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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29826
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have a three year old dog which has been yelping sporadically

Customer Question

I have a three year old dog which has been yelping sporadically for around a year. He is sometimes fine and then he will start yelping again. He often yelps when turning and now always prefers to back up rather then turn. He has had and MRI and Xrays. MRI showed no nerves getting pinched but did show mildly inflamed milanges(not sure how to spell that). The vet now wants to give him a spinal tap. I am not sure if it is worth it and if I should put dog through more pain. He seems to get better with rest. When he is with the handler and crated lots he does not yelp. With me he is training, jogging and hiking daily. Do you think it could be muscle. What kind of muscle pulls could it be. How would I be able to tell soft tissue damage. Could a groin pull show this kind of reaction. He sometimes walks slowly with back legs turned inward.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I would find a soft tissue injury - sprain, strain - to be an unlikely etiology for sporadic yelping over a period of year. Even the most severe of soft tissues injuries should heal in that time in dogs. His yelping when turning and meningeal inflammation shouldn't be ignored as the important clues for a central nervous system disorder.

I understand your reticence to have the invasive and costly spinal tap performed but I would discuss a corticosteroid (prednisone, e.g.) trial with your dog's neurologist who is considering a steroid-responsive inflammation in such a patient as your dog.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.