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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32808
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Can micro-chipping in a dog cause nerve damage? Our Patterdale

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Can micro-chipping in a dog cause nerve damage? Our Patterdale terrier had a chip implant several weeks ago and now has nerve problems in the area of injection - symptoms of a slipped disc/ trapped nerve. X-rays have shown no obvious damage but dog is in agony when he moves.
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I'm sorry to hear of this with Toby. There's no mechanism for a chip to cause such problems. It's made of non-reactive stainless steel and inserted subcutaneously in an area in which no major blood vessels or nerves are located.

Toby does sound as if he suffers from degenerative disk disease. In many cases changes are subtle or absent in X-rays and we have to MRI these patients - particularly if surgery is contemplated. Many of us will presumptive treat for a "slipped disk" if the history and our physical exam strongly suggests a disk even if X-ray findings are absent. Conservative care involves not only narcotic pain relief but potent antiinflammatory medication in the form of corticosteroids such as prednisone or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs such as carprofen or meloxicam as well as muscle relxants such as diazepam or methocarbamol. Exercise restriction is essential in an attempt to prevent our patient from hurting himself further.

Most dogs will remiss within three weeks. Worsening, however, in the form of paresis (weakness) or paralysis suggests the need for surgical decompression of the spinal cord.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
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