Medications used

Ty says:

A safe vet and an educated owner is a dog's best protection.

1. Reduce swelling is the purpose of using anti-inflammatories.
  • Steriods – Prednisone, dexamethasone, methyl prednisolone. (Note: Dex is among the strongest and longest lasting of steroids, may have more adverse side effects related to GI and urinary tract infection than other steroids)
  • NSAIDs Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – Rimadyl, Previcox, Deramaxx and others. FDA on NSAIDs; other languages:  Español, Français,  PolskiItaliano, Deutsch
Anti-inflammatories can take a 7-30 days to resolve all painful inflammation in the spinal cord.
WARNING: Life-threatening GI tract damage of NSAID or steroid use can come from incorrect dosing:
1. Using a NSAID and a steroid together
2. No  4-7 day washout between the NSAID and a steroid.

2. Pain Medications to give comfort until swelling goes down. Vets have many options in pain medications, dose and frequency to alleviate pain. Often prescribed for IVDD: Tramadol; Muscle Relaxants: Robaxin (Methocarbamol); Valium (Diazepam). Neurontin (Gabapentin) for neuropathic pain that can accompany nervous system disorders such as IVDD. It is generally tolerated and works well in combination with Tramadol. Amantadine a drug to add an extra dimension of pain relief.when gabapentin, tramadol and methocarbamol combo is not fully controlling pain. It is in an arsenal of pain meds to consider when trying to manage pain. Mar Vista Veterinary "Amantadine" explains how this med works: 

Acupuncture or laser light therapy can also help with pain relief and can be started at any time.

3. Stomach protector. Ask your vet if there is a medical reason your dog may not take Pepcid AC. If there is no reason, we give doxies 5mg Pepcid (famotidine) 30 minutes before the NSAID/ Steroid and thereafter every 12 hours. Pepcid is generally considered a safe over-the-counter anti-acid for a healthy dog and good insurance. Dogs don't speak up at the first signs of stomach problems like people do. By the time we notice symptoms the problem has headed in a dangerous direction.