Pulled Muscle In Dog's Neck.. Please Read.


New Member
I am desperate. I'm not sure what for- assurance, advice. I don't know.

I have a 9 year old toy poodle named Frannie. On Monday she started screaming in horrible, horrible pain and it appeared to be something wrong with her legs. It happened again Tuesday, and Wednesday I was finally able to get her to the vet. She had another episode at the vet's office, and after an x-ray, my vet said she thought it may have been a slipped disk in her neck, but to be sure she sent the results off to a specialist. The specialist concluded that while it is possible she has a slipped disk, it is more probable that it is a muscle sprain in her neck and there is probably some soft tissue damage. The treatment is bed rest (they said I could have her out as long as I can watch her) and the following medications: a muscle relaxer (I believe it is the generic version of Robaxin), Rimadyl and Trobomil. She was doing okay Thursday and yesterday, but today she had two more episodes, one of which was particularly bad (although I'm pretty sure it's because my boyfriend was trying to pet her and she turned her head the wrong way). She was in her bed the second time, and its possible that she was digging around and twisted the wrong way (of course I turned away for ONE second when the second one happened). I have her in her crate now. I'm having somewhat of a mental breakdown and everyone around me is getting sick of me already. Everyone says that I have to give her a while to heal and that eventually these episodes will stop, but I thought the medication was supposed to make them stop. Has anyone had a similar experience where outbursts or episodes of pain happened after starting medication, and did it eventually stop? I've already called the emergency vet and it will cost $85 to have her examined there if I feel it gets to an emergency level. If I had the money I would do it in a second but I spent over $300 at the visit on Wednesday... I'm a 20 year old college student and simply don't have the money at the moment, and that's what freaks me out the most second to her episodes of pain. It's just killing me that she is in pain and I can barely stand it. Any advice or comments would be so appreciated. Thank you for reading...


Honored Member
From what I know, it is normal that your dog is still in pain, even with medication. Like you said yourself, if she turns her head the wrong way, it hurts like hell. Problem is, that the medicine suppresses the pain, rimadyl is a painkiller. So when your dog doesn't feel pain, she will do everything like usual. And then she puts too much pressure on that muscle, and that hurts! Muscle sprain can take a long time to heal.
And I know it is terrible to see your dog in pain!! But I do think that you have to give it some time to heal.
The neck is the worst place to sprain a muscle, because they use those muscles in almost everything they do.
This is what I can tell you, from reading your post. But, if you feel something isn't right, maybe you can take her back to the vet. Or get a second opinion from another vet. Just to make sure it is a sprained muscle and not a slipped disc.
It is very difficult to offer advice without seeing it myself.
I hope Franny gets better soon!


Active Member
I'm sorry to hear about Frannie. It's terrible to see anyone in pain, especially our dogs that can't talk to us. Have faith that the specialist knows what their talking about and let the medication and time do it's thing. Unfortunately it's even harder on us watching them go through the pain, but it sounds like your doing every thing that can be done. Stay strong.


New Member
Thank you so much for your responses. Her episodes are just so bad that I freak out and can't get calm. I'm on pins and needles waiting for her to scream again. I haven't been able to eat much since Wednesday and sleeping is a joke! I'm trying the best I can, if I could I would take every ounce of pain away from her.


Honored Member
Pain is often very important, it tells a dog (or human) to stop doing what they are doing before they do themselves further damage. So it really matters that pain killers DON'T take all the pain away. It is possible that your dog has started to feel better so she is pushing the boundaries of what she can do. If that is the case it is really important that she still feels the pain or she'd be bouncing around and making it all much worse. By still feeling the pain it reminds Frannie to take things easy for a while.

I don't know about Frannie in particular but the toy poodles I've met do have an absolutely awful scream, so do greyhounds - they scream in case they get hurt, sometimes they just have to look at where they got hurt and they scream at the memory! I know a labrador that does this too. As you can't do anything more than you are doing it might help to remember that excruciating screams from dogs don't necessarily mean that they are in the sort of agony that they suggest.

Hopefully my rambling comments are irrelevant by now, your dog is feeling better and you've managed to get some sleep :).