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Front leg and neck pain.

Species: Dog
Breed: Shih Tzu
Age: 2-5 years
Hi,
I noticed last Thursday my dog being uncomfortable and by Saturday he started having a left front paw limp. Took him to the vet Saturday and he said muscle sprain and gave him metacam. Took it and no change...he was in pain yelping in the night. I returned to the vet Monday and they ordered blood work and gait analysis and X-rays. Everything came normal. They referred me to Neuro surgeon. I took him and they did blood work again, myelogram, and ct scans. Everything was normal. Then they did scf spinal tap. Came back negative for meningitis. So far it's been a week since the symptoms started and he has neck pain and left front paw limp. He's been on pain mess for about a week and just 24 hours in steroids and muscle relaxers. Today is day 8th since he showed symptoms and day 1 on steroids. I am worried sick about him. What could it be? Otherwise, he is happy, alert, eating, drinking an normal functions when he goes to the bathroom. Please help with any advice....I am trying to find out what's wrong with my dog...

Thanks so much in advance!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh my goodness...how frustrating. This is a pretty tough question for me to answer, especially considering that specialists who have been able to physically examine Bailey can't get answers for you.

My first thought is that this could be IVDD (intervertebral disc disease) in the neck. Usually we can diagnose that with a myelogram and/or CT scans, but not always.

If this is the case then you should see some improvement with the steroids. It may take a few weeks before he completely recovers.

There are some rare things like, for example a parasite in the spinal column called neospora or toxoplasmosis. These can cause neurological issues and can be hard to diagnose. If there is no improvement you can talk to your vet about testing or treating for these. We usually treat with a medication called clindamycin.

If you live in an area where Lyme disease is seen then it is worthwhile to test for this as well as it can cause vague pain symptoms that are hard to diagnose.

I wish I could offer you more. You've been very thorough and it must be so frustrating to not have an answer! I hope he is feeling better soon!

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 so much for your advice Dr. Marie. I am seeing improvement in Bailey and we are on day 4 of steroids he still limps a little but walks most of the time and is full of energy. I will definitely bring the other possible causes (from your response)for his difficult to diagnose symptoms with his vet when we go in for a check up this Tuesday. I feel much better now that I've read your reply and am seeing improvement with steroids.

Best Regards,
Ioana


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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.