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Misty is recovering well from a scary month of back pain that was finally diagnosed with an MRI and CT scan as spondylitis, an infection of the vertebrae. She had severe back pain for about a month, and I treated her for what we thought was a herniated disc with tramadol, gabapentin, and prednisone. We finally ended up at the emergency vet after a terrible night of her vomiting and by morning, unable to stand. The emergency vet happened to have one of the best (and only) neurologists in the area, who right away diagnosed the problem. I brought Misty home on Thanksgiving day not knowing if she would make it or not. She was and still is on a regimen of antibiotics, gabapentin, tramadol and rimadyl. She was still dehydrated, exhausted, and skeletally thin. She couldn't use her back legs and I had to take her outside using a sling or carrying her. I think my friend saved her by telling me to give her pedialyte, diluted gatorade, and stage 1 chicken baby food. I used a feeding syringe to get the electrolytes into her every 2 or 3 hours the first night and day and fed her baby food and plain yogurt with a spoon. Gradually she recovered and now, ten days later, she is eating well, walking, and much more comfortable. I think the antibiotics are working and she is much better than she has been since the pain started. I encourage anyone with a dog with back pain to have them checked for this. If the vet hadn't found it, I would have continued to treat for a herniated disc and the infection would have gone undetected until it was too late. I am so thankful to still have my beautiful best friend with me.

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The problem is many owners refuse advanced imaging -usually because of cost. I'm glad you are on the correct treatment plan and things are improving. I had a Border Collie years ago diagnosed with the same disease-after antibiotics and months of crate rest she recovered beautifully.

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The problem is many owners refuse advanced imaging -usually because of cost. I'm glad you are on the correct treatment plan and things are improving. I had a Border Collie years ago diagnosed with the same disease-after antibiotics and months of crate rest she recovered beautifully.

Good to hear this. Misty is currently having a bit of a relapse. She is walking and eating great, but seems uncomfortable when she tries to lie down to rest. The vet recommended upping the dosage of gabapentin...maybe I just need patience.

She has a greyt will to live, and you have the love and intestinal fortitude to do what you must to nurse her back to health. Kudos to you both!

Thank you! We are still struggling with ongoing pain issues, hoping it will all resolve once the antibiotics have time to work. She is a trooper about taking all the meds.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Happy to report that after 7 weeks on antibiotics, Misty has made an almost full recovery from the spondylitis, which was caused by a staph infection in a UTI. After her slight relapse last month, she has steadily improved. She is now sleeping comfortably, eating like a horse, and back to her prancing, playful self. Amazing! She is my Christmas miracle.

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