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Cervical Spine Area Pain


Guest 2nsnoe
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Hello, I'm hoping someone can give me a little insight on this topic.

 

My 4 year-old greyhound, Stella, began having trouble rising from a laying position about 3-4 months ago. It started during the night one night and seemed to progressively get worse. She will scream and cry while trying to get up or even just move into another sleeping position.

 

I took her to the vet where they did blood work, spinal x-rays and manipulated her to see where the pain seemed to come from. My vet determined that it is in the cervical spine area, but does not appear to be the spine itself. (X-rays were normal.) This left muscle, soft-tissue or nerve injury as possible causes. Stella began a regimen of first prednisone and muscle-relaxant. This did absolutely NOTHING for the pain. I called my vet and she added Tramadol to the mix. That pain pill hardly seemed to take the edge off, she was still screaming and crying when she got up, laid down, tried to put her head to the floor.

 

Through the forum talk and talking to other grey owners, Gabapentin was suggested. This was a MIRACLE drug! Stella immediately felt relief and was back to her old, ornery self! I thought she was on the mend and soon to be off her medications.

 

Now, after a month of Gabapentin (low dose- 100mg once a day) she is again screaming through the night when she moves. She seems better during the day - runs and plays and jumps with my other grey. She exhibits no other symptoms of spinal injury, she walks normal, no paralysis.

 

Has anyone else experienced anything similar and did your dog eventually heal? Or is Stella going to be dealing with this her whole life? Am I going to have to keep increasing her gabapentin dose.

 

Any insight will be helpful. Thanks so much!

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Have you tried Chiropractic or accupuncture?

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.

 

 

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A GOOD accupuncturist/or chiroprator is prolly her best bet. She will prolly have issues off and on at least for her whole life. Personally I would restrict activity for a couple of weeks even after she is appearing to "be better." It can be very serious if not managed correctly and managing it correctly can actually make the difference between minimal trouble during her life and very serious issues. Thats been my experience with several hounds. Its a common thing with hounds in my experience.

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We had something similar going on with Cecil a few months ago. It started after a sprint around the pony corral at the fairgrounds which is usually pretty safe since it's filled with sand. Anyway, he came up a little gimpy and by that night was limping very badly and it seemed to be his shoulder. It didn't improve in a day or two so I took him to the vet. He was very stoic during the exam and nothing seemed to hurt. Vet said probably soft tissue and to keep him leashed. Limp got better, but he starting screaming when he was moving in the night and when he'd get up from lying down. I started giving him Rimadyl and it worked after a day or so. Took him off after 3 or 4 days and he started crying out again at night (and like Stella, seemed much better in the daytime). Took him back for X-rays fearing the worst and they were clean. We hate medicating but every time I took him off the meds he'd regress in a few days.

 

We have an animal chiropractor relatively close-by, Dr. Sivula in Richfield, OH. Cecil had 3 treatments and went through a bottle of Ligaplex supplement and he seems to be 100%. No Rimadyl for almost 2 months and he's back to sprinting. Dr. Sivula diagnosed cervical spine issue based on X-ray and exam. If you Google cervical spine and dog, the first thing that pops up is an x-ray of a greyhound spine, so as racingdog says above, its probably pretty common in greyhounds.

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Thank you so much for the feedback! It is so appreciated. We have only walked Stella with a harness since her injury. I spoke with my vet today and I am going to try doubling her gabapentin and I am taking her for acupuncture.

 

It is hard to keep her down when she feels good. And I realize she needs to rest to heal. I'm really hopeful that the acupuncture will bring her relief.

 

Thank you again for all the feedback!

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Guest 2nsnoe

Well, we took Stella for acupuncture and she seemed to LOVE it. She seemed to enjoy the placement of the needles and she seemed to respond well. However, 2 nights ago she's back to screaming at night and all the next day. In fact, her pain seems to be worse. Gabapentin doesn't seem to be touching the pain anymore even after doubling the dose. Makes me wonder if it ever helped or it was just her pain waxing and waning.

 

We have another acupuncture appointment tomorrow where I will consult with the vet about chiropractic care. I will also inquire about Robaxin.

 

This is soooo hard because my husband and I feel so helpless. We don't want her to have any pain. :(

 

Has anyone ever heard of heat therapy helping? And if so, what options are out there?

 

Thanks for the support!

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When Cecil was in pain and before we did the chiro treatments, I gave him Rimadyl which is for pain and inflammation. We really don't like meds for long term treatment unless it's absolutely necessary, but without the Rimadyl he was screaming every time he got up, especially at night. Not sure if Stella and Cecil even have the same issue, but Rimadyl definitely worked for Cecil's pain.

 

Also, our chiro vet suggested heating pad for 20 minutes 3 times a day. I used a buckwheat neck pillow I heated in the microwave, so we did that too along with the Ligaplex supplement and the 3 chiro treatments.

 

I was able to wean him off the Rimadyl a few days after the first chiro treatment and he never limped or screamed again. It's such a horrible sound to wake up to in the middle of the night - sorry you're having to go through this and hope you find a solution soon for Stella.

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Guest 2nsnoe

We've tried Tramadol but not Robaxin or Rimadyl. I am going to ask my vet about them today at Stella's appointment. I can say that prednisone and methacarbomol and tramadol didn't touch her pain.

 

Thanks for the tip on the heating pad, it seems like that might help. And hopefully her acupuncture today, along with Robaxin and/or Rimadyl will bring her some relief!

 

I'll keep you posted. :) Thanks again for everyone's insight!

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