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Musculoskeletal Problem: How to diagnose?

This topic contains 2 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Dr. Jeff Feinman 11 years, 6 months ago.

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    My 8 yr. old, 12 lb. yorkie, Finster, has been diagnosed by a conventional vet with a bulging disc in his neck. She would not take an x-ray claiming it would not show anything and pushed an MRI which requires general anesthesia.She also recommended anti inflammatory and muscle relaxant medications,which I declined in favor of finding something nutriceutical.
    He is a healthy neutered male, on a raw food diet for the last 2 yrs. and off vaccinations since then. I bring him to my homeopath for sequential therapy to address energy imbalances. She gave me a combination of remedies addressing muscle, nerve, and joint pain. I also started adding to his food Vitamin E, C, and Zyflamend (a natural alternative to ibupropen)-to address the inflamation. This started 4 days ago when returning from a walk, he screamed when I tried to pick him up under his front paws, and when he barked, he sounded hoarse and yelped in pain. He’s usually active, but has wanted to sleep a lot.He has been hesitant to jump up, and go up and down stairs. The emergency vet based her diagnosis on manipulating him until he reacted, “if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s a duck, or in his case a bulging disc in his neck”, she said.
    But observing him on this new homeopathic protocol, I feel she is in error of her assessment. He has full range of motion when he stretches, he can twist himself around to lick his tail end, he can run like the wind when first let outside, he can bound up and down stairs with ease, jump up and down the beds….but when he barks, he still yelps in pain and sometimes he yelps when we try to lift him under his front legs. I feel the pain is not from the neck area, but lower -in the chest, or between the shoulders. It is important to get a proper diagnosis so we can proceed with the proper treatment. So my question is: if an x-ray won’t show anything, and an MRI is too dangerous because of they have to knock him out, how do we get an accurate diagnosis?



    From my work with humans with musculoskeletal problems, the only diferential diagnois that I know for a disc bulge is an MRI scan. However we would normally only ask for an MRI scan if we were concerened that the bulge was causing neurological symptoms eg weakness or problems with sensation or co-ordination.

    We would normally diagnose from a history, symptoms, palpation and range of movement. Although I appreciate it is harder when your dog can’t tell you whats wrong.

    Would it be worth asking your vet what she proposes to do if the MRI scan shows a bulge, would it be any different to the course of action she is currently thinking of? Do you have a vetinaniary physical therapist in your area? they might be able to help with diagnosis and treatment.


    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    [quote=Patricia Trolian]So my question is: if an x-ray won’t show anything, and an MRI is too dangerous because of they have to knock him out, how do we get an accurate diagnosis?[/quote]

    First, anesthesia nowadays is not particularly dangerous (except for severely compromised individuals). In a referral setting (where the MRI is done) there will be constant monitoring so it will be even safer than at a local vbet’s office.

    Second, why do you need a definitive anatomic diagnosis of the problem? IMO, this is only necessary if you plan to have surgery. It usually does not change the medical treatment plan and certainly will not if you are treating homeopathically (and therefore being guided by your dog’s signs and symptoms).

    Third, sequential therapy (ST) is not homeopathy as described by Hahnemann in the Organon. ST is using homeopathically prepared (dynamic) medicines allopathically (“this for that”). Here is some info that may help clarify:

    All that being said, it sounds like you are making wonderful progress in Finster’s treatment, so keep up the good work. I wouldn’t worry about a definitive diagnosis (though MRI is the way to go if you decide to pursue one).

    Dr. Jeff

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