Saturday, August 23, 2008


So Sam is having issues. And not just little issues. Thursday night we were watching TV in bed and all of a sudden he jumps up and is writhing in agony. I was completely freaked out and caught off guard. I thought maybe he had a bug bite, or a tummy ache- but no his back and skin was twitching and retracting. He was having major back pain.

I did what I could to make him feel better overnight- gave him a full Derramax (25mg) and was up massaging him most of the night. We got very little sleep.

Friday morning I beg my way into an appointment. She doesn't know why it is happening but we talk about giving him meds on a regular basis. Right now I give him 1/2 Derramax when he seems especially stiff or sore. We also talked about the differences between Derramax, Metacam, and Meloxicam.

Basically Metacam and Meloxicam are nice because you can break up the dosage, but Derramax is select as to what type of inflammation it helps. Typically you see stomach type side effects on long term use of any of the three but the Derramax is a little more gentle on the tummy. So off I go- More Derramax in hand for another hellish night.

At 9:30pm I called the vet. It's not helping. Every 15 minutes or so he whines, gets up, shifts, tries to stretch, and is miserable. I do not want my dog in pain. She suggested trying a hot/cold compress. After some advice from some paramedic friends we started with the cold. He hated it.

I ended up moving to the couch- so he wasn't jumping on and off the bed every time a spasm came along.

Spoke with the vet again and now she'd like to try Tramadol for the pain- which is like Morphine. It will take the pain away and also make him a little drowsy. I am not sure how I feel about that.
Last night I called Sam's physiotherapist and she came right over to see him. She massaged him for almost an hour- it was by far the best night yet. But still he hurts.

I am picking up the Tramadol tomorrow. But I need more answers- I want to know why, and is this the "next step" in his disk disease- or is this merely a strain that will go away in a few days. Unfortunately there is no one here that can answer those questions.

Oh, and I'd also like to know why an MRI is more than $2000. And why bad things happen to very good dogs. I am very sad and stressed these days.


Kim said...

Oh, poor Sam! I hope you find something that will work for him to help him feel better.

It is horrible that anything medical related for dogs is so expensive.

Get feeling better soon Sam.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm so sorry, I can slightly relate b/c of Mira's hips, and I know how much it sucks to see them in pain. I don't know why bad things happen to good dogs, usually its because people suck, but with Sam - he got dealt a crappy deck, but someone was watching out for him when he got placed with you. =) Good thoughts...............

Diana said...

Im so sorry about Sam. I know how you feel. Guiness has some of the same problems just with his back legs. We are keeping are paws crossed that things get better soon. Diana

Jules said...

Oh Amanda, I am so sorry for both you and Sam. Seems like lots of awful things happening to good people and their good dogs lately. I hope Sam feels a wee bit better soon.

Dozer and Coop said...

We have our two older dogs on Rimadyl and that has been terrific for the back pain they have.

On another note, I take Tramadol every day for pain control and it is really is not in the same league as morphine. It definitely helps the pain, is non-addictive and easy on the system.

Have you thought about acupuncture? I have never tried it with our dogs but I have heard great things from others.

I have you in my thoughts and prayers - this is not an easy time for you. And just so you know, MRI's for dogs should NOT cost $2,000. You are paying for their machine not for the service. Shame on them.

Dozer, Dottie, Cooper and their Mum Nancy

the Corgi Girls said...

So sorry to hear of Sam's pain... sending him lots of healing corgi thoughts.

M & I

Nicki said...

I have actually found that very few dogs are sedate on Tramadol-my dog takes it every day and it doesn't phase him. Apparently tastes terrible though. That seems to be a very unusual presentation of disc disease. You can probably get a myelogram or CT for less than the MRI. And you might "price shop" for the MRI. I had an MRI on Oreo (to rule out a brain tumor) last year an it was much less than $2000. Of course price probably varies with how much of the dog they have to do. Good luck. We'll be thinking of you!

Alana said...

Thinking of you.

Sarah said...

Do you have any access to a vet who does acupuncture? I've had my boy go down in the back, and my regular vet did a steroid bolus and then once the initial intense pain subsided a bit, my acupuncture vet was able to really bring him back to normal. I don't know what I would do without my acupuncture/chiropractic vet.

Hoping for a full recovery for Sam, it's just awful to see our dogs in pain...