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Gen B.
Gen B., Retired Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2227
Experience:  Lhasa,Shih Tzu Breeder/ B.A.Neurophysiology & Animal Behavior/I use plain English!
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how long does neck sprain in beagle mix take to resolve

Resolved Question:

diabetic/ blind male saw his usual crtical care vet on 12/27 who diagnosed neck sprain manual on exam (flexion/extension painful) can get up to defecate, urinate, eat- all nml. still on rimadyl, i discontinued ultram as he seemed worse on it.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Gen B. replied 8 years ago.
Hello and thanks for researching this very important question!

I am so sorry that you are having this difficult and distressing experience with your Friend.

Cervical neck symptoms in dogs are every bit as awful as lower back problems are in people...a dog's neck bones and back muscles work very hard to hold the head up all day. It can take quite a long time for a pet to feel back-to-normal. A month at the minimum is not out of the question.

Each pet is an individual, but even a "simple" strain or nerve pinch can lead to an extreme experience of pain. Affected dogs prefer to not move, hold the head forward or slightly down, and are distressed when they anticipate, they tense up even before anyone touches them or picks them up.

Morning is often worse, especially for those pets that don't move a lot overnight during sleep, or sleep on drafty flooring, or are overweight. Making sure that he has a most comfortable surface to lie on in a room that is not too cool may help, but let him rise at his own pace and limber up slowly. Moving about should be confined to Necessity only--get food, water, go outside.

Tramadol is a very strong medicine, and it does not always agree with all pets.

Pain that worsens can indicate that something More Serious than a strain is going on: Lyme Disease, or an infection in the spinal cord, to name a few. If this discomfort seems to not improve or gets any worse, a re-check appointment and some tests are in order.

Some areas have Veterinary Chiropractic or Acupuncture services available, your vet's office would know about this and can give you a referral. Older dogs have a very good response to this type of treatment.

In the meantime, do continue allowing him to rest as much as he likes...limit all activity that is not necessary, even when he starts to feel better, to prevent re-injury or exacerbated injury. These patients often have relapses periodically throughout their lifetimes, unfortunately, so you will always want to be somewhat careful of ambiguous situations (boisterous children or other pets), moving furniture, stairways, and early signs of discomfort.

You might try putting a Very Stable ramp at any stairs for him.

***If you need to pick him up, scoop him with the whole arm between the front he is lying on your forearm...and then let him "sit" on the other hand or forearm so that his back is a straight as possible and he can lean his shoulder against you if needed. Don't rush...let him settle as much as he can before lifting so that he gets the idea that you are trying hard to not jostle him. This can help him release his muscles instead of clenching them.***

Medical approaches to pain are pretty is just one example of the different approaches different vets take, depending on their experience and background:

His diabetic diet can be melted in water and then liquified in a blender to make it easier to lap and swallow to get some calories and stomach buffer into him if he seems to be having trouble chewing his regular food. Raising his dishes up so that he can approach them straight-on (without bending his neck down) can help him get water and nutrients more easily.

If you need additional support at this time, please click "Reply", otherwise I thank you in advance for your "Accept" and will hold a Good Thought for you all.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
thank you so much!
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Relist: I still need help.
his condition seems to wax and wane in terms of movement and pain. He is able to eliminate, move outsie, eat and clean himself. Despite this seeing him in pain at all is obviously worrisone. How can one tell the difference between a severe sprain and a disk subluxation or rupture?
Expert:  Gen B. replied 8 years ago.
You may really need an xray at this point...sprains can be bothersome with increased effort, but should improve pretty steadily. Nerves that are pinched by shifting spinal cord bones will give an off-and-on pain and disability experience.

His ability to perform necessary "chores" and functions is a good sign...severely disabled patients have trouble with even minor movements, and prefer to wait to the last possible moment before exertions such as elimination and eating solids. Disc ruptures are virtually 100% disabling.

Since his breed is susceptible to more serious injuries, and due to his age, I would have at least one xray of this neck to get a more exact picture of what is happening, and to make sure there is no other more serious problem incubating.

Although many pets do well with the modern anti-inflammatory drugs, sometimes we do need to use some steroid therapy to accelerate improvement and provide more even pain relief...this is something you have to consider with his medical team, since switching from one to another can be tricky.

Otherwise, continuing to go at his own pace is best...he seems to have a good sense of his limitations.

Glad to hear back from you...continue to let me know if you have questions. He's certainly living with the Right Caretaker!

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