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Prednisone and Tramadol for Neck Pain.

Species: Dog
Breed: Newfoundland/mix
Age: 5-8 years
Seymour is a 7-year old black neufy/mix, 110 lbs,very strong and energetic. The problem is that he has had several episodes of neck problem, walking with his neck and head twisted to the left. When that occurs he is obviously in pain and down. He normally recups in 2 or 3 days.
Our vet prescribed Prednisone 20 mg every other day, and Tramadol 50 mg for the pain. When the symptoms go away we stop the medications. The vet took X rays and concluded that it must be a pinched nerve. Lately he recommended physical therapy which we are about to start.
Are we on the right track?
Thanks Dr. Marie

Sending pictures of Seymour


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Seymour is having these problems. Neck problems are no fun at all.

Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory medication. However, it sounds like your vet has Seymour on a very small dose. Tramadol is a very good pain reliever. It is not something I generally use for long term but it is good for flare ups.

You may want to talk to you vet and ask if Seymour could benefit from long term pain relief with a medication such as Metacam, Rimadyl or Previcox. However, these medications can't be given with Prednisone.

If Seymour seems to be improving then I would recommend to keep doing what you are doing. The physical therapy will likely help as well provided that it is performed by someone who is trained in physical therapy for animals.

If you feel that he is not improving you can ask your vet if it would be a good idea to increase the dose of his prednisone.

I generally find that neck issues take anywhere from 2 days to a week to improve in most cases.

I also usually recommend strict rest - definitely no stairs and no jumping.

I hope things are 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:

Thanks Dr. Marie for your prompt reply. I understand about the recommended medicine and the need for rest. What is your experience for the long run in these cases? Does the problem go away? if not, is there a way to find out where the injury is and treat it?
Thanks again


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I have found that in most cases the problem does really get better. I do have some patients that have recurring problems once or twice a year though.

You could have more tests done that *might* find the root cause. The problem is that they are expensive. A myelogram would likely help determine if there is a disk problem. And if so, surgery is possible. However, in most cases we wouldn't do surgery unless there was obvious disc protrusion causing neurological problems. It doesn't sound like Seymour's situation is as serious.



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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.