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I am freaking out about him. I got him as a rescue and a…

Hi! I am freaking...

Hi! I am freaking out about him. I got him as a rescue and a couple years ago he pulled his tail muscle and I took him to vet and they gave him medication and took care of him.. this morning and last night he was in pain and would yelp or cry whenever I lifted him up and put him on the ground

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. The noise must be worrying. I'll connect you to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name?

Nacho

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Nacho?

He has crazy allergies and is always anxious But other than that nothing more it

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Answered in 7 minutes by:
11/19/2017
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,796
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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I'm sorry to hear about your fellow's seeming random yelps when being lifted and put down. He sounds uncomfortable.

Is he eating and drinking normally?

Since he just seems to be vaguely not himself that often points to musculoskeletal pain. Dogs that are painful will yelp when there is any sort of pressure or change in position that causes pain. They may hesitate jumping or climbing stairs and display the sort of behavior he is, either because it hurts to do the activity or because they feel weaker than usual. If he has arthritis then most of the time these pups favor a particular leg.

Unfortunately this sounds like a problem with his intervertebral discs, which are the spongy cushions between the individual vertebrae in their back and neck. These spongy discs can move or rupture and place pressure upon the spinal cord which can lead to pain, and in severe cases paralysis. Disc pain can be intermittent, and if they are moved just the wrong way nerves get pinched and the pain can be excruciating and sudden, thus his sudden yelping.

Radiographs can sometimes be diagnostic but often early on in the disease process, because the discs are soft tissue not bone, everything will look normal. An MRI is the best way of diagnosing disc disease.

If the dog is painful but has no evidence of paralysis we can try strict rest, anti-inflammatories and pain medications for several weeks to allow healing.

If there is evidence or weakness or paralysis then surgery by a board certified veterinary neurologist, as soon as possible, is indicated.

Ideally he would see his veterinarian. If this is indeed a disc problem your veterinarian can prescribe a steroid or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory to relieve pressure on his spinal cord and nerve roots, as well as something for pain too, such as Tramadol. And if he is having painful muscle spasms then a muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol as well.

He should be closely confined starting now. No stairs, running or jumping. If you have a crate for him I highly recommend using it. The less he moves around the more comfortable he will be and the faster he will heal. He should go out on a leash to relieve himself. Do not use a collar for him, a harness which more evenly distributes forces if he pulls on his leash is better. You will need to confine him for several weeks, even as he starts to feel better or he may reinjure himself.

Keeping him on the thin side is recommended to decrease stress on his back, but is no guarantee that he won't have another episode. Once a dog has one bad disc the likelihood of another is very high.

If you are interested in reading more here is a link to an excellent article about intervertebral disc disease, its causes and therapy: http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Dog-Health-Center/Bone-Joint-Muscle-Disorders/Intervertebral-Disk-Disease/Symptoms.aspx

Ideally he would wait to see his veterinarian to take any medication because the prescription medication your veterinarian has for pain will be much safer and work better than any over the counter medications that we take. In fact acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin) aren't used in dogs because their effective doses are very close to a toxic dose in dogs.

If you cannot have him examined right away and he is still eating and drinking ok, but is really miserable today the only over the counter anti-inflammatory that can be used in dogs is buffered, enteric coated aspirin (like ascriptin). Aspirin does cause stomach and intestinal irritation and ulceration as well as clotting problems so should not be given for more than 2 to 3 days consecutively and should always be given with a meal. If you choose to use it watch for lack of appetite, vomiting, blood in the stools or dark tarry stools and stop immediately if you see those. Do not use aspirin if your dog has liver or kidney disease or a history of a sensitive stomach or clotting problems, is currently taking steroids, or is not eating.

The dose for aspirin is 5mg to 10mg per pound of body weight orally every 12 hours (about one half of a 325mg aspirin for an 17-35 pound dog every 12 hours). Always give with a meal. Do not use for more than 2 or 3 days.

Be aware if you choose to use aspirin and it doesn't help your veterinarian will be limited on what they can give as there must be a 5 to 7 day washout period between different nonsteroidals or nonsteroidals and steroids.

You can try alternating warm and cold packs on his lower back and neck areas for 10 minutes at a time several times a day.

There are other less common causes of back/neck pain such as infections, tumors of the vertebrae or the spinal cord itself or fibrocartilagenous emboli but far and away disc disease is the most common cause of back pain in dogs.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,796
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you doctor. This morning he was stretching just fine and it wasn't until I put him on the ground to where I noticed his discomfort. Last night he cried from me just sitting next to him, i didnt even touch him but when I sat down next to him he made a loud YIPE. But he ended up going up the stairs and to bed with no issues after that. This morning he woke up, he was playful in bed then when I picked him up and set him on the ground he started to do a low moan like he was in pain. Then when I placed his food out, he walked over to it, hovered for about 20 seconds and then started doing the low moan again like he was in pain. I picked him up and set him in his bed. When he is laying down I have not noticed any discomfort. I had some Tramidol and Rimadyl left over from the time he got a "Limber Tale" and gave him some of that this morning... Should i be freaking out or is this like you said probably a soft tissue injury? I am not sure what is hurt though because I checked all his legs and put weight on all of them and he did appear to be bothered.. He went outside and peed when I forced him too and he did a squatting motion and there was no pain that I noticed there either..Thanks,
Majid

This is a tough one because his pain seems to come and go.

I am glad to hear that he had no trouble passing urine.

I am concerned that he doesn't want to eat, but perhaps bending over is uncomfortable for him. Perhaps try elevating his bowls to low shoulder height.

Let's see if the Tramadol and Rimadyl help over the next 24 hours. If so this is likely musculoskeletal in origin.

If he's no better and refusing to eat then it's time he see his veterinarian.

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I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Kara
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