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  #1  
Old 12-25-2009, 11:20 AM
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Default Neck / Shoulder Injury?

Our dane Shylah is 2.5 years old and 130 lbs. She seems to be in perfect health, and two recent vet visits came back with a clean bill of health.

Yet, she is experiencing a problem for the second time and I am confused over the problem.

First instance was about 4 months ago. She was playing with my wife who tossed her toy across the room. Shylah jumped forward and pounced on the toy (as she had done hundreds of times. However, this time she let out a yelp and quickly came and sat down next to my wife. She took her weight off her front right leg / paw. She seemed a bit freaked out. Within 5 minutes or so she was putting full wieght on the leg again, but still seemed freaked out.

She spent the next 48 hours standing and pacing. She would not lay down. She would just pace and stand in odd places of the house. I gave her limbs and joints a feel / squeeze and she let out no yelp and showed no signs of pain.

She got so tired that she was falling asleep while standing. My wife had her sit on her lap and then Shylah rested her head on the table and sort of slept for 30 minutes or so. She tried to lay down but seemed like she could not get comfortable. A few times she managed to lay down and rest for a brief period but then would give a wimper and get up again.

We took her to the vet and they checked everything but found nothing. Squeezed joints, felt belly, lifted head, etc.

This went on for 48 hours and then she finally was able to lay down and fell asleep for hours. From then on she seemed fine again. We feel it was probably a pinched nerve or pulled muscle. She plays hard and is really, really massive in her shoulders, legs and neck. She is quite powerful.

Now 4 months later the same problem has arisen. I played a bit of tug of war with her in the morning, then took her for a walk down in the gorge (down a hundred or so stairs then back up). At the end of the walk she started acting funny again. Just walking, no playing. It has now been 24 hours and she is showing the same problems. Great difficulty lying down and getting comfortable. Stands and paces mostly. Can take water and food but only if we hold the dish way up to head level, and even then seems uncomfortable.

So my thoughts are this may be the result of a lot of tug of war and pounching. Too much strain on the neck / spine. When we play tug of war and games like that she really exerts massive amounts of force / torque. I never put much thought into it previously but it is probably a bad idea and must really strain her neck / spine. I am 180 and in decent shape and she can practicaly pull me off the couch.

She had what was diagnosed as HOD when she was 6 months. It was awful and we almost lost her. But these symptoms are nothing like that. So I don't thinlk it is HOD / pano, bloat, of hip dysplasia.

Any thoughts?

Other notes / observations:
- Moderate pain climbing stairs / incline
- severe pain on the decline / going down stairs
- Is ok with resting her back end on things (lap, couch - see pic below) but desires to keep her front end up
- She seems to be ok rotating her head / neck / upper body to the left, but have not noticed her doing it to the right
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Last edited by Macofniagara; 12-25-2009 at 12:24 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-25-2009, 01:13 PM
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Could she have pulls a muscle? I would get x-ray of her neck and shoulder.
I hope she get better soon.

Wanted to adds steps are hard on large dog. They put alot of pressure on the shoulder. If she were mine I would give buffered Aspirin.

Last edited by 13frajja; 12-25-2009 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 12-25-2009, 01:33 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Yes, I suspect it is either a pulled muscle or pinched nerve in her shoulder / neck area.

I did research before on over the counter pain medications that I could use in a pinch. I seem to recall not getting any consensus on if there were any safe non-vet medication to help a dog with pain in a pinch (pun not intended). Is buffered asprin safe for a dog? She seems to always have these problems on holidays when the vets are closed. First HOD issue was Christmas morning 2 years ago. Relapse on New Years monring. Now this on Christmas day. The vet bills are brutal on holidays.

Update: She laid down on her favorite couch and curled up and has been asleep for about half an hour. Looks like she may be on the mend.
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Old 12-25-2009, 01:59 PM
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Yes, you can give buffered aspirin to a dog.
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Old 12-25-2009, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
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Yes, you can give buffered aspirin to a dog.
Thank you. I gave her a low dose. 5mg / lb seemed like the standard low does. I went with about 4mg / lb, to be safe.

She had about an hour sleep on the couch but is up again and still in discomfort. Hopefully the asprin will help.

If she is not better by the AM I will contact the vet
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Old 12-25-2009, 03:22 PM
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When Carlie hurt her back, the vet gave us a muscle relaxer and pain medicine that helped her sleep. It lasted three days and she was better. Maybe a muscle relaxer will help.
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:30 AM
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Update on Shylah:

Hard to tell if things have improved or not. It is day 4 now. She can sleep a few hours at a time. She still is very nervous about lying down, and tries to sleep standing up instead.

She lets out a yelp of pain on occassion, typically when coming off the couch and landing on her front legs, or while lying down.

She seems to ocassionally take her weight off her front leg(s) Although a squeeze test of the joints and long bones on the legs reveal nothing No heat, swelling, no cries of pain.

She slipped in the kitchen going around a corner too fast last night and yelped. So, I am not sure if the rough night last night is due to an aggravation of the injury, or as a sign that things are not improving.

Made an emergency appointment with the vet and will be leaving in a few hours. Whil I am a big fan of our vet, Shylah is not. The adrenaline typically jacks her up and masks symptoms. Hopefully we get some answers, but I am suspecting no obvious diagnosis, as per last time, and then a suggestion of an x-ray, which at this point we are ready for. Anything to help her start feeling and sleeping better.
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:34 AM
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they will most likely recommend sedated xrays to look at the shoulder and possibly the elbow. These are the two most common places for OCD lesions (osteochondrosis desicans) which occur while the pup is still growing. Basically you get a cartilage flap or a small piece of bone that breaks off and both irritate the joint space and cause pain and inflammation. The vet will give you some anti-inflammatories and pain meds and probably recommend these films to rule out that condition. Hope that you get some answers for your girl and she starts to feel better soon!
HTH!
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:07 PM
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Any new yet. I hope all is going well.
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DextersMomma View Post
they will most likely recommend sedated xrays to look at the shoulder and possibly the elbow. These are the two most common places for OCD lesions (osteochondrosis desicans) which occur while the pup is still growing. Basically you get a cartilage flap or a small piece of bone that breaks off and both irritate the joint space and cause pain and inflammation. The vet will give you some anti-inflammatories and pain meds and probably recommend these films to rule out that condition. Hope that you get some answers for your girl and she starts to feel better soon!
HTH!
Thanks for the input. I love our vet and he is very bright and thorough. While he covered a lot of items, he did not mention OCD lesions. I will ask him about these.


UPDATE: Same as last time essentially. Pinched, twisted, pulled, torqued all over Shylah and she was fine. He went every where, starting at the tonenails and working up through the limbs, and working down along the spine. Not a single wimper. He had me take her outside and walk her to see her gait. He said he looks like a show dog with the way she prances up high on her toes. Turned around and ran across the lot and she did a full gallop. No wimper.

He mentioned HOD issues end when the growth plates close, and hers have been closed for some time. Shylah had two bouts of HOD and I knew already that this was not the same ballgame.

He did mention that sometimes with HOD the growth plates do not close / form properly and that these misformations can cause some issues. This was the one thing he found in the reference guide that said the symptoms may not show through physical exam / manipulation. This sounds perhaps like the lesions you mentioned, and maybe I just missed the term.

He did give us a quote for x-rays, and said that we should give it a few days on the rimadyl and see if there is improvement (actually a generic now that the patent ran out, and much cheaper). Although it will take 6 images to cover the lenght of her leg / shoulder / neck. Another per ich Dane expense

Over the weekend we went with aspirin on a low dose (5mg/lb). The rimadyl is apparently 5x stronger, and has worked well for her in the past.

I am happy to say that she has been sleeping soundly for 5.5 hours now. She seems to be better, but it sould just be the massive amount of energy she spent at the vets catching up with her. We will see, but I will take the calm sleep while she can get it.

On a humorous note:
I noticed she had no gas over the last 4 days. Very rare for her. She usually has a few bouts here and there. Well, along with this 5.5 hour nap has come a truly impressive and disturbing display of gastropalooza. Without exaggerating I would guess over the first 2 hours there was about 50 ocassions. I am hoping the lack of gas previoulsy was related to an ultra tense body holding things back, and that now she is feeling much more comfortable and, um, 'relaxing' her body more.

Thanks for the help and support everyone.
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