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Limping And Severe Pain.


Guest Phaedra3
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Guest Phaedra3

Last Tuesday I noticed my Phaedra was favoring her right front leg and as the day went on she began to pant and was not able to position herself in a comfortable position. Off to the ER we went that evening. The doctor gave her an exam and checked her reflexes and diagnosed her with soft tissue injury. Phaedra was given Tremadol and Novox for the pain. We had to take her off the Tremadol, she was unable to tolerate the drug. A few days later she has shown no improvement, so we took her to our vet who also did an exam and X-rays to out rule Osteo. Today I called the vet again to tell her Phaedra is not getting any better, in fact she has stopped eating and just drinking enough to get by. I have been giving her wet dog food thru a syringe. She does nothing but lay all day and at times shakes, I assume from pain. The doctor took her off the novox (anti-inflammatory) due to her age(11) and because it was not helping with the pain and put her on Methocarbamol and gabapentin. The doctor is suggesting an MRI to check for a nerve tumor. I can't imagine that a soft tissue injury could cause her this much discomfort to the point where she will not eat or move. It is killing me to see her like this. I sleep on the floor next to her at night. Anybody have any thoughts as to what this could be? Faith

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Guest Scouts_mom

Before you get an MRI (which are very expensive, get an ultrasound and maybe more x-rays. The ultrasound will show if there is possibly a tumor pressing against a nerve (the problem my sweet Mindy had). Also, where are you located? OSU is a great resource, esp. if you are near. Otherwise if your vet is a general practice vet, you may want to visit a specialist. Something is clearly very wrong.

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I have very little doggy medical experience, but for what it's worth... Here in the Southwest, Valley Fever is a common illness, caused by a fungus that lives in our soil. We found out Olivia had it when she began limping and not walking on her left rear leg, obviously in pain. It also made her very tired. The vet diagnosed it through a bloodtest. If there is any chance your dog was ever raced in or traveled through the SW, there is a possiblity she could have it. My understanding is that once they breathe it in, it can stay in the system for quite some time before it shows up. It is treatable through meds.

Qui me amat, amet et canes meas...et felem.

Olivia (RDs Merrygoround, b. 4/6/07, Gotcha 12/19/11

Chloe (PAR Candice, b. 5/22/08, Gotcha 12/18/12)

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Guest Phaedra3

I am located in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I was told that Phaedra was from Massachusetts. I will ask the doctor about an ultrasound vs the MRI .

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Were the vets who saw Phaedra able to determine what part of her leg was painful? It's possible the problem is arising from her neck/spine rather than her leg. A disc or vertebral problem in the neck can often cause a front leg lameness and pain. Did the x-rays they took include her neck?

 

Does she have a fever? A systemic illness like a tick-borne disease, or Valley Fever as AZGreyGirl mentioned, are also possibilities. When my girl got sick with what we suspected to be a Bartonella infection (but were unable to confirm), it started off with a right front lameness which progressed to severe pain in her armpit/shoulder area, although she did also have a fever and enlarged lymph nodes. Because of the location of the pain, we did do a CT scan (don't have MRI locally) to rule out a nerve sheath tumor deep in her armpit.

 

If things don't improve and your regular vet isn't able to figure it out quickly, I'd definitely recommend consulting with a specialist asap. Sounds like there's definitely more going on than just a soft tissue injury. Best wishes for your girl! :hope

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Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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Guest Phaedra3

The X-ray did include the neck but not the entire spine. The 2 times she was seen for this problem there has been no fever. Going back to vet today to do more blood work. I will check with the vet today if the X-ray included the spine between her shoulder blade. They are thinking the pain is in the shoulder area.

 

When she was examined by the vet she thought she was tender alongside the neck which runs down along side the front of the shoulder.

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The odds are not good that it's a soft tissue injury given that we're talking serious pain, a greyhound, with no known injury.

 

I'd DEMAND more x-rays before anything else. And I'd also insist they be sent to OSU.


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Guest Phaedra3

Today Phaedra has shown a little improvement, she is showing an interest in her treats and ate some boiled chicken. The muscle relaxer seems to be helping. I pray she continues to show improvement.

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:hope for Phaedra and for you. Keep us posted.

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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Oh, gosh, how I sympathise! I've just been going through almost the same thing with Sid, only his began after a routine dental.

 

My first thought was that they'd damaged his neck - he tends to get cramps along his spine particularly in the neck/shoulder area because he's a tripod. Also, because he's been a tripod so long, his musculature has changed so he's more heavily muscled there than he should be.

 

Like Phaedra, he got to the point where he wouldn't eat and was hardly drinking, and all he would do is lie - in an odd position - and tremble and pant, and occasionally give blood-curdling screams, run up the garden and shake like a leaf. He was hospitalised because it was so hot and he was dehydrating, but he did not improve and when I got him home it was clear to me that the drug they had him on (Vetergesic) was not suiting him. It took 24 hours to get it out of his system and in that time I really thought I was going to lose him. Talked to a stupid girl-vet who had three possibilities for me: !) he'd had had an infarct under tha GA and should go for a neurological work up including MRI, 2) he had a fractured temporo-mandibular joint or 3) he'd suffered serious burns to his oesophagus due to reflux under GA. Luckily for Sid, I had more experience than the average owner and refused to accept any of those options - although due to his bizarre behaviour, I was close to believing in the infarct.

 

We then saw a more senior vet, and one I trust. He agreed with me that none of those scenarios was likely and said it was possibly an infection, and also that it was possible for greyhounds to get into a kind of 'pain overload' syndrome where, when they were in considerable pain already, the smallest extra pain would send them over the edge. And he agreed that it was possible that his neck had been hurt.

 

With decent pain management - Tramadol actually suited him beautifully and allowed him to relax fully for the first time in a week - and time and patience plus a round of a different antibiotic for an infection in one of his tooth sockets, I have my old Sid back. He's not 100% yet, but he's getting there. He'll yelp occasionally (maybe once a day), but he's eating and drinking and coming for scritches, sleeping flat out and dreaming (which he'd stopped), and enjoying short walks.

 

What I'm saying is that pain of this severity is not always due to something major, even though that is the most likely thing. If you're not happy with what your vets have said, please get a referral to a specialist (I had already armed myself with the name of a greyhound vet recommended by two different trainers before going back to my own vet) and if you are anywhere near OSU, I'd certainly ask for a referral there. Good luck with Phaedra - it is agonising watching them go through something like this.

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The plural of anecdote is not data

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Guest IrskasMom

I'm sorry Phaedra is in so much pain ... I would suggest getting another xray and sending it to OSU for a consult.

 

 

Ditto ( as soon as possible )

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Guest Phaedra3

I have seen a little improvement yesterday and today and her appetite has started to come back. The methacarbamol has given her relief when she is laying down. However, she is still experiencing discomfort when up walking around. Went back to the vet again tonight for a full blood work up, just in case we chose the do the MRI option and to keep a check on kidney and liver function due to the meds. I hope it doesn't come to that because an MRI is very expensive from what I hear. Vet said to give it a few more days to see if she continues to improve.

 

I am familiar with Valley Central in Allentown but I prefer to use Northeast Referral Hospital in Plains, PA. The staff there have always treated us very well as I am all too familiar with trips to the ER. As everyone knows, things always happen after hours or on weekends.

 

 

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How much methocarbamol? And how much gabapentin? Gabapentin generally takes a couple of days to be really effective.

 

My 12-year-old, 65-pound boy takes methocarbamol (500mg, two or three times daily); it's the only thing that lets him stand up and lie down without pain. He also takes gabapentin (200mg, two or three times daily) and tramadol (50mg two or three times daily--it's a shame your girl can't take this). His problem is spinal arthritis (about where his shoulder blades are), a slightly herniated disk at L5 (that's just about at his hipbones), and plain old age. He's still happy to throw a stuffy across the room, and he's doing much better than we thought he would be months ago. He's never groggy--and sometimes he still roaches and squirms and wiggles around on his back. He also feels well enough to go head-down in my kitchen trash can on a daily basis.

 

A sign that his back is bothering him is when he does a lot of shaking as if he has water in his coat. A sign that the meds aren't working well enough is when he starts to shake, then stops abruptly. (In warm weather, Sam usually feels well enough to go with meds just twice a day; cold or very wet weather often require meds three times a day.) If you're not feeding her from a raised feeder, it may be time to start. Also, a harness for walks rather than a collar, so that any restraint or signals to change direction don't result from pressure along her spine or neck, but from the harness's pressure against her chest.

 

P.S. Buy yourself one of those orthopedic foam dog beds. My dogs don't always love it, but I do. It makes sleeping in the floor with an ailing dog much more tolerable.

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High definition x-rays, preferably from a specialist, sent to OSU for a second opinion. Unfortunately the most likely dx here is osteo and it's not uncommon for a "regular" vet to miss the diagnosis.

 

I would not wait and see, even with slight improvement as it's a painful disease and you want to know what you're dealing with.

 

Really hope that's not it, but with an 11 yo greyhound with this kind of pain, it is probable. :(

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"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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If the muscle relaxant is helping, this is likely neck or back injury. An orthopedic or sports medicine vet would be my next stop before considering an MRI. A good hands on exam can generally localize the area of pain. One of my greys presents with severe limping, can't do a single step, and holds her leg in the air when she has neck problems - everything is connected :) The muscle relaxants keep her comfortable until the physical therapy has a chance to kick in.

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High definition x-rays, preferably from a specialist, sent to OSU for a second opinion. Unfortunately the most likely dx here is osteo and it's not uncommon for a "regular" vet to miss the diagnosis.

 

I would not wait and see, even with slight improvement as it's a painful disease and you want to know what you're dealing with.

 

Really hope that's not it, but with an 11 yo greyhound with this kind of pain, it is probable. :(

 

I have to agree with NeylasMom - you need some better X-Rays and send them to OSU. I have lost 2 greyhounds to Osteo at the age 11 1/2, A limp in a greyhound of this age is not good .... :(

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