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Ask Dr. Loretta Your Own Question
Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28082
Experience:  25 years of experience in large and small animal medicine.
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I have a 7 year old Bernese Mountain Dog that has recently

Customer Question

I have a 7 year old Bernese Mountain Dog that has recently developed pain with walking. Veterinarian initially prescribe Rimadol. Saw improvement for a day or so, then not. X-rays didn't show anything obvious in neck and spine (also ruled out cancers in abdomen). Latest medication routine has been prednisone, gabapentin and tramadol. No improvement after a week. Dosages: Prednisone - 2 tablets twice a day then two tablets once a day (we just began the once a day dosage). Gabapentin - 1 capsule every 8 hours. Tramadol - 2 or 3 pills every 8 hours.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: Symptoms are now worse. No wounds.
JA: The Veterinarian will ask you more detailed questions to find out what is causing this. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Oliver
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Oliver?
Customer: Not really. He has been a healthy dog except for the past few weeks. Occasional bouts with some of the kind of pain he's dealing with right now (altough it's much worse now). Rimadyl helped during those instances.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I can't afford MRI's or CT scans. Is there a different medicine approach when NSAIDs and Steroids don't seem to be working? How can I tell if the symptoms Oliver is having aren't a result of the medications, themselves?
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 4 months ago.

Good Morning and welcome! I am Dr. Loretta, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your question.

I am so sorry to hear about Oliver. It is not a good sign that he has not responded to the very serious anti inflammatory and pain medications. My concern for sweet Oliver is that survery xrays cannot tell your vet if there is a partial rupture of a disc in his neck or back and now, since nothing has been found, it is very important that you have your vet refer you and Oliver to a Veterinary Neurologist. I say this because the only way to know for sure if there is a disc in his back or neck that is unstable is either contrast xrays or an MRI. This must be your next step since this can be very serious for Oliver and since nothing else has shown up, further diagnostics are required.

MRIs are expensive but contrast xrays may tell your vet if this is a ruptured or partial ruptured disc. There certainly are stronger pain medications such as Fentanyl patches but without knowing what is causing this pain, your vet is basically shooting in the dark. Try to get an answer to Olivers pain....that is the best.

Does that make sense to you?

Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please REPLY so I can clarify for you.

Sincerely, ***** *****

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks for your prompt reply. Do you have a ball-park estimate of how much less expensive a contrast x-ray might be (or is that the same as an MRI?)
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 4 months ago.

No, I am sorry but the costs are very different everywhere. Call around to get estimates. The Last MRI that I did cost around $3000 and the contrast xray, usually only done by a Veterinary Neurologist, will run anywhere from $500 to 1500 possibly.

Good luck! I am very worry, as I am sure you are too about your sweet Oliver!