A diagnosis is normally made on the basis of first excluding other causes of spinal pain (like bone or soft tissue infections, immune-mediated joint disease, infections) by obtaining a blood sample and performing radiographs. Then, cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) analysis is performed by obtaining a sample of CSF from the neck or lower spine (or both) in a sterile manner under general anaesthesia . Your pet will have dedicated one-to-one care during their CSF tap by one of our nurses from the prep nursing team who are trained and experienced in anaesthesia and sedation . The demonstration of inflammation and the presence of a specific type of inflammatory cell facilitate a presumptive diagnosis. Although infection is very unlikely, we will normally run a panel of various blood and urine tests to exclude this possibility.
Cortisone injections are extremely safe, but they do still have potential problems. If you are concerned about having a cortisone shot, talk with your doctor. While cortisone is a powerful treatment for many orthopedic conditions, there are usually other options that can also be tried. Many doctors will offer an injection as they are quick, easy, and most often effective. However, your doctor should also be able to offer other treatments for inflammation that may also be effective for those that cannot have, or don't want, a cortisone injection.
For many people, back pain goes away on its own or with nonsurgical treatments. Epidural steroid injections shouldn't typically be used as a first-line therapy for back pain relief, but that doesn't mean they can't play a role in treating pain. But injections won't cure the underlying cause of back pain, and they provide only temporary relief. Unfortunately, in many cases, chronic back pain can't be cured, but must instead be managed, like other chronic conditionsand patients must have realistic expectations of what epidurals can do.