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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, long story short, the weekend of March 17th, my nearly 7 year old shepherd was injured, somehow, during her stay at the boarder (our vet). She came out walking very gingerly on her front legs, very short steps. The vet sent us to MedVet where they gave her some pain meds and an anti inflammatory injection of some kind. She didn't want to move, cried when getting up/laying down, and basically slept for hours straight after we took her home that day/night. The next day, she was much better. Walking, etc. We went back into the vet. They could tell she was stiff and swollen in the cervical area, and had some pain and trouble turning her head to the left. The vet noticed as the exam went on that she was crossing over with her back legs when walking. We went back to MedVet because of this observation. They did a neurology exam (I can post the write up if needed). Initial diagnosis Wobblers/IVDD/heriated cervical disc. They put her on a round of prednisone. 4 weeks of kennel rest followed barely doing anything. We went back to the vet for a check-up after her last prednisone dose. Introduced light exercise, a walk once a day. It's been two weeks since then.

She still drags/scuffs her feet while walking around the block, though much better than before (we have been keeping counts, she has about 10 drags in a .43 mile walk, down from 62 in half the length on our first walk). But, it does seem that after the prednisone, she may be getting a tad worse. For example, her paw replacements in her back feet are a bit delayed. One week it seems the right leg is worse, the next week the left, etc. She can't raise her back legs enough to stratch her belly when standing, still crosses over when walking, can't "sit pretty", meaning sitting up on her back end, (no balance/strength) to hold her up. Going on 7 weeks since the "injury".

My question is should we be doing an MRI since she isn't seeming to be getting much better, or do I need to be more patient and give it a few more weeks to see if she begins to be able to sit pretty, scratch her belly when standing, etc.? The vet hasn't recommend an MRI because they said she's not a surgical candidate based on the severity of her symptoms, but I'm not convinced (because really, how can they truly know without an MRI).

Any thoughts / opinions / advice would be very much appreciated. I just want my girl back to normal. She was completely fine before this episode. And believe me, I've threatened and made a stink with the boarder over what happened to her, and I still get the "we don't know" response.

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I should clarify, we have been seeing OSU vet hospital, and not the original vet where this happened.
 

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Do they think it was caused by an injury? Is it possibly something else and coincidental that it happened while she was boarding? Wobblers is a disease, not injury related. Why isn’t she a candidate for surgery if something is wrong? It seems like an MRI would give you better information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do they think it was caused by an injury? Is it possibly something else and coincidental that it happened while she was boarding? Wobblers is a disease, not injury related. Why isn’t she a candidate for surgery if something is wrong? It seems like an MRI would give you better information.
She gets very tense at the vet, and they said she could have tweaked the disc etc. going up/down stairs, having tense muscles from being nervous, etc. They said her symptoms aren't bad enough to have surgery. But I think I am going to get an MRI for peace of mind.
 

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If you can afford the expense I would get an MRI. Like you said, can't know for sure what is wrong internally without imaging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you can afford the expense I would get an MRI. Like you said, can't know for sure what is wrong internally without imaging.
Yes we are at that point. I just hope we haven't waited too long and it's not reversible. It'll be 7 weeks this weekend.
 

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I would be getting every test under the sun at the VET'S expense. They should cover every penny since your dog was injured there. If not, get a lawyer. Hope things work out. Very sad.
 

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This is my opinion based on my thought process and if it were my dog. First I would have asked the questions of: what was her routine. Who handled her. Any interactions with other dogs. Since there was indication of inflammation in the neck i.e. Cervical area, what kind of collar was used on her, i.e. Flat, head halter. Look at the kennel area, was there anything that the collar could have snagged on and she struggled to get free. I also would have asked for a copy of the daily notes as well as her records. Are there security cameras available for review? Did the vet interview the care givers. Did they use her collar that she came in with or another? Is she biddable or difficult thus perhaps the care giver trying a new collar to "help her be more biddable/obedient".

Imho, a dog doesn't go into boarding very healthy and come out as you describe without something happening and without then noticing immediately.

At this point, you just want answers so you can get her back to healthy. At this point, the boarding staff and vet may be trying to avoid a further situation irregardless of whether or not it was a freak accident or poor judgement with her daily routine or handling. The neck swelling is very concerning and probably an indication of where the issue began but that's just my thoughts and where I would begin my questions.

I hope that your second opinion vet is not affiliated with the first so that the diagnosis is free of bias.

Also fwiw, some of the notes that a vet or tech may not be offered to you. I recently swapped vets and had the records copied so I could have a copy and forward a copy to the new vet. Within those notes was a big note that My boy was only to be seen by the head of the clinic. This was due to an issue That happened with a specific vet tech and discussed with one of the vets in that clinic. My complaint was taken out of context. I was pretty shocked to read that. The note went way beyond my concern with that one tech. I had stated that I was happy with all others as well as the vets in the clinic.

I hope you get this figured out and she is able to heel and back to her happy self.
 

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I would be getting every test under the sun at the VET'S expense. They should cover every penny since your dog was injured there. .
We don't know if it was an injury or a flare up of existing IVDD or Wobblers.
And you won't know without an MRI. I would approach the original vet and discuss this with him. Was there symptoms or a diagnosis for Wobblers or any other neurological symptoms prior to this?
 

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The vet you are seeing now should be able make an educated guess as to what is going on. Try to pin him down as to what he suspects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The vet you are seeing now should be able make an educated guess as to what is going on. Try to pin him down as to what he suspects.
They suspect IVDD or Wobblers. Or a herniated disc, which kind of fits in to either one of those. We have been seeing Ohio State vet center, which is pretty well regarded.
 

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When dog kept getting sick we had an X-ray and then an ultrasound done to conform what the vet thought all along. I didn’t need it and wished I hadn’t spent all that money but at the same time I knew exactly why she was getting sick all the time. It was a different problem than your dog’s, but I should have done it all right away rather than waiting a year between the first symptom and many months of medications and vet visits.

My first vet who was wonderful but retired, usually guessed and treated and was never wrong. You can try treatments and see if they work if there are any available.
 

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I have a dog she is currently over 14 and has 7 herniated disc I did have an mri done but would skip the mri now and put the money toward therapy She has been in therapy for 4 years and has done well until this year
 

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Get the MRI (or whatever recommended tests) everyone is talking about. It's not just to nail down the problem. It's also to rule out others. Once you can figure it out or narrow it down, you can perhaps start a course of treatment. But while you're sitting around waiting and not knowing what to do, the problem can get worse. Maybe it's something that is irreversible but the longer you wait to treat it the worse it gets. I see a lot of people say this, not only here but in other forums too, "I would skip so-and-so test and save my money." It's easy to say that after the fact. Getting the tests done is, if anything, a peace of mind. Knowing is half the battle.

Meanwhile, I know your main concern is your dog right now, but I wouldn't wait too long on doing something about that first vet. If you're going the lawsuit route: the longer you wait, evidence starts disappearing, "memories" go or change. Have you talked to that vet since you got your dog back? Are they taking any responsibility?
 

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Price shop that MRI!!! The last time I needed one for a dog, I found a price difference of more than $500 across the region by calling different places not just in my city but also another one about an hour away. Even call the private imaging centers that do MRIs on humans -- I learned that some of them do MRIs on animals after hours but don't advertise it.
 
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