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Old 04-03-2013, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Back pain

I took 8 year old Libby to the vet today because she was acting strange. Less active, staying off the furniture but climbing up four stairs and sitting there, trembling, and, later this afternoon, hiding.

The vet examined her and found she reacted strongly and visibly to pressure near two of her lumbar vertebrae. She was given an anti-inflammatory injection as well as an injection for pain, and we were sent home with more anti-inflammatory meds to continue.

She is supposed to not be jumping now, this dog who is always up on something, and I really don't know how I am going to manage this, especially when we are not home. And then there is the bed at night, which she is used to getting up and down off of whenever she likes.

We are scheduled for an anesthetized spinal X-ray next week, because I would like to know what exactly we are dealing with. Is this overkill at this point? My vet really likes to do procedures, and I often opt out.

Should I see a chiropractor? Skip the X-rays? Do the X-rays and take it from there?

Would appreciate any advice or input.

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Old 04-03-2013, 08:21 PM
Dave T
 
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poor girl , sorry for the problems. If that's what the vet thinks is best , fine, but can you get a second opinion from an outside vet whether this is the best option. ?

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Old 04-03-2013, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I could certainly do that. The X-ray isn't mandatory, but I do want to know what exactly is the situation with her spine. I have scoliosis myself, so I can really relate...

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Old 04-03-2013, 10:44 PM
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These ARE longer backed dogs, and especially if they are carrying any extra weight, or don't get enough exercise to develop a strong core, can have back problems.

Kodi hurt his thigh muscles at an agility demo a year ago Feb. from using that leg funny, he made his back sore too. Fortunately, I was referred to a wonderful vet who does chiropractic work. (she has since become his regular vet). She worked on his back and leg, and he visibly relaxed and felt better as she worked on him. She also gave me a set of core strengthening exercises, and stretches to do with him.

Now we go back for "tune-ups" every 6-8 weeks. This might not be necessary for a dog who wasn't competing regularly, but I'd rather KNOW he's in good shape. He LOVES it too... Falls asleep on the table while she works on him!


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Old 04-03-2013, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Karen, did you ever get X-rays? Why or why not?

Libby is perfect weight and fit from a great deal of squirrel chasing.

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Old 04-03-2013, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo's Mom View Post
Karen, did you ever get X-rays? Why or why not?

Libby is perfect weight and fit from a great deal of squirrel chasing.
No, we didn't get x-rays. I first took him to a local vet, when he was moving like a 20 year old dog and crying when anyone touched him the day after the agility demo. The local vet was pretty useless. He gave him a shot of a long acting pain killer, and after taking a stool sample, pronounced that his problem was caused by giardia, here, give him this, and he'll be all better. That made no sense to me, so I then I took him to a board certified internist at the Tufts University veterinary clinic. He examined him, felt that it was most likely in his back, though the way he was standing, it could have been pancreatitis too. I can't remember now how they ruled out the pancreatitis (blood test, maybe?) but once that was off the table, the internist and I talked about it the options, and whether we should do x-rays at that point. Like Libby, it would have required sedation, which is always a risk. So, we decided to put him on muscle relaxants for a week, and see where he stood. If he hadn't improved, we would have done x-rays.

In the interim, I found out about about our wonderful new vet. She works on a number of the dogs at our training facility. She understands performance dogs because she competes in Obedience with her dogs too. I took him up to her, and he improved so much that we didn't even have to finish the muscle relaxants.

If there were any sign that there was anything wrong with his back beyond that original injury and strain, we would, of course, have followed up, even if it meant sedating him for x-rays. But you've got to think through how those x-rays are going to affect your treatment of the problem. Of course, if a dog is hit by a car, or otherwise suffers a traumatic injury, you don't have a choice. But Kodi's injury was subtle, probably caused by either slipping on the unfamiliar surface or getting a nail caught on a turn. (the demo was done on carpeting, while we practice and compete either on rubber mats, astroturf or outdoors on grass)

I really don't think x-rays would have told us anything. Kodi is a young dog, and this was an acute onset problem, not something that came on slowly over time, like arthritis. Even if it HAD been arthritis, all we really could have done would be to manage it and keep his back as strong and healhty as possible.

Because Kodi works harder than the average dog, the vet did suggest that I put him on a Glucosamine supplement, and we recently added fish oil. Not because ther is anything wrong with his joints, but to keep them in good shape, and working well for as long as possible.


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Old 04-04-2013, 08:42 AM
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Dexter hurt his leg jumping off some steps months ago. The Vet examined him, gave him some pills anti-inflamatory type stuff. That did the trick. You can try the pills for the length of time to see if it will clear and your Hav starts acting normal again.



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