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IVDD in dog.

Species: Dog
Breed: American Cocker Span
Age: 8-11 years
My dog Basil woke up this morning and would not jump off of the bed, go down steps, or jump up on the couch-- and his back legs are trembling. Several years ago, he had the same symptoms. The vet said that it was a back issue-- I think IVDD.

I have some Tramadol left over from a recent trip to the vet. My question is this. Can I use 50 mg Tramadol to treat a 45-lb dog for pain and inflammation? Also, do you think a trip to the vet is necessary? I have been unemployed for two years and really don't want to pay for a visit that I don't need.

Thank you!

Alison


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This certainly does sound like it could be a back issue and yes, IVDD is quite likely.

This is a tough question for me because I cannot legally advise you on medication dosages for your dog.

I would generally, however, not use just Tramadol to treat IVDD. Tramadol is a pain reliever but it is not an anti-inflammatory drug. If there is IVDD it is usually quite important to get an anti-inflammatory on board.

What happens with IVDD is that there is inflammation around one of the discs between the vertebrae (back bones). In some cases, there can be actual disc material that pushes up against the spinal cord. But, usually it is inflammation around the disc that is pushing up against the cord. It is very important to relieve that inflammation.

I will generally prescribe either an NSAID like Metacam for mild cases of IVDD or if it is moderate to severe I will use a steroid like Prednisone or dexamethasone.

If you can swing it at all, I would highly advise a visit to your vet as soon as possible. In cases like this, often if we can get the proper medications on board quick enough this should be all that we need to fix the problem. In some cases, if we wait too long then the disc inflammation can progress to disc protrusion and we can end up with lifelong problems including paralysis.

When you go to the vet's let them know that you are on a tight budget. They may suggest xrays, but if you tell them that your finances are tight you might be able to skip those. In most cases the cost of medications to treat IVDD are not terribly expensive.

Until you can get to the vet, make sure that Basil does no jumping or stairs and that he keeps as quiet as possible. If you can determine where on his back he is sore, applying an ice pack for 10 minutes a few times tonight can help. (The most common area to be sore is right at the end of the rib cage.)

I really hope he does ok!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you, Dr Marie. I will make an appointment for Basil tomorrow and try to get a more appropriate pain reliever. I just want to be sure he can be comfortable tonight. I think that I will also ask if it's possible that we skip the Xray for financial reasons; however, if this comes back frequently I probably will get an Xray to see if surgery is required. Thanks so much for your help. It's good to know that I can turn to you if I need to make a decision like this again.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome! Feel free to post a reply again if you have more questions after your appointment.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.