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Neck Strain?


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My 8 year old grey started limping and whining 1.5 w ago and I gave him tramadol as needed and rested him. He was favoring his right foreleg. He got worse so I took him to vet Saturday. Vet thinks neck strain or cervical disc. No painful areas in leg he's favoring when vet manipulated it. He determined the neck is the issue bc of posture and he resisted having neck manipulated up and to the right. He said its most likely a strain. Now he only turns neck to left, limping worse. Vet said to give him nsaid and muscle relaxant this week and tramadol for breakthrough pain. He hasn't improved since Saturday but vet did manipulate him which could have aggravated the pain? Anyone else have experience with healing time for neck strain? I REALLY hope it's not a disc.

Thanks,

Kathy

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My 5 y/o boy strained his neck too, and it took over 3 months to finally heal.... was giving him Gabapentin 300mg three times a day, along with Tramadol.... now, i just keep him on Gabapentin, no Tramadol... but it took a loooong time to fully heal....

Edited by claudiav

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Try a harness instead of leashing him by the collar when you walk him. If his dishes aren't raised, try elevating them at least a little, so he doesn't have to stretch as far.

 

Robaxin (methocarbamol--a muscle relaxer) was the most useful for my boy when there was a flare-up. Gabapentin was most everyday-useful over the long haul.

 

When the neck hurts, a dog might start walking "funny" to keep from ouching the neck further; that can produce a limp.

 

Has your boy been whiny when trying to stand up or lie down? That was the warning sign for me that the neck/shoulder area was being a problem. He also later developed trouble lower down his back--just about at the hip area.

 

Sometimes a chiropractor can help, but I'd insist on spinal x-rays before letting a chiropractor work on your boy's back. The first time we did it with Sam, it helped for a couple of months. The second time was horribly painful for Sam and he was in pain again in less than two weeks. From there on, we just concentrated on the muscle relaxer, tramadol, and gabapentin. (Sam had stomach troubles with nsaids.) I think Sam was 10 or 11 when his problems started; I lost him at 13. He spent most of his final years on the meds, but seemed comfortable and contented on them until the very end.

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Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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He's never been walked on a regular leash, always a harness. He has always had raised bowls. Got much worse today, was walking in circles only to the left and panting and shaking. went back to vet . X-rays shows nothing. Now has fentanyl patch. Sees neuro tomorrow. I'm stressed bc don't know if I can afford mri which I'm guessing they'll want. Spent $950 today and $250 yesterday. Does anyone know what an mri costs in Chicago burbs?

Also the muscle relaxer, NSAIDs, and tramadol didn't make any difference at all.

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Have him home now and they gave him hydromorphone to make him more comfortable and still for the X-rays. Now he acts quite drunk. He really has me worried.

Have him home now and they gave him hydromorphone to make him more comfortable and still for the X-rays. Now he acts quite drunk. He really has me worried.

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Sending good thoughts to you and your boy. Gabapentin might be more helpful for him, if it's nerve pain. For what it's worth, Sweep's had several sets of x-rays in the past 9 months for an ongoing limp, and any time they've had to sedate her, she's acted very loopy until the following morning. An MRI here is around $1500. Hope the neurologist can find some answers for you without needing one, and that it's nothing too serious. Please keep us posted. :goodluck

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Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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The neurologist should do a full neurologic examination on him and be able to localize the source of the pain first. He or she will most likely recommend an MRI, as this really is the best way to get a look at the spinal cord, disks, and surrounding soft tissue; unfortunately radiographs don't do a good job of detecting neurologic issues. However, depending on what the exam reveals, and if you're upfront about financial concerns, they may be able to recommend a course of action that doesn't involve an MRI.

I'm a neurology vet tech here in the DC area. Our MRI fee is $1850; this includes the scan, the neurologist's reading of the scan, the cost of the anesthesia drugs, IV catheter placement, IV fluids, ventilator usage, and a credentialed vet tech solely dedicated to monitoring ECG, heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and exhaled carbon dioxide levels.

The practice I am at offers financing through Wells Fargo, Care Credit, and PaymentBanc; I'm sure your neurologist would offer similar financing options.

Edited by dmswartzfager

Deanna with galgo Willow, greyhound Finn, and DH Brian
Remembering Marcus (11/16/93 - 11/16/05), Tyler (2/3/01 - 11/6/06), Frazzle (7/2/94 - 7/23/07), Carrie (5/8/96 - 2/24/09), Blitz (3/28/97 - 6/10/11), Symbra (12/30/02 - 7/16/13), Scarlett (10/10/02 - 08/31/13), Wren (5/25/01 - 5/19/14),  Rooster (3/7/07 - 8/28/18), Q (2008 - 8/31/19), and Momma Mia (2002 - 12/9/19).

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Thank you for responding. I'm up late with him. All he does is walk in slow circles to the left and cries, tries to lay down but cries. Then gets up a few minutes later and starts the circles again

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I don't have any advice, but just read your last post...my heart goes out to both of you. It's so hard to see them in pain and you can't make it go away quickly. I hope you both get some rest and they can get to the bottom of this and get him back to a pain free life.

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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Poor guy, thinking of both of you.

Beth, Petey (8 September 2018- ), and Faith (22 March 2019). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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May need an MRI of the head/brain. Please look into CareCredit. CareCredit is really good but, you need to play by their rules-do not miss or be late with a payment and there won't be any interest on the balance

Edited by tbhounds
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So he was treated w IV fentanyl. When they stopped it he was in more pain so they started on gabapentin, tramadol, and steroids. He came home Tuesday afternoon and has been doing much better. On strict rest. He lost 8# since November but now appetite increasing again. While there, he cut himself on their crate necessitating staples so he's also on antibiotics to prevent infection. All in all doing well!! Sorry I didn't post earlier, it's been crazy here!!!!!

Also she said mri would be $3000, wouldn't change what they're doing much. Neuro thinks either disc or spinal tumor. Spinal tumor would be non-operative and disc may be operative but apparently it's like humans---frequently can heal w conservative treatment.

Edited by mrsmcd7
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Glad to hear he's more comfortable now & hope its not a tumour or blown disc. My grey Hattie tweaked a disc near her hips & thankfully a months total rest allowed it to heal but remember it was very hard seeing her in pain so must've been awful when he'd had pain relief & still suffering.

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  • 2 months later...

Just thought I'd give an update. Continued to rest him for a total of 4-5 weeks. Not crate rest but he's lazy in the house. Made a world of difference. Finished steroid taper and required no more than 2 weeks of the pain meds. Has been fine ever since. I gradually increased hm to walking one mile a day. Afraid to do more than that and he seems happy with that amount. Thanks everyone!!

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Just wondering if you've ever thought of getting him to a chiropractor now that he's relatively healed up? It's one of the few things that ever helps Ryder and limping and I've spent countless hours listening to the chiro folks about how and why things happen, and how to make it better. Just a thought if x-rays are clear and you'd be willing, chiro might just ve able to shake the rest of it off and work towards prevention.

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