Could it be a pinched nerve?

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Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby Kirislin » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:59 pm

Yesterday morning I didn't notice anything unusual as the dogs ate their brekky but soon after I noticed Penny looking like she was in pain. Initially I thought she had a tummy ache but it soon became obvious she had some sort of pain in her neck, shoulder or back. I tried to get a vet appt in the morning but they were full and said they'd call me if they got a cancellation.

Penny was very quiet and subdued all day and occasionally would let out a little whimper if she moved a certain way.
By late afternoon I decided to take her to the vet in the next town 25ks away. The vet went over her but couldn't really pinpoint anything other than to say she's got a pain in her neck shoulder area, which was obvious to me by the trembling of the muscles in that spot anyway. She gave her a rimadyl injections and 5 tabs for me to give her over the next 5 days and recommended rest and quiet (of course).

I dont think the injection has helped at all. :( Penny is in alot of pain but very stoic, the brave girl. I am starting to suspect she might have a pinched nerve as when she first gets up she sort of drags her front right leg. After a while she starts to walk but with a limp. How are such things treated? Would it be the same treatment, rest and rimadyl initially?
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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby Swiftcreek_Hounds » Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:10 pm

I would see about getting her to a Chiropractor if you can.

Also, icing the area might help with the pain some. I know for a human with a pinched nerve the recommended stretching and stuff, doing exercise as to not stiffen up, but not sure how that would apply to a dog.
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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby redrobbins » Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:07 am

I second the opinion on finding a chiropractor that works on dogs. We used to have a retired racing greyhound with a severe neck problem. It stemmed from an old racing injury. It got so bad that she would scream in pain and could not walk down steps. After trying muscle relaxers and rimadyl with little improvement our vet recommended a chiropractor who worked on humans, race horses and dogs. After her first adjustment we saw a huge improvement. After a few more weekly adjustments she was pretty much back to normal. Then we would take her for an adjustment every few months, or after a back yard crash. My family ended up taking all of our retired racers for adjustments.

What I found surprising, when watching the adjustments, was how subtle and gentle they were. The greyhounds would relax in his hands.

I hope Penny is feeling better soon!

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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby Aniemother » Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:15 am

I have no advice, but hope you figure it out and that Penny is feeling better soon.
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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby patchnmike » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:09 pm

I second what the others said. I am so sorry you have this worry and sorry for sweet Penny that she is in pain. Please let us know how it goes.
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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby oberon » Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:29 pm

I don't want to alarm you unneccesarily. But if the STRICT rest (preferably cage rest, if possible) and Rimadyl don't work, I would return to the vet and find out if it is possible it could be IVDD (intervertebral disc disease/trauma). How old is she? I have had this problem with more than one of my whippets over the decades. From experience and veterinary advice, I have initially followed the conservative route of a strong dose of Predisone (cortico-steroids) and strict, strict cage rest. (In the case of spinal injuries I have found that Rimadyl doesn't help. If it is a muscle thing, then Rimadyl should do the trick).

On my vet's recommendation, I have reduced the dosage of preds slowly after about 5 days, but still kept the dog as quiet as possible. One can give them Rescue remedy to help with this. If after about 2 weeks there isn't improvement, a scan is usually the recommended thing and then depending on the result - surgery if necessary. I personally would, however, never consider surgery on a dog of more than 10-11 years. Often this type of thing can get better, but the dog may still suffer from the odd episode which can be treated by a couple of days of steroids.

I had one dog who had such a bad neck that he couldn't lift his nose more than about 5 cm from the ground, couldn't shake his head, couldn't turn his head, etc. He was 10 years old. The combination of preds and rest worked wonders, and although he has had one or two minor episodes, he is doing just fine 3 years down the road. :handgestures-thumbup:

PLEASE keep us posted . . .
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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby chelynnah » Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:52 pm

It's horrible when they're in pain. I would second or third the suggestion to find a canine chiropractor. I couldn't live without mine in conjunction with my vet.

Give her a gentle hug from us.

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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby HopTuit Whippets » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:04 pm

Poor little Penny. Gracie had something quite a bit like this, and she always responded very well to canine massage and chiropractic. The only time she loved going to the vet was when she saw we were at the one with the chiropractor. I hope you can pinpoint the problem and help her to feel better.
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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby Kirislin » Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:37 pm

My poor Penny is no better. We've got some pretty good vets who deal with greyhounds and also do manipulation in Victoria . None will be working today though so tomorrow I will be trying to get her in to see someone. Then hopefully they can take xrays if necessary and/or give her an adjustment.
It's heartbreaking seeing her frightened to move and then when she does she lets out a little cry. Even so, yesterday I'd been out for a while and she hobbled out to welcome me with a "present" (an old toilet paper roll) in her mouth.
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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby pencleave » Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:51 pm

How weird as my dog Travis is in exactly the same state as your poor Penny. he is crying when he moves or one of the others pushes him.....its horrible He is crouched when he first moves after resting . Im pretty sure its his neck and he did it when lunging to the end of lead after a squirrel , he was fine at the time but is now in some pain I have had this kind of thing before with another whippet and he was fine with Metacam and a few days rest I hope they are both improved soon
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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby Kirislin » Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:58 pm

Very strange, it's early Sunday morning here and she's just got up and came out waggy tailed and walking normally. I think it must be a pinched nerve and it's fine one minute and agony the next. Trouble is when it was agony she was Iike that all day. I fully expect her to go sore again. I am wondering if it has anything to do with the time I yanked her to pull her away from an attacking dog in July of this year. She had a sore neck for a few days back then and no obvious problems since. I will make sure to mention that to the next vet I take her to.
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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby PAWhippets » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:13 am

Sure hope Penny feels better soon. Our only experience with a spinal problem was when Kira :rainbow: had a compressed disk at age 12. Strict crate rest, pred and anti-inflammatories worked wonders and she had over 4 more years mostly pain-free.

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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby Kirislin » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:01 am

It's afternoon here now and Penny is still fine but I am going to take her to the vet tomorrow anyway, even if she still seems fine tomorrow because I just know somethings not right, I was looking at her from above this morning and she looks like one side of her neck is either swollen or the opposite side might have muscle wastage. Definitely needs further investigation. I'm wondering it it has something to do with me injuring her neck in July of this year when a dog attacked her and I instinctively yanked her away by the lead. I hurt her neck at the time but it seemed fine after a few days, now I suspect it's come back to trouble her. :(
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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby avedaa » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:08 am

Healing thoughts to Penny, hope you find out what's wrong.
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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby Francarrich » Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:10 am

I do hope that Penny's problem can be diagnosed quickly & something done about it. Having had to put a whippet to sleep just two days after his 6th Birthday because the vet could no longer provide pain relief for a long standing neck injury & just trying to walk or touching his back made him yelp in pain, I know how helpless you feel in circumstances like this.

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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby Aniemother » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:47 am

Kirislin wrote:It's afternoon here now and Penny is still fine but I am going to take her to the vet tomorrow anyway, even if she still seems fine tomorrow because I just know somethings not righ

I hope the vet is able to find something. Glad she's feeling okay now and hope it continues that way. :romance-grouphug: I know you feel like you're the one that hurt her neck back then. But try to remember it was to save her. It could have been sooo much worse if you hadn't.

Hugs!
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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby stardustmomma » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:21 pm

Linda,

So sorry to hear about Penny's sore neck. You are right in that it may return over and over again. I have had a few whippets in my lifetime that have suffered from cronic neck problems. One was the result of a bad tumble one of my boys took while lure coursing. Vet felt it compressed a disk in the base of his neck that would flare up at times if he slept in the wrong position or if he suddenly turned his head with a jerk. We used prednisone when it was bad to reduce swelling along with alternating cold and warm, lots of crate rest and nothing on his neck (leash, collar, etc.) till after it subsided. Bryce loved the heat treatment the best, as it seemed to relax his muscles better. I would put a hot water bottle with a cover on it under his neck while he lay on his side and he would lay there for hours like that. When it got too cold, he would bark at me to reheat it (took awhile to figure that one out <g>), but as soon as I did he would settle down again and just enjoy the warmth. You could try that with Penny too if she starts to hurt again. My vet said it can take weeks for a pinched nerve (especially if severely pinched) to heal, so I should always be extra careful with my dog's neck/shoulder area for awhile after they recover as it can easily happen again. Damaged disks can be worse, as they can become very chronic and may require surgical intervention to stop the chronic pain.

Hoping Penny has no more pain and is back to her old self soon.

Lisa
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Re: Could it be a pinched nerve?

Postby Kirislin » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:38 pm

thanks everyone, it's morning here now and she's still in bed but last night it got sore again, it seems to go on and off like a light switch. I just know somethings out of alignment, now that I've noticed her neck isn't symmetrical I wonder how I didn't notice it sooner, it stands out like....dogs balls. Hoping once it's xrayed we can see what is going on, and I sure hope it's fixable. Penny is almost 12 now but she's been such a healthy girl all her life. If she was a human she'd be one of those elderly people you see running marathons or competing in the Masters games. She's a marvel, and I want the rest of her life to be pain free and enjoyable for her.
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