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nekovet, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 22449
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Our 12 year old Labradoodle is having periods of intense pain

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our 12 year old Labradoodle is having periods of intense pain - he yelps and howls and stretches, for about 30 seconds. Then he is quiet for a few hours. He has had episodes like this before about 5 years ago and nothing at the vets was found in his bloodwork, x rays, etc, he was put on strong pain killing patches and he recovered after about 10 days. This time is not so bad, but he is still in great discomfort. I have given him Valerian and he takes Metacam anyway for his arthritis. After 3 days of just moping, without an acute attack, he now has diahhrea and vomiting, but only a little. I wonder if it might be the Valerian. I am loathe to take him back to the vet as we tried 3 vets before last time when he has the exact same symptoms, and they just said it must be a strain or trapped nerve. Do you have any other thoughts please.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. Based on his signs, a trapped nerve or spinal issues (disc compression, extrusion, masses, abscesses, inflammation, etc) would be our main concerns for sudden onset severe pain as you have reported. So, we need to tread with care. If that progresses, then you may way to consider a neurological examination +/- an MRI to get to the root of this for your lad. Otherwise, in regards ***** ***** GI signs, this could be caused by either treatment he is on. Therefore, we can try to soothe his upset gut but may need to think about having his vet dispense alternative pain relief and rule out any opportunistic infections if this lingers.In regards ***** ***** care at this point, we'd want to start him on an antacid. Common OTC pet safe options would be:Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, Zantac (More Info/Dose @, or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Once he is more steady in his stomach, we can start him on a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset. Whichever you choose, do offer this as small frequent meals and you can also add some canned pumpkin in to bulk up his stools and reduce the diarrhea.Finally, as long as there is no blood in those stools, you can consider trying a pet safe anti-diarrheal. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure for infectious issues; but it can still be of benefit. It will reduce diarrhea load, allow the body to absorb more water/nutrients, and soothe the upset gut. In regards ***** ***** options, the one we most commonly use is Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ This is available OTC at most pharmacies. Otherwise, Propectalin, Canikur, Fast Balance, and Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vets, pet stores, and even Amazon) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and those last ones have the added bonus of providing support to the delicate good GI bacteria. So, these can be used as a short-term means of soothing his upset GI. Overall, both his treatments could trigger the gut signs we are seeing. Therefore, if they are mild, we can trial the above to see if we can settle this for hi. Of course, if it lingers, he appears dehydrated, has pale gums, has belly discomfort, coffee ground like vomit or black stools; we'd then want to have him seen as we may need to change his treatment to one that isn't as abrasive to the stomach.Please take care,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please rate my service afterwards, as this is the only way I am credited for helping you today. Thank you! : )
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We cannot afford an MRI scan here in the uk it is around $5000 and is not covered by our insurance. If it is any of the above mentioned spinal problems, my understanding is that there is not much that can be done anyway, except for steroids, and rest, (ruling out surgery, which is prohibitive) is that correct? I will take care of the diahhrea if you think it is connected with the treatment, rather than the cause of pain. Though of course we adore our old fellow, he is 12 years old, and any major intervention is not really fair on him. Any thoughts? thank you.
Hello again,I agree that the diarrhea isn't causing the pain nor related to that issue; and rather secondary to the medications. So, the above would be indicated at this stage.Otherwise, I can completely understand your financial concerns. Though I would note that if you were keen to have an MRI, you may wish to ring other vet schools or referral centers for an estimate of MRI costs (they are closer to £1000-2000 in my experience). As well, if there was a disc issue, they are often surgically correctable but of course treatment is limited it that isn't an option for him. Though there are more pain relief options (Gabapentin, Buprenorphine, etc) that could be used with steroids to keep him comfortable for you.All the best,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please rate my service afterwards, as this is the only way I am credited for helping you today. Thank you! : )
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