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Dog showing neurological type problems on the hind end.


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#1 choklitbean

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 11:41 AM

Can anyone tell me the early onset signs of NCL?  I have been all over the internet but can't find what early onset might look like.  I was also questioning possible ivermectin poisoning but as of last night I'm wondering more if she wasn't injured in an accident and I've been lied to.  

 

I have a 20 month old girl that I only just brought home 2 1/5 weeks ago.  I never saw any signs of problems when I went to see her but she was moving constantly.  After I got her home and she had some exercise running with my dad's dog she was all wobbly on the hind end.  The front end doesn't seem to be affected at all although the other day when I stepped into the hallway she was there doing some weird nodding.  Haven't seen that since though.  When I called the people I got her from they said "Oh, you mean that wobble?  Yah but it doesn't seem to hurt her."  The problem with this is that she would growl when she had her sides touched anywhere from the shoulder back. I worked with her just stroking her sides gently until she was mostly okay and rarely said anything although there is one spot on her spine in the flank area that she will dodge having touched.  

 

I contacted the previous owner who is a cattle guy.  He said she had parvo when she was a puppy but I doubt that has anything to do with anything.  He sold her at 15 months because she was too timid with the cattle and would only hide behind his legs.  He said she was sweet and friendly and very submissive.  The dog I have is not so friendly and is quick to fight with other dogs, but it's possible that's a maturation thing.  I'm leaning more to pain issues but I can't say for certain.  He doesn't think she ever got kicked by a steer but said it was always possible.  

 

The new people bred her to a Bernese mountain dog right after they got her home and she had a litter of puppies at the end of November but any type of problem that may have come from that shouldn't come and go with exercise.

 

At first I thought maybe she slipped on the ice (lots of ice everywhere) so I had her on strict rest and things were looking better, she even started jumping onto the bed.  Last night I took her for a short walk with no signs of anything but after I got home she began to show weakness in her hind legs and was standing on her knuckles, first one foot then the other. Again hind end only.  

 

I had the vet check her out last Wednesday and she showed no sign of pain and nothing he could see.  He too thought maybe just a sprain but said to video anything that looks odd.  We were going to x-ray her hips when I got her spayed at the end of the month even though there was no sign of pain with manipulation.

 

I put a call in this morning and am waiting to hear back. 

 

 



#2 waffles

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 12:46 PM

This link may have some helpful information.

 

https://www.pawprint...ls/98/?breed=34

 

You could also have her tested through Optigen for $75.  I don't know much at all about the disease but I didn't think it caused pain.  A video of any symptoms would probably be very helpful for your vet.



#3 denice

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 02:28 PM

Distemper can cause some neurological symptoms.  Possible spinal injury?

Any vomiting, diarrhea, high temp

If you hold her nose in the palm of your hand and look into her eyes are they normal?

Standing knuckled under may not be not be weakness, it is neurological typically.  Loss of conscious proprioception, should find quite a bit of articles online

 

There should be good articles in a vet magazines explaining neuro exams online also



#4 choklitbean

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 04:24 PM

No you're right knuckling under isn't the weakness, that's part of the reason I was leaning toward spinal injury.  The weakness was when her hind quarters tilted sideways so that her hind legs were more out than under- in the same direction.  There was also a lot of crossing over and wobbling.  This morning she was much better again.

 

I've read so many articles.  The problem is that they say NCL presents differently and at different ages in different breeds.  I found one article that says border collies present similarly to English setters but the only article specific to that breed was vague on what the first signs are and whether or not they will seem to improve and then worsen again.  I'm thinking that as a storage disease they wouldn't show much improvement if any.  I had considered the possibility that she had two things going on; possibly hip dysplasia as well as what ever neurological mess this might be, but after last night I'm not so sure anymore.  

 

Still waiting for a call back from the vet.  That might not happen until tonight though.



#5 pineapple

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 03:43 AM

Towards the end of her life my girl started with similar symptoms. Probably age related and/or a different condition but what I learnt was there is a huge variety of possible causes. So I would try not to get too hung up on anything specific at this stage and hope that it is something that is fixable/treatable. When looking at rescues recently, there were two - including a BC - that were presenting with rear weakness - but not all the time. I noticed that one of them would sometimes slew to one side when sitting. They are due an x ray to see if there is anything spinal or hip dysplasia going on. But if an X Ray can't find anything obvious then a full blood count could point to a possible cause. Good luck.



#6 Blackdawgs

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 07:20 AM

I would take the dog to a neurologist. 



#7 gcv-border

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 03:18 PM

Interesting topic. I had never heard of NCL before.

 

I Googled 'canine NCL', and read this link from PawPrint Genetics. It is different than the link waffles suggested above.

 

https://www.pawprint...batten-disease/

 

I think the main point is that a gene has been identified, and by testing, you can rule out (or rule in) NCL.

 

In the meantime, I would definitely be controlling any crazy exercise just in case it is a soft tissue injury.

 

Good Luck, and please keep us posted


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#8 choklitbean

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 03:47 PM

Thank you, that article suggests that there would be mental decline first; if I'm reading it right.  She's pretty bright and is learning all the names of her toys well enough so I guess that's a good sign.   :D

 

My vet said to keep her on rest and they'll reassess when I bring her in in two weeks for spaying and x-rays unless something comes up that's really worrying me; then bring her in right away.  I enlisted my daughter's help and we got some good video of the wobbling and some brief knuckling etc.  The vet also said that we'd exercise her a bit this next time so he is more likely to see first hand what's going on. They were very encouraging in that she does improve with rest.  I used to have Dachsies, a back problem was horrific but the tech said not to worry in that direction.  Hopefully this is just an injury.  I don't mind doing a ton of therapy with her, I would just hate to lose such a beautiful young dog.  Meanwhile she's a happy little thing and enjoying the cuddles of down time.  



#9 D'Elle

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:44 AM

I am so very sorry that such a young dog is experiencing this, and wish to say kudos to you for being willing to do whatever it takes to help her. I also will second the suggestion to take her to a neurologist veterinarian. They are trained to see subtle signs that a regular vet might miss, and while expensive to visit it is worth the money if the problem can be pinpointed and addressed.

Best of luck.


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#10 choklitbean

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 06:14 PM

I've had her on glucosamine and recently switched her to Recovery and have seen some improvement.  I guess that's a good sign in that it's not genetic deterioration. :rolleyes:   We're back to the vet on Wednesday and then I'll know more.  

 

She got out and ran with my dad's dog one day last week and by night she was in a lot of pain.  Poor little thing didn't even want to pee, but by morning she was back to pestering to try and get me to take her out.  If only you could explain things to them. 



#11 choklitbean

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 11:04 AM

Had Grace in to the vet yesterday for spaying and x-rays.  My old vet looked at her this time, he isn't always available or I'd just ask for him every time.  In short what they found was that her hips are good and they can't find any signs of any degenerative problem.  He said that what she is displaying is something she was either born with or caused by an injury that isn't showing up.  In either case it's permanent.  While it won't get any better, it isn't likely to ever get any worse.  He said I can keep some Metacam on hand for really bad days otherwise she should have a good long life.  

 

So after she is healed up from her spaying I'll build her muscles up slowly and we can start having fun.  :D  



#12 Sue R

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 12:55 PM

I hope things work out for you both, and here's hoping for happy and comfortable days ahead!


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#13 choklitbean

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 10:25 AM

Update:  After her surgery Grace seemed better but I thought it was just that she was being more careful.  She was also spending a lot of time in her crate so I wasn't getting to see her move about as much.  Now she is out and about in full force, we have taken some decent length walks and the whole thing has disappeared!  Nothing, not a wobble, not a stumble, nothing!  It would seem that anesthetizing her and giving her a good stretching out has released whatever was ailing her.  

 

We'll see how things go as we increase her exercise but I'm ecstatic!  Doing the happy dance!  :D



#14 dawnhill

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 01:46 PM

Wow! This is from the surgery to get spayed? What an amazing and wonderful unexpected consequence! Maybe there was some nerve caught that got released during the process of, as you say, being anesthetized and stretched out that way. I am so happy for you and Grace, both! :-)



#15 GentleLake

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 02:27 PM

That's fantastic.

 

I'd read about German doctors putting people in ketamine induced comas and finding that upon bringing them out of the coma patients' chronic pain was eliminated or greatly reduced. (I've been wishing I could go to try it out myself. :o) So there could be something similar happening with Grace.


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#16 urge to herd

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 02:37 PM

My 'spay' surgery left me pretty uncomfortable standing up straight. A nurse told to just keep stretching a little bit every day, and it resolved in about a week.  So that makes total sense to me.

 

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#17 choklitbean

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 03:23 PM

This is awesome!  Grace has been on pain meds and anti-inflammatories fairly steady just to have a semi-normal life.  Almost three weeks ago I took her out to my mom and dad's.  She loves to be out with the mini horses and it had never been a problem to let her run around with them but a few weeks ago her herding instinct suddenly woke up.  I had her out with the horses and, long story short, she decided to take three of them on when a fight broke out and got seriously rolled twice before I could get her out of there.  She came out grinning like she'd just won the lottery and in a way I guess she did, whatever nerve was being pinched to cause the problem isn't anymore.  I had been praying and God totally answered.  My little girl is 100% and off all medication!  She's training and showing no signs of any problems.  

 

Doing the happy dance.  :D




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