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Muscle Strain, Herniated Disk?


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Hello All!

 

My Charlie yelps when he stands up after lying down. :( How can I help him rest and not aggravate the injury?

 

This is my first post to Greytalk. I am kind of overwhelmed by all the info in the forums but I did a search and learned some things from http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php?showto...hl=disk+disease.

 

A massage therapist and I worked on him yesterday. After extensive palpation we found muscle knots on the interior/front side of his left scapula/shoulder blade (omotransverarius muscle) which when given fairly deep pressure elicited a whining response. He also showed tightness in the neck area (longissimus thoracic) on both sides. No other palpation produced a noticeable discomfort response. He does not appear to be sensitive around any of his cervical or thoracic vertebrae. With range of motion testing, if he attempts to lift his head up to or above parallel to his back or turn his head sharply to his right he cries.

 

Tomorrow he goes for x-rays. The vet today gave a preliminary diagnosis of herniated intervertebral disk disease. She suggests cage rest 2-4 weeks but Charlie wants to walk gently around the house. I think the gentle walk helps loosen up the tight muscles. I carry him upstairs to his bed and carry him into the car for drives. He normally is fine with stairs. The main problem is when he stands up.

 

The onset was fairly sudden – around Oct 20 (playgroup?) or after one of his Tasmanian Devil episodes in the yard – maybe Oct 22 – so somewhere around two weeks ago. The pain seemed to get better and then last week around Wed he ran around in the back yard after supper – his normal excitement time – and I think he aggravated the problem at that time. Now he cries out a lot when he stands up – especially at night or after deep sleep, but his walking was less tentative today. He loves to stand and lean his head down and get a neck massage.

 

The way he improved previously I am tending to think muscle tissue damage as the primary problem, but the yelping and pain level leads the vet to consider the herniated disk option as a more root cause. Charlie has normal temperature, heart rate and breathing. Eating and bowel movements are also normal.

 

The vet has prescribed novo-prednisone to reduce inflammation. But isn’t the inflammation the body’s way of healing? She said the only idea she has for immobilizing the neck might be the www.BiteNot.com collar. But the movement of the neck is not the primary problem; it’s the standing up from a lying position. And I read elsewhere that the BiteNot doesn’t work that well for greys. But perhaps it could help to support the neck area?

 

Melatonin may be an option to help Charlie sleep more and therefore rest the affected areas. Or is more powerful sedation indicated?

 

Any suggestions/support? It’s so scary when the love of my life is suffering like this and I am relatively powerless to help him…

 

Thanks for all the info and community support on this board!

 

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So sorry you and your pupper are going through this.

When I took Lou home, I guess his stair climbing and descending sent his neck into pain.

He was given steroids and rest, with little walks and no up and down stairs for at least 1 week.

You might consider a harness instead of a collar.

Lou wears his collar for ID purposes only and a no pull harness for his walks, which many vendors on this site sell.

Good luck, hope he feels better soon.

Keep us posted.

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Melatonin may be helpful in relaxing Charlie enough to get some decent rest. As for the injury, wait and see what the xrays reveal. A disc problem should be very evident if that's what it is.

 

Inflammation itself does nothing to heal an injury, so inflammation-reducer meds will not delay any healing. They would only serve to ease discomfort, which is obviously a good thing.

 

If it turns out that nothing is revealed on the xrays, it could be as you suspect- a soft tissue or nerve injury.

 

If that's the case, maybe consider acupuncture as another method of pain relief...

 

Good luck. :goodluck

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~Aimee, with Flower, Alan, Queenie, & Spodee Odee! And forever in my heart: Tipper, Sissy, Chancy, Marla, Dazzle, Alimony, and Boo. This list is too damned long.

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But isn’t the inflammation the body’s way of healing?

 

Nope :) . Inflammation can actually make things worse by irritating adjoining things, causing them to be inflamed too, which can then cause more inflammation .... So you want anti-inflammatory and maybe some pain killer (but not NSAIDs, can't use those with prednisone).

 

Our whippet had a couple of very similar episodes to what you're describing. Prednisone seemed to work best for him. We didn't confine him to his crate but we did keep him off the stairs, kept him calm in the house, and took him outside only briefly and always on leash. IIRC he was on meds for 10-14 days, short leash walks only for @ 3-4 weeks total (a good 2 weeks after he gave any indication of pain). That last episode was @ 2 years ago; he hasn't had any further incidents.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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The x-rays are likely to rule out cancer. Trudy is correct that disc issues will not be seen on an x-ray. (You would need an MRI). My vet told me that the first time I took Katie in for back pain 7 months ago. I'm still carrying her up and down the stairs (excellent weight bearing exercise, isn't it?), her issues are more complicated and she'll have surgery this month. Hope Charlie's problem is diagnosed quickly and that he is able to be treated and feels better soon! I'd stick to the crate rest as your vet suggested. She is trying to keep him from re-straining or re-injuring himself.

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Thanks all for your input!!

 

Charlie has impoved in the past two days. I decided for that reason against general anaesthetic and xrays. He is on nonvo-prednizone to reduce inflammation and benadryl to make him drowsy and rest more. I use a halter for leash walks. If he doesn't continue to improve, xrays will be in order. Constant crate rest doesn't work for him so I keep him on whatever floor of the house I'm on and crate when I go out.

 

Meanwhile, I carry him up and down the stairs and into the car -- 80 lbs is hard on the legs and back -- the things we do for love!

 

Thanks for your advice and help!

 

Ted in Ottawa, Canada

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Hi Ted.

 

My Polli, an almost 9 year old brood mama started limping in late Sept. - 1 week later, no improvement so I brought her in to the vet. She was calm enough that the vet said they could do some xrays of the leg/foot. Nothing showed up, not even arthritis. We had stopped all walks, let her out back on leash only, picked her up each and every time she wanted on our bed, etc. (OH MY back!)

One week later there was no improvement. I took her back in and this time it had to be under anethesia for a complete set of xrays, neck, shoulder, spine etc. She was npot limping the morning I brought her in, but we brouth her in anyway.

 

The x-rays showed nothing again. BUT... she was basically crippled from all the manipulation they had to do in order to get the pictures. It was so sad, she looked like IGOR from Young Frankenstein. We continued no walks, picking her up,deramaxx for pain, tramedol when indicated (for us, it was when she was panting out of the blue which did not happen very often).

The x-rays were sent to Cornell Univsersity and OSU, they all said the same thing. Nothing. It was good, but frustrating> we knew the next step was an MRI to determine if it were a disk.

I wanted to hold off and my vet suggested I do as well.

5 weeks later (now) Polli is virtully limp free. Her gait will be a little bit off when she is on concrete/ pavemenet so I limit he to grass only.

 

As long as your pup is comfortable, give it some time. In the meantime, see if you can find a vet who practices holistically, acupuncture etc. Speak to them via phone and discuss it so that if you need to bring him in, you don;t need to do your research when you need someone right away.

 

I know how frustrating and helpless you feel when you don't know what it is or how to fix it.

 

My thoughts are with you. Keep us informed.

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

Waiting at the bridge Angel Polli Bohemian Ocean , Rocky, Blue,Sasha & Zoobie & Bobbi

Greyhound Angels Adoption (GAA) The Lexus Project

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  • 2 weeks later...
Thanks all for your input!!

 

Charlie has impoved in the past two days. I decided for that reason against general anaesthetic and xrays. He is on nonvo-prednizone to reduce inflammation and benadryl to make him drowsy and rest more. I use a halter for leash walks. If he doesn't continue to improve, xrays will be in order. Constant crate rest doesn't work for him so I keep him on whatever floor of the house I'm on and crate when I go out.

 

Meanwhile, I carry him up and down the stairs and into the car -- 80 lbs is hard on the legs and back -- the things we do for love!

 

Thanks for your advice and help!

 

Ted in Ottawa, Canada

 

Hello other greyt persons!

 

An update on Charlie (formerly known as Elton and SMA's Cruiser),

 

He is continuing to improve :) with same regime as above. I think my vet got it right by diagnosing a disk problem in light of Charlie's neck issues. He only yelps if he tries to twist his head sharply to the right, an action I try to prevent him from doing -- it only happened once or twice this past week -- and sometimes when he lifts his head from lying down on his right side. He has been on the prednizone for almost two weeks and he will go on weaning dosage next week 1/2 tablet every two days and I think I will take him off the Benadryl. I also massage his inside shoulder and neck area 2-3x day. I may consult a local pet chiro if he shows signs of discomfort and lack of range of motion after another week.

 

Thanks for the input and I put out my prayers and warm thoughts for any other grey parents out there who are trying to help their dog's pain/ailments.

Edited by CharliesDad
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Guest Tenderhearts

My daughter's cocker mix had an acute episode with a disc and was given an injection of steroids, plus oral steroids that he tapered off of in 10 days. The vet suggested adding a supplement, and he's had no episodes since then (approximately 4 years ago):

Vetri-Disc

 

Just a thought if you do suspect it's a disc issue :)

 

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Guest sirsmom

One of our previous dogs had disc issues and his leg would swell up so naturally, we thoght the problem was in the leg; never thought of a neck disc. He did have surgery on it and lived an extra 2 years w/o problems. He was also diabetic which reall complicated things

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello All,

 

Charlie began to deteriorate last week possibly due to tapering off of the prednisone and as I, eager to see him back to his usual self, allowed him increased activity. This was 5 weeks into the injury and 3 weeks into the anti-inflammatory treatment. I have tried again to shield him as much as I could from agressive movement, with some improvement in his pain symptoms.

 

This week he had X-Rays which were inconclusive re disk disease (this is good news -- no major disk problem). I visited a local vet/pet chiropractor (Dr. Alison Seely, Carp Road Animal Hospital) and she detected a misalignment between the C7 and T1 vertebrae (front shoulder area of the spine) which she adjusted. He yelped when she did this procedure. The chiro said that this stage of disk disease would not usually show on an X-ray. Charlie will be seeing her again next week for another treatment. We have also resumed a higher dosage of prednizone for another 2 weeks and I'm trying to keep him quiet. Generally he seems happy and comfortable, except when he extends his left foreleg up (eg to climb onto the couch) or when he lifts his neck when lying on his right side.

 

SO there's the update. Thanks for your input and prayers going out to all of you greyt people whose pups may be going through trial of their own.

 

Ted :-)

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Guest Scouts_mom

Have you looked into acupuncture? I have used it very successfully on my 12 yr old Tia who has spinal pain problems. It is not that expensive and in Tia's case has worked miracles.

 

 

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  • 6 months later...

Hi all!

 

Charlie has been receiving chiropractic care from Dr. Alison Seely at the Carp Road Animal Hospital here in the Ottawa Canada area. He took metacam (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory) for a couple of months to reduce the inflammation so that she could make adjustments in his thoracic-cervical (low neck area ) junction vertebrae. When he was at his worst I gave him Benadryl so that he would be more sleepy and could rest his neck. He has had a hard time and I thought I was going to lose him but he seems comfortable again. He probably will need the metacam from time to time as the neck pain seems to reoccur at a mild level occasionally. X rays didn't reveal the cause -- others suggested previously in this thread that disk disease is hard to capture on X ray. A myelogram might reveal more but is very expensive and I probably wouldn't opt for neck surgery anyway.

 

However, things seems to going well for my beloved Charlie as far as mobility goes and he seems very happy and comfortable. I've even made progress with his corns! However, his bloodwork is a little off normals and I've posted on another thread to get some feedback on that.

 

Thanks for your support previously!

 

CD and Charlie :)

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