sciatica but in the front rather than hind leg. The trio of drugs is still appropriate but in general cervical disks take a bit longer to quiet down than those in the lumbar area and surgical decompression of the cervical spinal cord may be necessary in patients who don't respond to the tincture of time and those drugs.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Would doing an MRI be better than an Xray in case she needs surgery She started feeling bad last Saturday. Took her in Tues and Friday Still not better and still in pain The only option this weekend would be to go to an emergency center, but she does not do well with strangers and it will really stress her out even more. I have her penned up and she is sleeping off and on. She did eat this morning and has urinated three times, but has not had a BM yet.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

Absolutely. X-rays too often miss the lesion. If you can keep her very quiet (lest she hurt herself further) and medicated, you can avoid an ER visit. Constipation is common with lumbar disks because it hurts to position to defecate. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
How do I help her be able to pass a soft BM
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

An over the counter laxative/stool softener such as docusate sodium (Colace, e.g.) dosed at 50-100 mg once or twice daily can be helpful. Adding psyllium seed (Metamucil, e.g.) to her diet at a median dose of 2 tablespoonsful per day will act as a bulk laxative.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I have her confined in a small area about 3 by 4 foot is that ok or should I indeed put her in the crate.
She will tolerate it but does not particularly like it
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

The small area will suffice. I can't lock up my patient in a crate. Jumping up and down and navigating steps is what really needs to be avoided.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks so much I really appreciate your help.
Sincerely
Paulette
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

You're welcome, Paulette. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin