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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19590
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My active 6 yr old female Chihuahua/schipperke mix 20lbs was

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My active 6 yr old female Chihuahua/schipperke mix 20lbs was unable to jump on the bed, sofa etc. last Sunday. She was fine otherwise, eating drinking, playing, pooping, peeing etc. I took her to the vet Monday night. From me knowing my dog, I felt it was something in her left hip/leg. I noticed she was sitting a little funny. The vet felt her back, hips & legs & said she basically threw her back out. She jumps all over the house & thinks she's a cat thanks to my two 1yr old cats :/. Her throwing her back sounded like a good explanation. He gave her an injection of dexamethasone & pills to take for 2 wks. I gave her the pills for 2 days & stopped because it gave her terrible diarrhea & she was having difficulty walking. Once I stopped the pills the diarrhea & wobbly walking stopped. She seems a little better but I can tell she is uncomfortable & it seems she is having spasms in her back legs when she sleeps. I don't know what to do. I figured if she just threw her back out it would heal & she would be fine.



My name isXXXXX've professionally worked with animals for over 16 years dealing with both health and behavioral issues. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.


I'm not sure what the other medication was. It might have been a pain reliever or a combination antiinflammatory medication with pain reliever. However, if she was having difficulties with the medication, then discontinuing it would have been recommended but you should have called your vet so a different medication could have been given.


In addition, you should have been told to keep your dog as inactive as possible for a week or so to give the injury time to heal. We recommend crating and only allowing the dog out on a leash to eliminate. Disc injuries can be serious. An intervertebral disc that has slipped or ruptured up into the spinal canal causes inflammation of the spinal cord, which in severe cases causes paralysis of the rear legs. You can read about this here:


If the pills were an antiinflammatory/pain medication which I suspect it was, then discontinuing them left your dog without antiinflammatory meds to help reduce the swelling and relieve pressure on the nerves in the spine. So your dog's discomfort would be back. Normally I would have expected some improvement with the meds and strict inactivity, but without the meds and her not being contained, it will take her much longer to heal if she does not reinjure the back again.


You might take her to an ER vet and take the medication with you so they will prescribe something a little different for her. Or you could crate her and keep her inactive until you can get back into your vet for a different antiinflammatory/pain medication.


I wish I had something you could do tonight but the only over the counter medication can not be given within a week of many other medications used for this condition. I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The pills were dexamethasone as well. I have tried to keep her as inactive as possible. We live on the 3rd floor carry her up & down, pick her up to go on & off the bed etc. I feel like it is still her left back leg/hip. I don't understand why the vet didn't do an xray. I think I'm going to take her back to the vet on Monday. I feel so bad for her :-(. What about a bath with Epsom salt? My friend had mentioned that to me.

I actually do understand why he didn't do an x-ray. In many cases, a disc injury may not show on normal x-rays. A myelogram or CT scan is often necessary to diagnose a disc injury. in many cases if the hip or knee is seriously injured, the dog will hold the leg up. Also, dogs with disc injuries frequently will stop jumping up on things and avoid stairs since it puts a strain on their back to move in that manner.
I would not bathe your dog. Most dogs are not comfortable in the bath and if she twists while being bathed, she might injure it even more. As I mentioned before, if at all possible, crate her. You don't want her even walking around if possible. She should be more comfortable when inactive. When you take her back to the Vet on monday you can request a CT scan and then you should know for sure.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks so much for explaining things & the advice! I will definitely take her back to the vet on Monday.

Sunday Sue,.You are very welcome. I hope you come back and let me know what your vet decides to do.