Is there another option besides an MRI to diagnose a disc injury?

Question: 

My 13 year old Chihuahua suddenly does not want anyone to touch him. He has been x-rayed in the past for pain and again now. All bones look good, lungs, stomach, liver, digestive track, even his spine looks good. But the vet said he can’t tell if there is a problem with any of his disc without an MRI. Are there any other options?

Answer: 

I am sorry to hear about your Chihuahua's health concerns. From the information you provided it sounds as though the symptoms have been chronic (several years), the radiographs (x-rays) have not been able to localize the problem and your veterinarian suspects a back issue. If your pet is suffering from intervertebral disc disease or other back disease then an MRI would be the most sensitive test to help diagnose the problem. Unfortunately, from the information provided it is unclear whether or not a back issue is the underlying cause for the symptoms. My suggestion would be to have complete blood work and urinalysis performed if not already done and then if your veterinarian strongly feels the back is an issue then proceed with the MRI however if they are not certain of the underlying cause of the symptoms then discuss with your veterinarian a referral to a specialist for a second opinion.