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Subject: RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?
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Lance


Rattie
Rattie
12/31/2009 2:17 AM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  
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gwacie


Moderator
<b>Moderator</b>
08/01/2010 9:40 AM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  
Massage if he'll let you - slow small circles working as deeply as he will allow (start easy and work up slowly). Keep him leashed to you instead of crated so you can have him near you lying in a bed by your side when you are home. Ask the vet about tramadol instead of the other pain/anti inflam meds and see if they have it. Works well for my Zip who has chronic back/neck issues.

gwacie (Bethany)
My Doggies: http://www.myadams.net/dogs/
Rescue: http://www.newrattitude.org
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Philo


Feisty
Feisty
08/01/2010 10:42 AM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  

I'm sorry Ralphy is having a relapse.  Recovery really depends on how severe the injury is, but in Ralphy's case I don't believe any injury was seen, just symptoms?  Our 10 years old Jack did have a back injury a few months ago which was visible on x-ray.  The treatment was an IV anti-inflammatory, but I don't know which one plus Diazepam (Valium) as a muscle relaxant.  That also helped keep him still for a few days.  My feeling about steroids is they mask underlying problems more than pain pills and anti-inflammatory meds.  Three weeks seems a long time to me.  Rattagan was on prednisone for a couple of weeks and it really messed with him, he was constantly hungry, to the point of open mouth crying (never did before unless in pain or drugged from a vet visit) and very much on edge all the time.  Being an overly cautious person, I'd ask the vet if he could at least consult with a neurologist.


Rattie Daddy to Kiara Rose, Briar Rose, Nala Belle, Jack Goodboy & Woody
Rest in peace sweet Girl Baby Cameo Nora 10/24/07-11/06/09
Rest in peace Little Master Cutter Bug With us from Aug 2, 08 to Nov 17, 09
Rest in Peace Rattagan Lee 2/16/1997-3/29/2011

"Beauty such as this is a gift, and I'm often in awe of this world we've been given." Mrs Bonnie
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Ralphy


Ratterific
Ratterific
08/01/2010 9:11 PM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  
Thanks for all the advice guys......the vet off base pointed out a possible problem area around Ralphy's neck area. He said it could possibly be hereditary or it could have resulted from a recent physical trauma to his neck (or combination of both). I think he said that there was space between the discs in his neck area. He didn't say exactly what that meant, but from my research, I'm thinking he's referring to Intervertebral Disc Disease. I found this article on the net and found it very informative:

http://www.vetspecialistsofrochester.com/Surgery/Understanding_Intervertebral_Disc_Disease_in_Dogs.aspx

I thought this part was interesting:

"In some dogs, the internal degeneration of the disc itself might stimulate sensory nerves and be perceived as a painful stimulus. This is called “discogenic” pain. However, when dogs with neck pain are carefully evaluated, fewer than 5% are found to have discogenic pain as the cause. The other 95% or more are found to have pain due to the actual displacement of disc material from the space between the vertebral bodies into the space above, called the vertebral canal. The vertebral canal is the tunnel which contains the spinal cord and the nerve roots which leave the spinal cord and extend out to connect to the body. Thus, when the disc is displaced it can put pressure on the nerve roots. This is exactly analogous to the problem people suffer with “pinched nerves”. The reason some dogs will hold their arm or leg up is that, as the nerve root which supplies the limb is “pinched”, the brain is fooled into thinking it’s the end of the nerve that is being irritated; the animal probably perceives this as a tingling, numbness or “pins and needles” sensation in its digits."

I like the tip about putting him on a leash in the house to keep him from moving around. I think I'll try that after a good solid week of cage rest. I hate leaving him in his crate all day, but he just moves around too much if he isn't in there. The hard part is going to be sticking to the plan (by leaving him in his crate). He gets so bored in there!

I told my vet that I would give him daily massages. Surprisingly, he recommended that I NOT give him massages because that could worsen the healing process. I was surprised to hear that, but thinking about it, it kinda made sense. I'll still massage the rest of his body since he's on cage rest, but avoid the neck area.

I haven't started his oral steroid yet. I give him his first pill today. As w/ any new meds, I'm nervous about giving it to him. Can I expect any nasty side effects like upset stomach or a/thing? Phil - you said your dog was on edge all the time......meaning he was really restless and had trouble sleeping?

I'm hoping he gets better after a week or so. A neurologist off base is going to costs a fortune to see. I'm getting to the point where I feel like I'm just throwing my money into the air like confetti w/ all the vet visits.
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rattagan's mom


Pack Leader
Pack Leader
08/02/2010 9:20 AM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  
Rattagan was really restless on Prednisone but Jack took it really well. Rattagan couldn't rest, he paced, jump up, jump down, pace the house, pace the yard, up and down on bed and chair, over and over and over...He became extremely hungry, and lost weight in spite of increased food. Once he was off of it he was fine again. Jack was on it for a couple of weeks for his back and he, as I said, did really well without the problems Rattagan had with it.

I sure do hope Ralphy feels better soon.

Janie, Mom to the Palm Bay Rat Pack
Rest in peace our darling Girl Baby, Cameo Nora 10/24/07-11/06/09
Rest in peace Cutter Bug Gotcha 8/2/08 Died 11/17/09
Rest in Peace Rattagan Lee 2/16/1997-3/29/2011
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Ralphy


Ratterific
Ratterific
08/02/2010 7:48 PM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  
Ralphy seems to be quite restless on it as well. I also noticed that he takes his front paw and paws at his face a little. He's never done this before. I'm wondering if it's a sign of a headache. Poor Ralphy cried in his crate throughout the night. I think he was just trying to find a comfortable place to lay down, but no matter which way he slept, it hurt him. He kept trying to get under his blanky and it was getting trapped on his head. I finally just pulled the blanket out of the crate.

I wish I could make him more comfortable. He got better last week from his neck injury, so I know his body has the capability to get through this. I just hope he didn't make it much worse the second time around. The whimpering is so heartbreaking.
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Philo


Feisty
Feisty
08/02/2010 8:18 PM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  

Try asking the vet for a couple of Valium, small ones, cut in small pieces.  Vocalization from pain is not a good sign and the vet needs to know about it.  Sorry, it's getting late and I'm tired, but I'm worried about Ralphy.


Rattie Daddy to Kiara Rose, Briar Rose, Nala Belle, Jack Goodboy & Woody
Rest in peace sweet Girl Baby Cameo Nora 10/24/07-11/06/09
Rest in peace Little Master Cutter Bug With us from Aug 2, 08 to Nov 17, 09
Rest in Peace Rattagan Lee 2/16/1997-3/29/2011

"Beauty such as this is a gift, and I'm often in awe of this world we've been given." Mrs Bonnie
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Ralphy


Ratterific
Ratterific
08/03/2010 5:57 AM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  
Ralphy seems to be feeling better today. I think the combination of the cortisone shot and oral steroids finally kicked in full gear. I haven't heard him cry or whimper today like he did yesterday (Thank God! I had to stick my fingers in my ears because it was killing me to hear him cry!). I already gave in and have been letting him walk around the house a bit. I've blocked off most of the house, so he can't go too far. Hopefully after a couple weeks he'll be back to normal.
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Ralphy


Ratterific
Ratterific
10/02/2010 8:29 PM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  
I'm happy to report that Ralphy is back to normal and doesn't appear to have any more back / neck pain. I think all it took was time for it to heal. It took nearly 3 months. We think the initial start of all the problems was when my husband took him to the vet for his yearly vaccines, and Ralphy jumped off the vet table and landed wrong. The pain from the incident didn't settle in until a couple days later, and my husband never really put two and two together until weeks later.

I've changed Ralphy's diet, and I think that has substantially helped him w/ his overall health. I also ordered doggie glucosamine off the internet, but I'm still waiting on it in the mail. I heard it does great things for dogs w/ arthritis and muscle / tissue problems. When we had x-rays done, the vet said that Ralphy would more than likely have problems again when he gets older, so I'm hoping that the glucosamine will help slow the pace of his degenerating back issues.

Anyway, he's back to his normal self, which is a huge relief. :-)
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Philo


Feisty
Feisty
10/03/2010 11:55 AM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  

Glad to hear Ralphy is doing so well, thanks for the update.  No more jumping off the vet table Ralphy, OK?


Rattie Daddy to Kiara Rose, Briar Rose, Nala Belle, Jack Goodboy & Woody
Rest in peace sweet Girl Baby Cameo Nora 10/24/07-11/06/09
Rest in peace Little Master Cutter Bug With us from Aug 2, 08 to Nov 17, 09
Rest in Peace Rattagan Lee 2/16/1997-3/29/2011

"Beauty such as this is a gift, and I'm often in awe of this world we've been given." Mrs Bonnie
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Peekapuppy


Rat-A-Tat-Tat
Rat-A-Tat-Tat
10/04/2010 9:02 AM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  
That's a great update! Glad that Ralphy is back to his happy healthy self!

Bobbi
Mom to Lacey and Pokey
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Ralphy


Ratterific
Ratterific
10/13/2010 4:34 AM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  
Well, poor Ralph-Ralph is back to walking around like an old man. It seems to be a recurring thing. Out of the blue the other day, I noticed that he wasn't behaving right. I could tell his back problem was acting up again. His symptoms include walking around the house gingerly and not wanting to play. He doesn't seem to like to lay down. He would rather just stand in one spot and not move. He also doesn't want to be picked up.

I can always gauge his pain by whether or not his tail is up. For the most part, he walks w/ his tail either straight out or up, so I don't think he's in as much pain as he was in the past. Still, I can't understand why he keeps getting these continuous bouts of pain. I started him on doggy glucosamine a couple days ago. I'm hoping that helps. I read that it can take as long as 4 - 6 weeks to see any improvements in your pet's health. Has anyone else had any problems like this with your dog? There's a chance that maybe Ralphy played a little too rough w/ our other Rattie (tug-a-war), but I can't imagine that being the only reason for his flair-up. He's only 5 years old, so I'm really concerned that this may be a ongoing issue for him for the rest of his life. He seems too young to have hip dysplasia. Any ideas on what could be going on?
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MissChris1974


Ratastic
Ratastic
10/13/2010 10:13 AM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  
Could it be a slipped disk? Both my teddy rattie Gracie, and my dachsund/chi mix had problems with slipped disks. The vet would usually prescribe a steroid shot and then some pills.

Besotted with love for my Carly!
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Philo


Feisty
Feisty
10/13/2010 10:14 AM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  

Ralphy, we're sending you some very gentle hugs.  Since Deramaxx is off the table, there may be a different NSAID which he can tolerate better.  Perhaps Metacam, the vet can give him an injection which will provide almost immediate relief, and if it does, it might help with the diagnosis and send you home with the nice tasting liquid formula. You can also give him real pain meds, such as Tramadol, in very small doses.  I generally avoid Rimadyl if the treatment plan is more than a few days, it have have a quick effect on the liver.

I don't recall, were x-rays done and if so was anything seen?

If it is a back injury it will take weeks to really heal, even though treatment might provide him relief from the pain, he needs time to mend.  Please keep us updated.


Rattie Daddy to Kiara Rose, Briar Rose, Nala Belle, Jack Goodboy & Woody
Rest in peace sweet Girl Baby Cameo Nora 10/24/07-11/06/09
Rest in peace Little Master Cutter Bug With us from Aug 2, 08 to Nov 17, 09
Rest in Peace Rattagan Lee 2/16/1997-3/29/2011

"Beauty such as this is a gift, and I'm often in awe of this world we've been given." Mrs Bonnie
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Ski


Terrier Terror
Terrier Terror
10/13/2010 1:10 PM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  

Poor Ralphy.  I know how hard it is to watch them go through this.  My little guy,  Oscar,  would periodically act that way.  It would about break my heart to see my little fun loving, very social guy hiding in a dark corner of the basement when he was in pain.  I could never figure out what was wrong because he'd seem to get better after a day or two of inactivity.  He finally had an episode where it got really bad and his back legs could barely support him.  X-rays didn't show anything and we didn't find the problem until he had a myelogram ($1,000)  that showed the problem. He had to have an incision to inject dye into his spinal column and once the dye showed where the problem was they wheeled him directly into surgery  to fix a compressed disc (another $2,300)  That was two years ago and he's 4.5 years old now so age really isn't a factor. He still has the occasional episode where he acts like he tweaked something. I have some leftover Rimadyl that I give him (or half of a baby aspirin) and he's usually back to normal in a few hours.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that he might not ever "heal" with just rest and / or meds. I don't mean to be a downer but it's possible he has some kind of genetic problem,  or, like Oscar,  a problem that will need surgery.  I would look in to the possibility of seeing a specialist or perhaps a chiropractor.  I hope he's feeling better soon and that more rest will heal whatever is wrong.  I don't know if  glucosamine will help his problem but I'd try to keep him quiet and make sure to keep his weight down.  Good luck.

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Ralphy


Ratterific
Ratterific
10/17/2010 7:32 PM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  
Ralphy is on the rebound. I had some leftover prednisone from the last time he injured himself. Our normal vet prescribed it, but we never used it because our other vet gave him s/thing else. I'm glad I had some leftover though. It didn't look like his injury would heal that quickly on its own, and the prednisone was just what he needed to bring the swelling down and make the pain more manageable. I just hate giving it to him e/time he hurts himself.

I'm not sure why he keeps having relapses. I thought after 3 months, he was good to go. I'm really going to have to take it easy w/ him for the next year and make sure he doesn't over do it. It's tough when you have another dog that wants to chase him around the yard and roughhouse w/ him all the time. I love watching them play, and I hate having to split them up when all they want to do is play.

Ski: thank you for your candidness about surgery w/ your little Oscar. I know it may come down to surgery for our little guy one day, too. I just hope we're not overseas still when he requires surgery. The surgery is even more expensive here in Japan than in the states.....especially w/ the current exchange rate and weak dollar.

We're trying to do e/thing possible to avoid future injuries. I had my husband build a ramp from the house to the outside so he wouldn't have to jump two feet to the ground. It all seems to absurd for a dog that used to jump over 5 ft in the air to catch a tennis ball! I guess those days are over (for now at least).

I'll continue to report back on Ralphy. I'm getting more and more used to dealing w/ all his painful episodes. It would break my heart to see him in pain before, but I guess I'm just turning into a tough mommy these days after all that we've been through w/ him (although, it still tugs on my heartstrings to see him hurting). ~Sigh~ Thanks again for all your help and support!
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SYLVIA


Terrier Terror
Terrier Terror
10/17/2010 7:44 PM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  
sorry ralphy got hurt again. I cant stand my babies to be hurt.... Hope you can keep him from getting hurt for a while.... Next time you might not be as lucky.....

Sylvia from NC(mommy to Toby & Miss Molly)
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ratty5


Ratterific
Ratterific
10/27/2010 6:09 AM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  
his symtoms can also be lyme's have you had him checked it will keep comeing back if not properly treated. i had my female ratty come up with it its scarry as heck. they are in pain and all dogs act differently to it. stiff walking, very painful, if bad enough also can get paralized for a short time. antibiotics for 30 days usually does the trick. although it could come back and you will need to redo the anti's. but i would have him checked for lyme just in case.

Life is Merrier with a Rat Terrier!
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DextersMommy


Rat Royalty
Rat Royalty
10/27/2010 7:46 AM RE: Ralphy and his neck / back problem - What can I do to help him w/ his pain?  
Poor Ralphy I hate when my baby doesn't feel well. He hurt his back/front leg the other day when he thought he could jump from my husbands arms while he as standing (he's 6'3"). it was just so sad to see him moping around the house because he wasn't feeling himself. I really hope that Ralphy gets better soon!!

Sarah - mommy to rattie Dexter and labby Abby
Rest in peace rattie angel Dottie!
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