My beagle was hit by a car about 5 years ago. Since then she has had some residual problems. 3 years ago she went through a bout of back and neck pain. We went through months of NSAIDS and Steriods. She would stay on the meds for a while, be doing better, we would wean her off them, and within a few days of being done with them she would be right back to being in pain, shaking, unable to move and screaming in pain (typical beagle!). Here we are dealing with what seems to be the same thing. She was fine yesterday, woke up this am and was very uncomfortable. Moving slow. Not nearly as bad as 3 years ago, but I can see us going down the same path again. After talking to one of my boarders whom is a small animal vet today I think that trying an alternative therapy may be a helpful option to pursue. She told me about two local small animal vets that do both traditional and alternative medicine. One is an acupuncturist and one is a chiropractor. They are both about the same distance away (in opposite directions). I'm not sure (and my boarder wasn't 100% sure) which vet would be the best one to try first.
So, after reading that novel, as any one had experience with a canine chiropractor or acupuncturist? Did you have a good experience? Which do you think would be the most helpful in treating back (more exactly neck my boarder/small animal vet thought) pain? I'm leaning more toward the chiropractor first, but I don't have much experience with it!
Honestly, I'd go for a neuro work up first, Beagles being notorious for degenerative disks and disk ruptures. I see you're in East Tennessee--how far are you from the vet school in Knoxville?
Both my Beagles have had disk surgery. Good thing I'm a vet tech and have gotten discounts, although it's still a wallet buster. My second Beagle had hers done two years ago and did swim therapy for two months afterward. She also had a previous HBC incident (which was how I acquired her--she came in to the emergency clinic as an animal control case). She had a shattered pelvis and femur. We did an external fixator on the femur and left the pelvis to remodel on its own. Despite her history, she gets around very well, has a slight mechanical limp on the femur, and is on no medication at around age 11-12.
I'm only 1 1/2 hours from Knoxville and will definitely be talking to the which ever vet I get in to see (or my regular one) about a referral to UT. Luckily she seems fairly comfortable right now, so hopefully she can stay that way til I can get an appointment tomorrow with one of the local vets. Do you think I should go straight to my regular vet and get started on the neuro work up first? Both the chiro and accupuncturist are DVMs as well.
ETA....did you have good luck with the swim therapy? I honestly don't think my beagle would swim....she HATES water.
I would be very leary of using a chiropractor with a dog who has a potential disc.
I would discuss the issue with your vet, they should be able to point you in the right direction for further workup. If they suspect a disc and you want to surgically correct they likely will refer you to a hospital specializing in neuro and orthopedic surgery. It can be treated conservatively with steroids or NSAIDs.
I would also look into having someone who specializes in rehab (yes, vets do specialize in this too). They can then recommend the next course of action regarding rehab, chiro, accupuncture and lazer therapy. Our rehab specialist sees ALL of our back dogs free of charge after surgery, and for a very reasonable fee for those who choose conservative management. I have a wonderful video of a dog who had been completely paralyzed and is now walking great thanks to her
Beagle is doing better today. Up and moving around better....tail no longer at half mast. Over all better. I was able to get an appt with the DVM chiro for next wednesday (unless something during the regular appt counter indicates that as a treatment option) and I am suppose to call my regular vet tomorrow am to see if they can fit me in for an appt and some x rays etc. Hopefully we will be able to work out a treatment plan that will work better than what we did 3 years ago. Thanks for all the advice. I'm relived she is feeling well enough that I can wait until my regular vet (who treated her throughout the car accident) can see her instead of getting her in with someone who hasn't seen her before