Diagnoses for Layla

Over the past few months, Layla has been suffering from severe sporadic neck pain, or how I like to explain it – her neck has been getting stuck. The first time it happened, she came in from the yard unable to move her head upwards or side to side. Her breathing was labored and it looked as if someone had pushed her head into her body eliminating any visibility of her actual neck. Her muscles twitch uncontrollably throughout her body and in such discomfort, the only place she wanted to be is on our laps. We rushed her to our beloved vet, Dr. Joan Primeau of A Pets Place Animal Hospital, who had her stay for the remainder of the day for close monitoring. We came to the conclusion that it was a possible neck sprain or that she just tweaked it while playing and brought her home with some pain medication as she was showing no further symptoms of pain after her arrival.

The following days we kept her on strict crate rest and even so these “spasms” continued, occasionally more painful than times before causing her to scream in pain and lasting over an hour. We would immediately bring her to Dr. Primeau every time and decided to see a neurologist and see if it could be IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease). Dr. Stephen Lane of Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology came very highly recommended and after thorough research, Layla and I took the hour trip to see him. When these “spasms” aren’t happening Layla is in great spirits and otherwise perfect health showing no signs of pain or discomfort, so the consultation with Dr. Lane was mostly me describing what happens and him examining her overall physical health. Layla showed no signs of pain during his physical examination which made him think it could be her nervous system rather than a slipped disc or pinched nerve. As any good doctor would say though, its not something he’s willing to rule out and therefore requested we do an MRI AND a spinal tap for more definitive answers.

And here we are. It has been a month since our consultation with Dr. Lane and during this time we have worked closely with Dr. Primeau and have tried several alternatives to rule out other possibilities of cause, successfully going as long as 9 days without an episode. Unfortunately, our efforts came up empty and though less frequent, the neck spasms have continued but have been managed with medications.

The MRI and spinal tap is an extremely costly procedure, which is why we wanted to try everything possible while Laylas health was in no imminent danger. While our trials have been far from inexpensive between several trips to the vet a week, radiographs, laser therapy treatments and medications, it was a fraction of what is needed to have these now necessary tests done. Below is a break down of the total cost needed for her procedure:

MRI: One Site, without complications/Anesthesia $2,300
CFS Centesis (spinal tap) and CSF Analysis: $1,175
Pre- Procedure Bloodwork: $169
Magnevist Contrast Injection: $85
Total: $3,729

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