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Neck Pain and Tripawds
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Forum Posts: 11
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4 January 2021 - 3:01 pm
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Im not sure if this is the best place to ask this, but I figured it worth a shot.  For the past couple days Georgia has been experiencing some discomfort in her neck.  It usually occurs around sleeping/napping time.  She lets out short little yelps here and there and then we won’t hear much again. We have been giving her neck massages and using a heating pad on her neck. This morning at around 5:00am we woke up to the most horrible yelping and howling from Georgia’s bed.  Her neck was really stiff and we had a hard time calming her down.  She could not even straighten her neck out.  We were able to get her into the vet at 9:00 and he gave her a shot of Carprofen and sent her some with some Carprofen and Gabapentin.  We haven’t had any other issues today.  

We have our rehab consult on Monday the 11th.  Our vet wants to see what they have to say before we start talking about long term plans.  

My vet said she may be using her head to sort of balance out the missing weight on that side of her body.  Now that she is getting older its a little tough for her to keep that up.  

Does this seem like a Tripawd issue or an aging dog issue?  

You can check out my blog at https://yourcdw…..ipawds.com for information on Georgia.  

Thank you for taking the time.  Any insight is appreciated.  

Curtis & Georgia 

Virginia




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4 January 2021 - 4:45 pm
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Good job of  getting her in for a check up and on some pain meds.

Yes, espec6 for a fro t legger, tripawds do a lot of head bobbing up and down in their everyday hopping.  It makes se se that she has a neck strain, maybe some arthritis in her neck and spine too.

The Rehab, as your Vet indicated, will be able to pinpoint the cause of her discomfort.   Sometimes it appears to be a neck issue and it could really be a disc issue, etc.

Gaba and the anti inflammatory AND rest, should make a difference.   Apu ds like ot already has started to help.

Just continue  with the massages around her neck, shoulder and back too.  Try to keep jer activity for now limited to potty breaks and that’s  about it til the Rehab appointment. 

Keep us updated and you are doing a great job!

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge



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4 January 2021 - 6:40 pm
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Awww poor Georgia! I’ve had some bad neck pains in my life and that sounds really painful. 

What you are describing sounds like neck pain from being a Tripawd, we see it happen often in new front leg amputees. Hopefully the medications and R&R will help, it usually does. You can also try some verrrrry gentle doggie massage and heat and ice therapy around her neck and shoulders to see if that helps. 

I’m so glad you have the rehab appointment coming up. If the meds don’t work by tomorrow ask your vet for a muscle relaxer like Methocarbomol, it worked wonders on Wyatt Ray ‘s muscle strains. Keep us posted OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 11
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5 January 2021 - 4:47 am
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Thank you all for your kind words and support.  Will definitely look into a muscle relaxer.  We have been alternating hot and cold therapies when we are just hanging out around the house. The area that is bothering her is on the right side of her head behind the ear.  Just touching it with a finger will elicit a response.  We mostly keep it to gentle circles for 5-10 seconds.  

At around midnight the carprofen shot had worn off.  We started hearing little yelps off and on. I went and laid on the floor next to her bed to offer comfort.  I noticed that she would yip whenever she shifted and adjusted her position in her bed which was about every 20-30 minutes or so.  At around 3 am we had another episode of yelping and howling.  We immediately gave her a carprofen and a gabapentin.  For the next two hours she couldn’t get settled for more than 20 minutes.  At this point neither of us have gotten any real sleep.  She also would not get back in bed and chose to lay on the floor.  Her bed is a newer 5″ thick orthopedic foam bed.  

At 5 am she finally fell asleep in her bed.  She has been snoozing for an hour and a half now uninterrupted. Im gettin ready for work with the flashlight on my phone to not wake her up.  It’s going to be a long day today.  

This whole thing really just breaks my heart.  We feel absolutely helpless and its hard not to go to dark places.  We are frustrated with this happening so close to the rehab appointment, but a week is still a long time to wait.

I will certainly keep you posted on our progress.  Thank you for listening.  

Curtis & Georgia  

Virginia




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5 January 2021 - 9:58 am
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Yes, a week awahnos a long time of this kind of behavior  like last night continues even with pain meds and anti inflammatory.

Be sure rhat rhe Vet knows how she cries in pain if jist touching  that specific  area lightly.   Thinking maybe a second opinion, or a revisit with that Vet, could be in order.

Is it possible  to explain to the Rehab Specialist  that you need an appointment  asap of there is a cancellation,  or possibility of being worked in, etc.

How is her mobility, front and rear?  Otherwise  eating, drinking, tail wags, etc?

The visual of you getting ready for work with your phone light gave me a chuckle.  You are such a lovin Mom♥️

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too-

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge



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5 January 2021 - 1:32 pm
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So you’re doing everything right to help her get through this episode. Yeah it couldn’t hurt to call the rehab place to see if they can squeeze her in this week, let them know the nature of her situation. Poor thing!

I hope that you guys are able to get some rest. See if your vet can add in the Methocarbomol. Wyatt took it with Gaba 3x daily, and an NSAID 1x daily, without issues.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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6 January 2021 - 12:23 pm
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Lucy had this same issue. I took her to a chiropractor that specializes in animals. I’m sure the rehab place could point you in the right direction. After her first chiro appointment she felt so much better and now she goes once a month for maintenance. I hope Georgia feels better soon!

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7 January 2021 - 3:43 am
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Just a little update.  We were not able to get her rehab appointment any earlier, but we do have an appointment with the neurology department at 9:15 today.  The more we experience these issues the more we understand them.  The howling is at its worst when she has just gotten up from sleeping/napping for a long time.  It is also triggered when she is jolted from that sleep for whatever reason.  I dropped my phone on the floor yesterday and it woke her and got her going.  Once she gets moving though, she goes about her usual business albeit with an obvious crick in her neck.  

We asked the vet to increase the pain medicine, but he hesitated to do so right before the neuro visit.  He was afraid it might mask some symptoms for the neurologist.  

We are getting used to the little yips here and there.  For the past couple days when she yips we would immediately show her attention and I think she is catching on to that behavior from us.  Before we went to bed last night we decided to let the 2 second yips go and only go out when she howls.  Last night was our first full night of sleep.  As hard as it is to hear those yips, she falls back asleep almost immediately.  

Thank you for the information on the dog chiropractor.  Who even knew that was a thing. I will be certainly looking into that.  I will keep you posted after the neuro visit.  

Curtis & Georgia 

Virginia




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7 January 2021 - 4:03 am
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Paws crossed for a good appointment today. Hopefully afterwards you’ll be able to get that sweet pup on some pain meds or at least then muscle relaxer. Update when you can. Good luck

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge



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7 January 2021 - 6:28 am
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Aww poor sweet girl that makes my neck hurt just reading about it. Never would have guessed a neurologist visit but why not?!

It’s good you are being so observant of when it happens. Be sure to take notes with you to the appointment so you don’t forget anything. Let us know how it goes.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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7 January 2021 - 4:54 pm
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The neurology department is supposed to send me a detailed list of the things that we discussed today.  There was a lot of information, but I will try to summarize.    

The veterinary department at Ohio State is locked down pretty hard due to Covid.  We were only allowed to have one person in the room so I sent my husband in to talk to the doctor.  He works from home and is more familiar with the day to day.  Apparently Georgia just brightened up when people started paying her attention.  She was friendly with everyone and very vocal giving out tons of kisses to all the staff.  He had to express that while the behavior is encouraging, that it is contrary to how she has been acting at home.  

We were not allowed to be present for the exam.  We got a call when she was done with comments.  She commented that Georgia has irregular feet placement with her back legs.  Her front paw has a slow response to stimulus.  She likened it to placing her hand on a hot stove and she is slow to react.  There is a point pressing on the spine towards the chest that she reacts strongly to.  

She stated it can most likely be 3 things.  A protruded disk, an auto immune disorder, or cancer.  We are operating under a disk issue and we are going to manage it medically.  She is now on strict crate rest for 4 weeks.  We are still keeping the carporfen, upping the gabapentin to 300mg, and adding a muscle relaxer.  They also added trazodone if she is having problems sleeping.  All potty breaks are on leash and harness.  

We cancelled her rehab appointment on Monday due to the bed rest restriction.  Her follow up for neuro is February 3 with a rehab appointment scheduled after.  

If her condition gets worse in the 4 weeks we will opt for an MRI to assess what is actually going on and if surgery might be required.  

For now we need to keep her calm and relaxed.  Heres hoping that the meds will provide her the comfort she so desperately needs right now.  

Thank you all for your kind words and insight.  I wish I would have found this resource sooner.  

Curtis & Georgia 

Virginia




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7 January 2021 - 7:30 pm
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Sounds like her assessment was thorough and created a path forward.  To me, the non professional,  it makes sense that this  may be  a disc issue.  Even the rear leg replacement could be because of disc.  Certainly  the yelping and whining if a disc is pressing on a  nerve.OUCH!!.

Thanks for taking  the time to update.  Hopefully  with rest and more meds she’ll show improvement sooner than later.

Paws crossed for a good night’s sleep

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge



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7 January 2021 - 9:02 pm
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Hey guys, no regrets OK? You didn’t cause any of this, you are doing everything right for your sweet girl.

That’s awesome OSU let you into the building at all. I’m glad you got to talk in detail with them. We are keeping our paws crossed that it’s a disk issue too, which makes total sense. And that the R&R and meds work. What’s the muscle relaxer they gave you? Just curious, since our Wyatt used to take methocarbomol.

I’m sorry you had to cancel the rehab but one thing at a time. Stay strong and spoil her rotten with love and kisses! sf-kissKeep us posted OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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8 January 2021 - 1:25 pm
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I am happy to report that everyone in the house slept well last night.  There were no yips and no howling.  She was sedated and calm and seems to be tolerating the medication well, though she did have a little bit of a hangover stagger this morning.  We have a small 6′ x 6′ square setup in the backyard for her to potty in.  She is allowed out of the crate for supervised cuddling so we snuggled last night for about an hour before bed.  She is not happy about being crated, but we have to take this seriously.  For the most part she is ok as long as someone is in the room with her while she is awake.  I guess it’s a good thing this happened during winter as she won’t be missing much outside.  

The muscle relaxer they put her on is Diazepam.

Again, I can’t thank you all enough for showing an interest and providing your insight.  I’ll keep you guys posted as the weeks go.  

Curtis & Georgia 

In case you were interested here is the official write up from the hospital.  

Georgia presented today for acute worsening of neck pain. Her neurological examination today is consistent with something affecting her spinal cord in her neck. The most likely cause of Georgia’s pain and weakness is intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), although without further diagnostics such as MRI and cerebrospinal fluid analysis we cannot be certain. Intervertebral disc protrusion occurs when an intervertebral disc bulges into the spinal canal, putting pressure on nerves. Other possibilities include autoimmune inflammatory disease (where the body sees parts of itself as ‘foreign’ and attacks itself) or cancer. There are two approaches to treating IVDD: medical management and surgical management.

The diagnostic test of choice to evaluate the nervous system is an MRI. Depending what the MRI shows, we often pair this with a spinal fluid analysis to look for evidence of inflammatory disease in the nervous system. The benefits of the MRI are that it gives us the most information, and can best help to guide our treatment options moving forward. The downsides to MRI are that it requires general anesthesia (which is a risk in any patient just like it is in any person), as well as the cost (rough estimate between $2000-2200). Even if we were to diagnose IVDD by MRI, we would want to first attempt medical management for Georgia before resorting to surgery, and it is possible she would need to have a repeat MRI after by the time she finished medical management. Furthermore, she could likely be neurologically worse immediately after surgery, and this is especially difficult for dogs that are already missing a limb.

Alternatively, we discussed continuing medical management for Georgia to assess her response. The benefits of this approach are that it is inexpensive and non-invasive. For IVDD, 80 percent of dogs with signs similar to Georgia’s improve with medical management alone. The downside to medical management is that we would not definitively know what we are treating, which makes it hard to assess what her response to treatment might be, or her long-term prognosis. After discussing these pros and cons, you elected to pursue medical management, which is an entirely reasonable decision.

Medical management for suspected IVDD consists of exercise restriction, lifestyle changes, and medication as prescribed.

Carprofen 100 mg tablets: Continue to give 1/2 tablet by mouth every 12 hours for 10 days.

Gabapentin 300 mg capsules: NEW SIZE Give 1 capsule by mouth every 8 hours. This medication may cause sedation.

Diazepam 10 mg tablets: NEW. Give 1 tablet by mouth every 8 hours as needed for muscle spasms.

Trazodone 100 mg tablets: NEW. Give 1 to 1.5 tablets by mouth every 8 hours as needed for sedation and calming.

The Rainbow Bridge



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8 January 2021 - 7:34 pm
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OK I’m rooting for another night of rest and sleep for all of you! Yep, it sure is good that if this had to happen, it’s during the dark days of winter. Crating is no fun when it’s a medical thing. I’m keeping my paws crossed that the medication takes care of her pain.

IVDD has different rehab therapy approaches too so if that’s what this is, there are treatments that can really help her feel better when combined with the medication. I learned a bit about it when coping with our Wyatt Ray ‘s IVDD issue. Your vet’s assessment of the pros and cons of surgical intervention are spot-on with what we learned. We opted for the medication. 

Thanks for mentioning the Diazepam, good to know it’s out there. 

Keep us posted and give her sf-kiss‘s from us! 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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