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My dog has been in pain since last Wednesday, it'seems to be…

My dog has been...

My dog has been in pain since last Wednesday, it'seems to be getting better but she still yelps when in certain positions and getting up and down from furniture. I am not sure if we should go for xray or not? It seems to be improving but she still seems uncomfortable.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help your dog. What is the dog's name and age?

Chloe and 6 yrs

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

On Wed morning last week she was out in our backyard going to the bathroom when she started screaming in pain, after about 1 minute of screaming we got her to lay down but then she wouldnt get up, so we picked her up and rushed to vet. They thought she might have been bit or stung and went into anaphylactic shock so they gave her an injection and sent her home.

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Answered in 9 minutes by:
2/12/2018
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17,716
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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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 Chloe. She still sounds very uncomfortable.

A reaction to a bite or sting should not last this long, I suspect that she has something else going on.

Do you know what medication was in the injection she was given? Was it a steroid?

Dogs that are painful will hesitate or cry out suddenly jumping or climbing stairs and display the sort of behavior she is, either because it hurts to do the activity or because they feel weaker than usual.

This sounds like a problem with her 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 when the pup moves a certain way, and in severe cases paralysis.

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 she should have a recheck with her veterinarian scheduled. If this is indeed a disc problem since her pain is lingering your veterinarian can prescribe a steroid or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory to relieve pressure on her spinal cord and nerve roots, as well as something for pain too, such as Tramadol. And if she is having painful muscle spasms then a muscle relaxant such as methocarbamol as well.

She should be closely confined starting now. No stairs, running or jumping. If you have a crate for her I highly recommend using it. The less she moves around the more comfortable she will be and the faster she will heal.

She should be taken out on a leash to relieve herself. Do not use a collar for her, a harness which more evenly distributes forces if she pulls on her leash is better.

You will need to confine her for several weeks, even as she starts to feel better or she may reinjure himself.

Keeping her on the thin side is recommended to decrease stress on her neck and back, but is no guarantee that she 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

There are other less common causes of back 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 or neck pain in dogs.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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Customer reply replied 7 days ago
He injection was Benadryl because they thought is was anaphylactic. Looks like one of my comments didn’t get to you ��. By Thu evening she was still whining even when laying down and hadn’t eaten in almost 48 hr plus was painting super bad so we took her to emergency vet. The gave her maloxicam and Gabapentin. We have given her the maloxicam every night and give her the gabapentin every 8 hrs. Last night she definitely had more energy and even stood on her hind legs for second. She’s been eating well since Friday morning also. She finally slept through night last night but yelped when getting up. I agree it’s somthing other than a bite, but she seems to be getting better but not sure how extreme of tests to go through now or see if she continues to get better? Not sure if the meds are masking it as they build and if we don’t get tests when they end tomorrow will she be worse again?

Thank you for the additional information.

I understand that she is already taking an anti-inflammatory (Meloxicam) and Gabapentin, and it sounds like those are helping, which is great. Given that I'm not sure further testing is needed.

It does sound like she may need a longer period of medication though, and I would probably add Tramadol for pain too. I do think if we stop medications now she will be very uncomfortable.

Given that a recheck exam may be in order just to make sure she is coming along as she should and to refill/add medication if need be.

I also highly recommend that she be kept very, very quiet which means no stairs, jumping, running, or going outside off leash.

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17,716
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
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Customer reply replied 3 days ago
She is doing much better. Still not 100% but a significant improvement and a lot less pain. Thank you so much for your help and following up!

I am happy to hear that she is feeling so much better, my best to your pup, hopefully things continue on a positive note.

Please let me know if you need any further help, thanks, ***** *****

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