Doxycycline was prescribed "just in case" he has had a tick borne disease exposure that has not yet risen to detectable levels and his WBC was very elevated, indicating some inflammation.
We have been dealing with the possible IVDD diagnosis for a month now with great results in the alleviation in pain with full crate rest and these meds. The reason for the continuation of meds is that he is experiencing some pain with eating. Mouth exam and palpation do not indicate anything wrong (no lumps, bumps, ulcerations, bleeding and only mild tartar build up). When palpating along the muscular part of cervical region pretty aggressively he will exhibit some pain reaction, but he does not cry out, and has full range of motion in cervical area. However, he will only eat soft food that has been cut up into very small pieces. He is normally a kibble eater, but since the IVDD diagnosis will not even attempt hard food and if the piece of food is too large, he will only spit it out. Once it is a smaller piece he will eat it immediately.
Even though I have spoken with the vet(s) about this they don't believe it is related to my having to pry his mouth open to give him his liquid meds and pills. He does struggle a little and I am wondering whether this is causing him some discomfort. He is now being allowed to walk a little on a leash (very little) and is walking and pulling along normally, even with the colder temperatures, so that level of discomfort seems to be alleviated with the meds and crate rest.
I am about at the end of what I know to do to help the little guy (he is a six year old 10 pound poodle). He is becoming desperately in need of a bath and groom, but that is far down on the list of things he needs to have done to him now, just need to get this issue with pain associated with opening his mouth resolved.
I have requested a referral to a neurologist, but will have to wait at least two weeks before they have an opening. He is not considered critical as he can still walk, but some of his original symptoms still remain (the eating/chewing neck sensitivity issue). As this has now been going on for four full weeks I am concerned that we are allowing too much time to elapse if it is some neurological inflammation we are dealing with instead of or in addition to the IVDD.
I will continue to give the medications as prescribed, but I think I should get repeat chem panel as he has had some elevated liver numbers and crystals in his urine in the past.
Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
I plan to do both of these ASAP. Are there any secrets to getting into a neurologist more quickly? Emergency vet has written a referral letter, but will not make call to the neurologist for me. I hate to wait two more weeks for an appointment because the do not consider this critical as he can walk. We have already been dealing with this for four weeks and are fearful that we are allowing something to become more difficult to treat as time goes on.