We have a large male greyhound, Ajax. He just turned 11. This all started about two weeks ago. Several times a day he gets short but very painful episodes that happen only when he is lying down and adjusting his position or when he is getting up from a lying position. Most of the time he can lie down and get up without any problem. However, when he puts pressure on whatever is bothering him, he would cry out and jump up and hold his right front foot extended or lift it up and stay frozen for some time in an awkward pose. After the pain goes away, he would be reluctant to lie down for 5-10 minutes or longer. At his worst, he wouldn't stay in his bed for longer than a few minutes at a time and just pace around the room in pain and exhausted from the lack of sleep. Has anyone seen symptoms like this?
We were able to manage the pain only by significantly increasing his pain meds. The vets increased his dose of gabapentin to 500 mg 3x a day and added amantadine which helped quite a bit. He is somewhat restless but sleeps through the night on 100mg of trazadone.
We have seen several different vets and no one has been able to explain the pain. His regular vet, the ER vet and a local board certified surgeon examined him and he wasn't hurting anywhere except his neck. The surgeon was the only one who was able to get him to vocalize pain by turning his head all the way to the right. We ended up taking him to the neurology department of a top research type vet hospital in NYC. We had a MRI and a CT scan done and a full neurological exam (they didn't do a spinal fluid tap test) and they couldn't find anything to explain his symptoms. His blood work is fine. He was not hurting anywhere when they examined him although he was vocalizing some pain on the way to the hospital. His reflexes are fine. They don't think there is anything wrong with his neck or spine. Four different radiologists looked at the MRI and CT scans and provided reports. They found other issues but nothing that would explain the pain. He has a bulging disc but everybody seems to agree it's not bad enough to be a problem. No spinal problems. He has mild arthritis in both shoulders and some muscle mineralization and tendon calcification in his left shoulder. They found an encapsulated thyroid tumor but it shouldn't cause any pain (Ajax had surgery to remove it yesterday). They also saw a spec on his first rib on the right but 3 out of 4 radiologists thought it looked benign and we should keep an eye on it. The fourth one felt it needed to be imaged further but we haven't done the additional imaging yet as we decided to focus on dealing with the tumor before everything else.
Ajax has corns so he has been limping on and off for years depending on how bad his corns are. We had noticed that his limp on his right front leg got worse over the past several months but he also had a new corn on that foot so we didn't think much of it. We have also noticed that he would step funny on that foot by not bringing it straight forward but more from the side. The plan is to continue to see specialists once he recovers from his surgery.
We have also been in touch with dr. Couto to get his input about the tumor.