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Dr. Gwen
Dr. Gwen, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 793
Experience:  10 years experience in emergency medicine, zoo, exotic, and wildlife medicine.
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My french bulldog was diagnosed with a slipped disc a week

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Hey there. My french bulldog was diagnosed with a slipped disc a week ado. He’s been on anti inflammatory and pain meds but the last three days he has spasms around his neck and shoulders and whelps in pain. We have one right now that’s been going for 2 hours. I’m using ice and gentle massage but don’t know what else I can do to help him?
Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the French bulldog's name?
Customer: Enzo
Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Enzo?
Customer: He is healthy otherwise - on onsior once a day and tramadol every 8 hours

Hello, thank you for contacting us at Just Answer. I am a licensed veterinarian and will do my best to answer your questions and help Enzo. Are you keeping him completely confined? In dogs with a slipped disk it is extremely important to confine them in order to allow them to heal - placing him in a crate is best as that is the equivalent of bed rest. Can you tell me what medications he is taking?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Dr Gwen, he is on onsior (robenacoxib) 20mg once a day and tramadol hcl 25mg every 8 hours. Been 6 days. We do not have a crate but with him at all times and carry him to pee and to eat, otherwise he is lying down or sleeping. These spasms started a couple days ago and appear to be getting worse - could it be something other than slipped disc? Is there anything we can do tonight to ease his pain?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Vet suspected minor injury as proposed a week of rest versus the 6 weeks we see typically for slipped disc

Did your vet tell you where they think the slipped disk is located? And is it just the two medications?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He could not identify it. Enzo didn’t react as he felt the spine and neck area, so he couldn’t confirm. Yes just the two medications. Perhaps the vet thought it was less serious but explained slipped disk to ensure we were cautious - but is the only information we have to go by.

Thank you for the added information, and I now see that you did mention the medications in your original post - my apologies. It does sound like he is getting worse despite the minimal activity and the medications. Is he still eating and going potty ok? I suspect he is progressing with his lesion/slipped disk and will need more aggressive medical therapy. A muscle relaxant and another type of pain killer would probably help. In these cases, I use an NSAID (the Onsior), tramadol, a muscle relaxant (such as methocarbamol), another pain medication (gabapentin, or fentanyl patch), and extremely strict cage rest. Dogs are much faster with their reflexes than we are, so confinement is for their own safety, even though it makes us feel bad. I suspect your veterinarian is closed right now, but I would strongly recommend contacting them in the morning to ask for greater medical therapy before he is too painful, or progresses to where he is not able to walk. As for what you can do tonight, the gentle massage will help. Tramadol is a very safe medication, and I have prescribed it to be given as often as every 6 hours in some of my patients.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you. He is eating well and going to the bathroom. We are struggling to get him to drink, instead he might lick an ice cube but I am concerned for dehydration. We will get him through tonight and go to the vet in the morning for more medication to help him along, and pick up a crate. Does ice or a hot compress help?

You can alternate with cool and warm compresses on his neck if that seems to be where the pain is originating. But most important is no to low mobility, so if you have to move him around to do this I would avoid it. You may also talk to your vet about the option for acupuncture. I do not know how to do it myself but have referred a number of patients to a properly trained vet for this and it has helped many cases. Good luck!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you! Last question - sorry. Could this actually be a pinched nerve in his neck rather than a disk issue?

Yes, but it is essentially the same thing. The spinal cord is a giant nerve, with smaller nerves coming off of it, and then smaller nerves branching from there. A slipped disk is actually a disk pushing on the spinal cord, or 'pinching' on the cord or branching nerve. When the pinched nerve is the actual spinal cord, it is exceptionally painful and can lead to inability to use the legs, so can be quite serious.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you. We will continue to be super careful and be sure to get more help from our vet. Appreciate your help!

Absolutely, it is my pleasure to help. I do hope Enzo is feeling better soon!

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