A phantom type of pain
Neuropathy is pain that could happen when damage has occurred to the nervous system. With IVDD, the damaged disc causes trauma to the spinal cord nerves. There can be strange sensations from the paralyzed limb. This can be a phantom type pain of the mind “feeling” pain from paralyzed legs which no longer having nerve connection with the brain.
Everyone has experienced numbness or pins and needles tingling in your legs when sitting in a bad position for too long a time. Your dog can be feeling abnormal, phantom nerve sensations that are mild pins and needles to quite painful burning, on-fire feeling that makes them bite and chew to stop the pain. These abnormal, phantom signals explain why a paralyzed dog can feel this neuropathic pain.
Initial signs of neuropathy can be excessive licking of a paw, leg, genital area, rear end, and the tail. Excessive licking can escalate to chewing and gnawing on the painful area and then self-mutilation which can be fatal or require amputation of the limb or paw.
If you even suspect your dog is starting to suffer from neuropathy, immediately put an e-collar (rolled up hand towel secured with duct tape will work) around the dog’s neck and contact your vet.
Medications used with neurpathic pain
- Gabapentin (Neurontin®) https://www.marvistavet.com/gabapentin.pml provides effective relief for many dogs.
- Pregabalin (Lyrica®) https://www.wedgewoodpharmacy.com/learning-center/professional-monographs/pregabalin-for-veterinary-use.html
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