My dog hurt his back (4.5 year old healthy min pin) about 4-5 weeks ago. He went in for an x-ray, was given a steroid injection and on metacam for about 4 days after. His activity was limited, especially jumping on anything. Earlier today, it seems as if he has reinjured his back. The first time a few weeks ago, he was very tense, and didn't want to walk. This time, he doesn't seem as tense but is limping pretty severely (rear legs) when walking, slightly arching his back when walking, and his rear legs are shaking a bit. I called another friend in vet school, who had me test his rear paws/toes by bending them backwards to see if he returned them forward immediately, and he did. I spoke to my vet, who said I should give him a dose of metacam tonight, and then again in the morning, and see how he is doing then. My friend in vet school said NOT to give him the metacam, because if I bring him to the vet, they shouldn't give him a steroid injection along with the metacam because it can cause severe kidney failure. WHAT DO I DO? Do i bring my dog into a 24 hour clinic for an xray and steroid shot now, or give him the metacam tonight and tomorrow morning, and see how he is an go from there?
Type of Animal: Miniature Pinscher
Pet's Gender: Male
Pet's Age: 4
Nothing. Dog is resting now on a pillow laying on his side. Alert, and his legs seem to be shaking a little bit less.
Hi,Welcome to Just Answer. I'm very sorry to hear about this situation with your guy. Your vet school friend is correct in that you don't want to mix an NSAID (the metacam) with steroid use. IF they are used together, there is definitely risks of stomach ulceration. That being said, the use of steroids with acute back dogs is up in the air as far as true benefit. Some clinicians still feel that in acute cases steroids can have beneficial effects. Others don't feel this is the case. In a situation like this, my best recommendation is to get into the 24 hour clinic for them to do an evaluation of him as it is important to make sure we are more on track as far as the overall situation. Based on that, they can then make recommendations on the therapy to start up.
Thanks for the quick response Dr. Bruce. My dog seems to be resting now, and not shaking at all. It is obviously better to not have to bring him in to the 24 hour clinic (since it isn't my normal vet) and just to bring him in at 9AM tomorrow to my normal vet. Regarding mixing a steroid shot and metacam, I went back and reviewed my records from his first injury a month ago. He in fact did NOT receive a steroid injection, but rather it was a metcam injection, so we are safe in that regard and my trust in my regular vet is retained. So, given that, should I just bring him in at 9AM tomorrow if he is resting comfortably (as comfy as possible obviously) and seems to have stopped shaking? Or is it best to bring him in ASAP??
If he's resting comfortably at this point and the shaking has stopped, it seems that this doesn't have the feel of a true emergency situation. If the shaking returns, he gets really painful, starts to walk on the tops of his rear feet or be really weak in his rear legs - then getting him seen tonight would be more ideal. I'm glad to see that your trust in your regular vet is retained! It is always important to always ask questions about the medications being used and what are possible side effects. Knowledge is power.
12 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian