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Something is wrong with Dylan


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#1 Dylandog

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:23 PM

Dylan is a 3 year old neutered bc who has an unknown problem with his legs. His hips were x-rayed just over a year ago but 2 different vets said they looked normal. Neither vet could find anything wrong while examining him and said that the problem may go away by the time he is 3 but itís getting worse. Itís hard to explain but one back leg looks stiff when he walks while to other seems to wobble and twist a bit. He has started to move both back legs together when he runs and it looks like he puts more weight on the stiff leg when running but I may be wrong. A year ago the vets they had trouble seeing the problem now random people are asking what is wrong with Dylanís legs. Maybe 4 times in the last year Dylan has been incontinent (urine) after lots of running around.

He also limps intermittently on his front legs. He has done this since he was about 6 months old but from about a year old he would take off the skin on his front pads repeatedly so any limping was put down to that, but he is still limping even though his pads are now fine.

Dylan never sits unless told to. He does not even sit to scratch he ear. If he is made to sit for a long time he moves badly afterwards. When walking I sometimes hear his back claws dragging and he sticks his tongue out a lot (this is getting worse I think), like he forgets about it, however, his bottom jaw is too short so its hard to tell the cause.

Dylan also suffers with colitis triggered by food. He becomes intolerant to new foods if he has them often. Every NSAID we have tried has made him very ill with colitis and done nothing for his legs.

Dylan is due to have more x-rays done soon, what else should I ask for/about? No one I have talked to seems to have any idea what is wrong so any ideas are much appreciated!

#2 juliepoudrier

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:39 PM

I think I'd ask for a consult with a neurologist. It sounds to me as if something is going on with his spine. I'd probably also run a panel for tick-borne diseases, just out of curiosity.

J.

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#3 mum24dog

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 01:28 PM

Suggests the possibility of a spinal problem to me too. I'd be asking for an MRI scan if further X rays don't show anything.

#4 Journey

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 02:56 PM

I agree, a neurological exam is in order. The not sitting, walks bad, toes dragging all sound like a spinal issue. Good luck and I hope you get answers soon, for Dylans sake.
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#5 WildFlower

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 03:26 PM

Poor guy! I hope that you are able to get some answers soon.

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#6 chi chi pup

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 05:46 PM

sounds like a spinal issue, but have you had his knees checked? My dog was twisting and wobbling on his one back leg, turned out to be a torn acl. Hope you find out the problem soon. Cindi

#7 Dylandog

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:02 AM

Thanks for the replies.

I'll ask the vet for x-rays of his knees and back, and for a blood test for tick-borne diseases (I assume this is still relevant for the UK). An MRI has been mentioned so if the x-rays don't show anything we'll do that. Anything else?

I am so very glad he is insured!

#8 juliepoudrier

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:10 AM

Dylandog, I don't know of TBD testing is relevant in the UK. You'd probably need to do a little research on that one.

J.

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#9 mum24dog

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 09:40 AM

This from Intervet -

Ticks are most prevalent in woodland, heath and moorland,
often in areas populated by deer or other livestock. British
hotspots include Thetford Forest in Norfolk, the New Forest in
Hampshire, the Lake District, the Yorkshire Moors, the Scottish
Highlands and the uplands of Wales.


Bear in mind though that they give no indication as to the actual incidence of TBDs as it will suit them to scare people into buying their products.

Anecdotal only but I can't think of any dog I know coming down with a TBD, and I live on the edge of the Lake District and there are plenty of deer in local dog walking areas. Sheep everywhere.

Of course it could be that the dog people I mix with are on the ball and do their best to prevent or remove ticks as they are aware of the potential danger.

In 13 years and 6 dogs I have only found 2 sheep ticks several weeks apart on the same dog and I don't religiously treat mine preventatively. I do, but not monthly according to manufacturer's advice.

I couldn't say whether most vets would routinely consider testing for a TBD in the case of such unexplained symptoms but I suspect not if they don't come across them very often. Could be wrong of course.

#10 juliepoudrier

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:11 AM

It makes sense that if vets don't see TBDs they'd be reluctant to test. Here in the US there is such a variety of TBDs that no location (except the extreme northern areas that stay frozen most of the year) is safe from them. Vets are often still reluctant to test, but really a TBD screen is a good idea for any unexplained lameness or odd grouping of symptoms for dogs here in the US. Testing is also relatively inexpensive, so it makes sense to rule something like TBDs out before going to more expensive diagnostic tools, like MRI (assuming symptoms fit a possible TBD). So I usually throw it out there, especially when I don't know the location of the OP.

I wonder what the incidence is in the UK? I guess I need to pay more attention to the locations of the people who post to Tick-L. :)

J.

I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream.

~Vincent van Gogh



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Julie Poudrier
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Willow (6/1997-5/2014, run free, my heart), Boy (3/1995-10/2010, RIP), Jill (8/1996-5/2012, RIP), Farleigh (12/1998-7/2014, RIP), Kat, Twist, Lark, Phoebe, Pipit, and Birdie!
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#11 Dylandog

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 07:57 AM

Thanks.

Mum24dog, I live on the edge of the Forest of Bowland which is likely to be an ideal tick habitat according to your quote from Intervet. So I will ask the vet about TBDs but I have only ever found 1 sheep tick on Dylan and it was not yet attached.

Julie, if a TBD has even the tiniest chance of been the cause of Dylans problems I will get it checked before paying for an MRI!

Someone I met in the park today suggested an autoimmune issue because of the colitis so I will ask about that too. There is also going to be a seminar by a McTimoney Chiropractor at my local dog club. They are doing consults after so if the vet agrees I will take Dylan and see if that helps.

#12 juliepoudrier

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 12:57 PM

This link to the tick page might help. This page from Gil. Ash is especially helpful.

The ticks that are most likely to transmit disease are at a growth stage where they are generally very small and therefore very difficult to detect (which is why they are most likely to transmit disease--dog owners just can't see them).

It is possible for dogs with TBDs to be misdiagnosed with an immune-mediated anemia.

J.

I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream.

~Vincent van Gogh



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Julie Poudrier
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Willow (6/1997-5/2014, run free, my heart), Boy (3/1995-10/2010, RIP), Jill (8/1996-5/2012, RIP), Farleigh (12/1998-7/2014, RIP), Kat, Twist, Lark, Phoebe, Pipit, and Birdie!
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#13 Indira

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 01:39 PM

Dylandog, have you checked him on "Cauda equina"?

#14 Indira

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 01:45 PM

Edit:
There are also dogs who have the wrong numbers of vertebras - too little or too much lumbar vertebras for example.

#15 mum24dog

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 02:09 PM

Mum24dog, I live on the edge of the Forest of Bowland


Small world. I'm in Carnforth.

Who's your vet? Just being nosey.

#16 Dylandog

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:04 AM

Thanks for the links Julie they are very helpful.

Indira I had to google Cauda equina, I will ask the vet about it. Pain seems to be the most common symptom and as Dylan is very good at hiding pain I have no idea how much pain he is in, if any. Although I do worry that he is in pain as he chews at his back legs and will start chewing at his hips if he is rubbed there.

Mum24dog, I'm in Longridge near Preston, Andrew Hutcheson was the vet who did the x-rays and is our main vet however, Paul (I think!) is the vet we are now seeing for Dylans problems at the same surgery. We got a second opinion from Oakhill Vets in Goosnargh and use them for are other animals (pet rats).

#17 mum24dog

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:48 AM

Mum24dog, I'm in Longridge near Preston, Andrew Hutcheson was the vet who did the x-rays and is our main vet however, Paul (I think!) is the vet we are now seeing for Dylans problems at the same surgery. We got a second opinion from Oakhill Vets in Goosnargh and use them for are other animals (pet rats).


I thought you might be on the northern side of the Trough.

If it turns out to be a suspected orthopaedic problem I can highly recommend Simon Roch's referral practice near Milnthorpe.

http://www.kentdalevets.co.uk

He's one of the top surgeons in the country and so nice with owners and dogs. A half hour consultation can easily double as he gets really enthusiastic about explaining things. I counted myself very lucky that we had him only a few miles up the road when Ross ruptured his cruciate.

And if you need Physio or Hydrotherapy Myerscough College is the place.

Pam

#18 Dylandog

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:46 AM

I will look into that vets Mum24dog, it would be nice for Dylan to see someone who has a clue what is going on and explains things.

We took Dylan to Myerscough college open day when he was a puppy but I believe there is somewhere nearer for hydrotherapy. We will go there if Dylan needs physio as I think its the nearest place to us that does it.

#19 Dylandog

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:38 PM

An update on Dylan.

We saw the chiropractor at the weekend, and it has left me feeling very sad. She saw instantly that Dylan has major problems and refused to touch him (other than cuddles!) due to his level of pain. The chiropractor recommended a vet and suggested that Dylan needs pain meds.

The chiropractor watched Dylan moving and listed a number of things that are not right. I may have forgotten some but here's the list:

Short stride on back legs-hip pain
Lame on both front legs
splays toes on all four feet
Stiff shoulders
Stiff neck
Something about his wrists not been right but I can't remember what she said

The chiropractor was more concerned about his front end than his hips and back legs. While I am really glad that she saw the things that I know aren't right when vets haven't, I just wish it was my imagination!

Dylan has been prescribed Tramadol 50mg capsules, does anyone know if it is ok for Dylan to chew them? The vet said it was but the info for the drug said it isn't ok for humans to chew them but doesn't mention dogs at all.

#20 Tommy Coyote

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:18 PM

That really sounds like my Tommy when her polyarthritis flared up big time. Her's started with her jaw hurting. Then she was limping on her left fron foot. Then she just kind of stiffened up all over and it was painful for her to walk or really even move.

Vet took fluid from her front wrist and it was full of white blood cells - typical of poly arthritis. She was on Tramadol and prednisone and immuran. It took a while but she did get better. (She was also on about 10 days of doxy just in case of tick disease).

She seems just fine now. She runs just as hard as she can and jumps and doesn't seem bothered anywhere at all.


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