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Black lab, licking chops, off-balance, occasional yelping

April 23rd, 2006, 01:06 PM
Hi all,

I'm hoping someone can give us an idea of what might be wrong with our 6 year old female (spayed) black lab, Ola.

Last month, we took her to see the vet because of the following symptoms: she was lethargic, walked with a bit of a limp in her right rear leg, seemed a bit off-balance, held her tail between her legs, and generally looked morose. She ate, although her appetite was substantially less than usual, and she wouldn't finish her meals. She drank about twice as much water as usual and was licking her chops quite a bit.

At one point, a neighbor claimed that he saw Ola roll her eyes back in her head and convulse, as if she was having a seizure. The 'episode' lasted about 30 seconds, and when she was done, she slowly walked up the stairs, back inside the house, apparently needing to focus to keep her balance. We took her to our vet two days later, and the vet ran took some bloodwork. All tests came back negative, her bloodwork appeared very clean, and there were no abnormalities in her urine tests.

She seemed to feel better that day, and within 48 hours from the vet appointment, she was behaving and eating normally. All-in-all, I'd say we spent about 5 days worrying about her, with her worst condition being between days 2 and 3. It's been a little over a month, and she has been eating, playing, and behaving normally.

Well this weekend, we have begun to see similar symptoms to last month's episode: we are on day 2 and we woke up to her walking extremely slowly and deliberately, as if not to shock or disrupt anything internally. Her tail She has been yelping for no reason, and essentially feels best when laying down sleeping. Her eyes are clear and bright, no sign of any discoloration on her tongue, and there are no physical ailments (joint problems, something stuck in paw, etc). She did eat this morning, but she seems disinterested in food compared to usual. The yelping has us worried, because she seems to be distressed because of internal pain.

We've searched the yard, but have found nothing new or unusual that she may have gotten into. She loves chewing on avocados that fall from a tree in a neighbors yard, some of which have probably been rotting on the lawn, but that appears to be the only thing we've found her eating our of her normal diet. But eating something odd (barring a poison) wouldn't generally result in the odd off-balance walking, would it?

Thanks so much for your concern and ideas. I'd love some feedback or ideas of what to keep an eye out for, as our vet seemed at a loss and in the past he's been very intuitive about things.

April 23rd, 2006, 06:32 PM
Does she eat the avocado pits?

April 23rd, 2006, 07:07 PM
I haven't noticed that... she seems to just chew on the fruity part.

Thanks for the thought.

As an update, she's spent the majority of the day today sleeping, but when she does get up to walk around, she is definitely stumbling, keeping her weight off of her back right paw. We know she hasn't been injured, as she's been with us pretty much indoors this weekend...

Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

April 23rd, 2006, 07:11 PM
Avocados are toxic to dogs. Please take her back to the vet. Here`s some sites to check:

April 23rd, 2006, 08:40 PM
The avacodo would be one though and back/spinal problems it could be a result of stumble coming down stairs or hopping on and off furniture, one of my dogs had injured his low back acted similiar, an animal chiropractor can help alot if that is the case, but start with the vet first

for certified animals chiropractors