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Dr. K
Dr. K, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7544
Experience:  13 years experience as Veterinarian
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My dog cries out when he moves a certain way. I have been ...

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My dog cries out when he moves a certain way. I have been to the vet twice. Once treated for strained back with muscle relaxant and cortisone shot. Didn''t change anything. Next decided it was his neck. Have been giving him rimadyl for last 5 days. No noticeable improvement. Hangs his head now when he moves and tail is down. However, when we go outside for a walk head is up, tail is up, and he''s perky. What could this be?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. K replied 8 years ago.
The most likely cause of the problem that you are describing is something called intervertebral disk disease. Basically, what happens is that one or more of the cushions (disks) inbetween the dogs vertebrae has protruded into the spinal canal and is impinging on the spinal cord. This can cause signs that are mild and limited to pain, or it can be severe enough to cause complete paralysis and loss of sensation in the limbs. In some dogs, steroids for several weeks and very strict cage rest can stop the progression and return the dog to normal (or close to normal) function. In other cases, surgery is necessary to correct the problem. This is usually done by a specialist in veterinary surgery at a referral center or college of veterinary medicine.
I am attaching a client information handout that I use in my practice on this problem. I hope that you find it useful.

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I hope that this information is of help to you, and I wish you the best of luck with your dog. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Dr. K

Dr. K and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Is it possible that it could be a temporary injury as opposed to a permanent condition? He was absolutely fine 3 weeks ago. He was my significant other's dog. I have known him all 10 yrs of his life. When my significant other passed away, I brought him home with me. He is familiar with my house; has been there many times; adores me as his mother. I have another dog who is threatening and keeps him cowering and then he occasionally fights back. I also had him out for long walks on expanding leash and being lightfooted , he was dancing all over the place. I feel either the walks (which he did not have with my boyfriend) or the constant battles with my dog might have caused the problem. Do you think that's possible, or do I need to look at this as long term? Thank you for your invaluable infomation and thoughtfulness in your previous anwer. Big help.
If I owe more money for this, that's fine. Just let me know.
Expert:  Dr. K replied 8 years ago.
I do not think that it is likely to be a temporary problem, like a muscle strain, because he has been on Rimadyl for 5 days and shows no imporvement. If it was something simple, he would be significantly better by now. I do think that it is important for you to go see the vet tomorrow for an examination. If you don't think that the vet that you have been to twice is helping to resolve the problem, then you should try a different clinic, or better yet, ask your vet for a referral to a specialty hospital where you can see an orthopedic surgeon. A very skilled and experienced orthopedic surgeon is sure to narrow down the possibilities on diagnosis for you, and present you with the options you have for treatment.

Good luck to you! I hope that your dog feels better soon.

Dr. K
Dr. K and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you

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