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Kicking back leg out and trying to chew paw of that leg,

Kicking back leg out...

Kicking back leg out and trying to chew paw of that leg

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. What is the dog's name and age?

Rocco 2.5 years

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Rocco?

He had a tail amputation 6 months ago as he was run over by car - the only behaviour since then is sensitivity around his tail sometimes

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Answered in 12 minutes by:
10/20/2017
Dr. Meghan Denney
Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,984
Experience: Veterinarian at Kingsland Blvd Animal Clinic
Verified

Hi I am Dr. Denney. I am currently reviewing your post now. Please give me a few minutes to type my response. Thank you for trusting us with your question. This service is used for general information only and is no substitute for a veterinarian patient relationship by examination.

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Can you tell me if Rocco had any other injuries besides to his tail after his accident ? Was there any bruising or cuts along his hips or legs?

Did he have X-rays done of his hips and tail after the accident prior to his tail amputation?

I am concerned that there may be some residual nerve damage causing phantom pain syndrome. Nerves that are damaged fire incorrectly and can lead to stinging, itching pain which then can cause the dog to chew and bite at the stimulus. In nerve damage there is no evidence of what is causing him to bite or chew or kick his leg out.

There are medications and treatments that can be used to treat nerve or phantom pain but the leg would need to be examined first to check for other causes like infection, ligament injury, foreign object in the skin ( sticker burr) etc. If your veterinarian can not find another cause for this Behavior then your veterinarian can try him on medications to help with nerve pain and discuss is therapies like cold laser therapy or acupuncture can help get theses symptoms resolved so he does not hurt himself.

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Here is an article talking about a specific injury that can occur with car versus dog injuries

Cauda Equina Syndrome (Lumbosacral Stenosis)

Authored by: Dr. Greg Harasen

The cauda equina is made up of the tail end of the spinal cord and the adjacent nerve roots. Sometimes the spinal canal, through which the spinal cord and nerves pass, narrows and compresses the nerves. The most common spot for this narrowing to occur is at the lumbosacral joint, where the spine meets the pelvis. Spinal canal narrowing at the lumbosacral joint is referred to as lumbosacral stenosis, and the condition resulting from the compression of these spinal nerve roots is called cauda equina syndrome.

The narrowing is most often caused by arthritic degeneration or intervertebral disc herniation, but traumatic injury, congenital malformation (born with it), or tumor growth can also be involved.

The most common symptom of lumbosacral stenosis is pain. In the beginning you may also notice stiffness leading to difficulty in walking, climbing stairs, getting on furniture, wagging the tail, positioning to defecate, or getting into a car. One or both back legs may become weak. Some dogs will cry out in pain when trying to move. In severe cases, the nerve roots can become so compressed that urinary and fecal incontinence will result.

German shepherd dogs and other large breeds are most commonly affected. It is unusual to see signs in dogs younger than 3 to 7 years of age.

The first diagnostic test is a physical and neurologic examination. A veterinarian observes the dog's walk and then tries to determine where the pain is located. Additional diagnostic tests are usually required to establish the diagnosis. These include x-rays, CAT scans, MRI, and electromyography. Traditionally, a myelogram, a specialized x-ray where contrast liquid is injected into the spinal canal to outline the narrowed areas, has been the preferred test. More recently, advanced imaging techniques - especially MRI - have become the test of choice.

Treating lumbosacral stenosis depends on the cause and severity of the symptoms. Mild cases often need only supportive treatment, which includes crate rest and anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medications. If symptoms persist or worsen, or if neurologic signs develop, a surgical procedure may be indicated. A dorsal laminectomy creates an opening in the top of the spinal canal to relieve pressure from the nerves. Occasionally, adjacent unstable spinal vertebrae may have to be fused to prevent recurrent nerve trauma. These methods can be used in the same surgery. Strict rest in the post-operative period is essential to minimize complications.

Recently, preliminary research studies have indicated that the anti-inflammatory effects produced by injecting cortisone drugs into the lumbosacral spinal canal may be as effective as surgery in some dogs. These injections are touted for the majority of cases, in which signs are mostly pain and stiffness.

The treatment approach is to start with medical treatment and leave surgery as a last resort if there is no improvement or if neurologic signs are developing. That’s more the case currently than ever before now that corticosteroid injection is an option.

Dogs with mild signs have a good prognosis as they can be medically treated. Severely affected dogs, including those whose nerve root compression is so severe that urinary or fecal incontinence has resulted, have a poor prognosis as most such dogs do not become continent again, even after surgery. However, surgery or epidural cortisone can relieve pain and improve quality of life

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Hello
Yes he had complete X-rays and scans to check him all over and the only damage was the dislocated tail. Could this nerve situation take this long to happen?
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Does it get worse as he gets older?

Yes nerve pain or nerve injuries can show up later in life as a result of narrowing of the spinal cord after the accident and it may have just reached the critical point to show symptoms.

This could also be something else physical like a broken toe nail ( you would see this though), sticker that has worked its way into the deep layers of the skin, or ligament or tendon injury.

A physical exam with your veterinarian can help us start to rule in or out possible causes.

Yes nerve pain can be progressive, but not always.

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The tail being dislocated means the spinal cord was damaged and as such can show symptoms at any time in life just like in people. Not always a common presentation but it is possible.

Dr. Meghan Denney
Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,984
Experience: Veterinarian at Kingsland Blvd Animal Clinic
Verified
Dr. Meghan Denney and 87 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
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Good luck with Rocco. Once your veterinarian examines him and his leg a little closer they will be able to tell you what is the most likely cause. They may find a different injury or cause (besides a residual nerve injury) which they can treat accordingly.

Thank you for the positive rating

I am also here for additional questions you may have just reach out to me here and I will be more than happy to assist you.

Kind regards,

Dr. Meghan Denney

This Content is not intended to be a substitute for a professional veterinary exam, diagnostics, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your attending veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition of a pet.

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Dr. Meghan Denney
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