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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
I am sad to report that I found this forum only after my Bichon/Maltese mix 3 year old dog injured his back.

I had just brought him home from foster care 3 days prior when he started shaking and whining in pain. I got him settled and the next day took him to the vet where he was diagnosed with back pain. The vet said it wasn't neurological and to rest him along with giving him Metacam. I have wood floors and he was sliding around on them a lot before the pain set in so I could easily imagine him twisting the wrong way or falling causing some sort of injury.

This was last Tuesday, and today he is still not showing any signs of improvement. He admittedly has twice jumped before I could react (once onto the couch which resulted in cries of pain for about a minute, although it felt like an eternity) and the other time he jumped off my bed when I left the room, but showed no sign of pain after.

I carry him around in his dog bed to move him. He won't walk from what I assume to be pain, twice a day I carry him outside to go to the bathroom and I have to coax him out of his dog bed. Once I get him up though he walks fine, and even starts pulling on the leash because he wants to explore more!

I am worried that something more serious is going on, but I have no clue. I left the vets office without really understanding how long he needs to rest before I should see improvements.

Has anyone been through this before? I just want my little one to feel better, I feel awful that I just adopted him and he is already having issues!

Amanda
 

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When you say foster care do you mean foster home? You just adopted him then? How was he when you brought him home? If I am reading it right..3 days after that he started shaking in pain?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You are correct, he was in foster care through a rescue organization.

I brought him home and he was rambunctious, running and jumping a lot. He loves walks too.

Three days after I brought him home he woke up from a nap and was a completely different dog. He didn't want to come out of his crate and just laid there shaking.

The meds seem to be making him more comfortable,he crawls into my lap and gives me kisses, just doesnt want to walk and jumping makes him cry.

Oh and he is eating normally and going the bathroom as usual
 

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What kind of kennel is he in? I would make him rest for at least a week. I am not one to give pain meds. I want them to feel so they do hurt them self more. Anti-inflammatory are good though. Did they give you any? If not give him a nice warm bath and blow dry him on warm heat...this will help relax his muscles. Then confine him so he will rest. Just keep him comfortable and do not let him jump around not matter what he wants...:D Give him kongs and stuff to keep him busy and wanting to lay around.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I will try a heating pad in addition to the anti-inflammatory he is on. I guess In thought he would have felt better by now.

I have been keeping him on his dog bed since he wont walk (other than the two instances where he tried to follow me and jumped) and I just carry it/him with me when I go to different rooms.

I made the mistake of googling back injuries in dogs and it made me panic.
 

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It happened to my cousins Doxy from climbing the stairs in a new house. I told her to give 1500 mgs of glucosamine/chondroitin 2x a day and in just a couple for days there was a big difference. Trader Joes has a dog formula that is chewable works very well for pain and repair.
 

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I would not use a Heating pad because he can not tell you if it is to hot...you can try ice though. Frozen corn in the bag works good as an ice pack..:)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay I will forget the heating pad idea and I will go pick up some of the medicine tomorrow, I want to say I've seen it at the pet store before so I will check there.

Thank you both so very much!
 

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Okay I will forget the heating pad idea and I will go pick up some of the medicine tomorrow, I want to say I've seen it at the pet store before so I will check there.

Thank you both so very much!
You are welcome..thank you for adopting a dog in need. As well as taking such good care of him..:)
 

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He needs to be in a CRATE for at least 3 weeks. He should be in the crate whenever he's not going outside to go to the bathroom or laying next to you on the floor. Whenever he's not attached to you by a leash, he needs to be in the crate.

The vet said it wasn't neurological
Not sure if this just means he has no neurologic deficits or what but back pain is a neurologic issue.

In my experience NSAIDS like Metacam do not tend to work well. It would be difficult to switch him to a steroid now because the two cannot interact, but you can ask the vet to also prescribe different pain meds such as Tramadol and/or Gabapentin. If things aren't improving after a few days of that combo, I'd discuss with the vet taking him off the Metacam for 3 days and then switching him to a steroid. Works much better IMO. BUT, resting becomes even MORE important then because he'll feel better and want to do more, therefore being able to hurt himself more.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
To be honest I wasn't sure what the vet meant when he was talking neurological, and I could have very easily construed what he meant.

I would have a hard time keeping him settled if the pain were completely gone, so perhaps it's best that the vet didn't prescribe something stronger.

How will I know when it is okay to let him walk and be active again? He obviously isn't ready for it now, but once he starts feeling better will I have to continue to limit his movement? Is the 3 weeks plenty of time, or should I be cautious even after that time has passed?

Sorry for asking so many questions, I've never dealt with this kind of injury in a dog before :(
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You are welcome..thank you for adopting a dog in need. As well as taking such good care of him..:)
Thank you so much for that comment, I have been feeling so guilty about this whole situation and just wish I could do more for him.
 

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I would have a hard time keeping him settled if the pain were completely gone, so perhaps it's best that the vet didn't prescribe something stronger.
This is never the option you should take. We should not allow our animals to be in pain just so that they are calmer. My thoughts of switching to the steroid is more for inflammation than pain response... but I think Gabapentin and Tramadol are wise ideals, IMO.


How will I know when it is okay to let him walk and be active again? He obviously isn't ready for it now, but once he starts feeling better will I have to continue to limit his movement? Is the 3 weeks plenty of time, or should I be cautious even after that time has passed?
You will have to gradually work him up to normal activity. Dogs that have had one injury like this are predisposed to others. You need to continue to be cautions after the 3 weeks as well.


Sorry for asking so many questions, I've never dealt with this kind of injury in a dog before :(
Don't apologize! If we didn't want to try to help, we wouldn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I do not by any means want him to be in pain! I guess I have been seeing it as discomfort, he doesn't seem like he is suffering while laying comfortably in his bed. To be honest I am quite confused by some of his behavior.

What baffles me the most is when I carry him out to relieve himself. He refuses to get out of his dog bed and I have to gently sit him up and move his legs out of the bed while coaxing him. Once he realizes I'm not letting him off the hook he climbs out and starts prancing around. He then walks like nothing is wrong, even pulls on the leash to get to all the wonderful smells!

Part of me wonders if there isn't some behavioral side effects going on here. I have no clue what to make of this all.

My current plan, assuming he is not getting better or worse, is to call the vet once the Metacam is gone and proceed from there.


*Edit: by behavioral I mean refusing to move because of fear of hurting himself again the way he did when jumping
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hello,
in case anyone is reading this I just wanted to post a quick update. Jake has finally shown a change after a week and it is definitely for the better!

This morning when I was in the bathroom getting ready Jake got up and took a few steps so he could see me around the doorway. Then when I went to take him out he didn't even hesitate to get out of his dog bed and walk around to do his business!

I may have to start crating him if he tries to get too active, I am just so relieved to finally see a change after a week. I don't know if it was time resting or the glucosamine pills that were recommended, but either way I'm happy and will continue both. To be honest I haven't felt that the Metacam was having much of an impact.

Many thanks again to those who chimed in during my worries and stress. I know he is by no means better yet, but I have hope and things are looking good!
 

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I may have to start crating him if he tries to get too active, I am just so relieved to finally see a change after a week. I don't know if it was time resting or the glucosamine pills that were recommended, but either way I'm happy and will continue both. To be honest I haven't felt that the Metacam was having much of an impact.

Many thanks again to those who chimed in during my worries and stress. I know he is by no means better yet, but I have hope and things are looking good!
I would just watch and see. You don't want to restrict a 3 year old from play for to long because of fear. Sometimes they just pull something like we do and get sore. You can continue the glucosamine ,its natural and water soluble so if he does not use is he will just eliminate it. At 3 he should not need to be on it on a full time basis so after a month or so you could stop giving it if you think he is fully recovered.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I am glad you mention that, I have actually been worried about behavior ramifications because he has learned that to go in and out he climbs into his doggy bed, additionally he is scared of my wood floors now and my ENTIRE apartment is wood.

I did put him on my bed this afternoon and played lightly with him for awhile, and because he is scared of the floors he doesn't run around on them too much.

I am in the process of gathering rug donations from friends and family to help him with traction on the floors. I have been allowing him to play lightly and I think i will continue to just maintain the no stairs or jumping on the couch for awhile.

btw I honestly believe that glucosamine is what helped him the most so thank you thank you thank you! I will continue giving it to him for about a month as you suggest.
 
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