By Rachel Hook
Note: This is a follow-up to my previous story, “What’s wrong, ‘Peanut’?” Read it and this will make more sense.
The vet confirmed my suspicions today: Ollie has a pinched nerve in his back, likely from a bulged disc.
I was interested in the simple method my vet used to diagnose Ollie and thought it might be useful to share in case your dog experiences similar symptoms. Those symptoms, according to petmd.com, include:
- Unwillingness to jump
- Pain and weakness in rear legs (lameness)
- Crying out in pain
- Anxious behavior
- Muscle spasms over back or neck
- Hunched back or neck with tense muscles
- Reduced appetite and activity level
- Loss of bladder and/or bowel control (urinary and fecal incontinence, respectively)
As Ollie stood on the exam table, the vet gently supported his undercarriage with one hand. With the other, she flipped one foot so that his toes pointed back and the top of the foot rested on the table. Then she did the same thing with the other foot. On the first side, Ollie’s foot appeared limp and he didn’t try to move it. The other foot he quickly moved back into the standard position.
The vet said this indicated he had lost some sensation in the first leg, and he winced when she touched the area of his back where she believed the nerve was pinched. I understand this is standard vet stuff, but I’ve always enjoyed observing and learning things for future reference. You never know when something may come in handy for you or a friend!
So Ollie got a steroid shot and a 2-week prescription of oral steroids as a first measure. If that doesn’t help, the vet says we may have to consider surgery … something we definitely can’t afford. But I’m hopeful that the meds will help, and I plan on spoiling my little “Peanut” in the meantime.
So if you haven’t uncrossed your fingers for us yet, please keep them that way! I’ll keep you posted on Ollie’s recovery.
Have you learned any useful pet diagnosis tips from your vet? Feel free to share them in the comments section!