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Abnormal behavior...

February 5th, 2008, 09:48 PM
Alright, so here's the deal.
One of my dogs was due for his Rabies shot, and it is the law that he must get the shot. Unfortunately, my dog has never reacted well to them, and reactions ranged from swelling to bumps, which usually went away after a period of time. Now, this time, when I took him to get his shot, I didn't know what to expect, because he's 12, and he's not the dog he once was.

Well, this time the reaction was serious, and he nearly died. The vet was able to revive him, but ever since I took him home he simply hasn't been the same.
He continuously walks in a circle, making endless left turns until he just stops, waits, then starts up again. More odd behavior is that if he is walking somewhere, and arrives at a corner (for example...), instead of merely turning all the time, which is what he used to do, he just sits there, until someone finally moves him.

Initially, the poor dog was vomiting and couldn't sleep, but I made sure that he improved (I literally didn't leave the dog alone one minute), and now he no longer vomits, and he sleeps much better. Again, I took him to the vet, and he re-tested him and prescribed him a drug to calm his stomach, which worked; however, his behavior continues.

More odd behavior is that he has no idea where he is going, no longer scratches at the door to go out, no longer licks anyone, and he has difficulty telling where the edges of things are, which I saw when he didn't stop at the edge of my bed, but kept going right into my arms.

Now, my question is this, based on all this info, my family and I have arrived at the conclusion that it is either brain damage, or the drugs. This dog was taking a stomach drug, muscle relaxer, epinephrine, insulin, and a rabies shot. Is this normal for a dog under this level of stress, and is there a likelyhood that he would improve behaviorally? The vet informed us to just take it one day at the time, but I am intersted to know if others have had similar experiences.

Thank you.

February 5th, 2008, 09:56 PM
I'm sorry you're having to deal with this, Lloyd. I can tell this dog is well-loved. :grouphug:

I have no answers for you, just wanted to welcome you to the board and wish you all the best.

:fingerscr that someone who has had experience with something like this will come along with some information.

Meanwhile, if good thoughts and prayers can help you, you've got them!

February 5th, 2008, 10:00 PM
I'm sorry you're having to deal with this, Lloyd. I can tell this dog is well-loved. :grouphug:

I have no answers for you, just wanted to welcome you to the board and wish you all the best.

:fingerscr that someone who has had experience with something like this will come along with some information.

Meanwhile, if good thoughts and prayers can help you, you've got them!

Thank you very much! :)
I must admit, it was only about four days ago that we picked him up from the vet, but I'm just so worried about him, he's really been through a lot.

February 5th, 2008, 11:39 PM
He has been through a lot. And he is showing some improvement--no vomiting, and he's sleeping better. It may just be a matter of time before he's behaving more normally in other ways, too. :grouphug:

Are the stomach drug, muscle relaxer and epinephrine the drugs used to treat him after his reaction to the vaccination or is he on one or more of them longterm? I'm assuming he's diabetic because of the insulin?

February 6th, 2008, 12:34 AM
Yes, he is diabetic and gets two insulin shots a day.
None of those drugs are long term, and the epinephrine was given to him to jump-start his heart again.

The vet informed us that we should try to break his circular pattern, but I also tend to think that it might be a result of him dragging himself over the floor. It is really hard to stop him from dragging himself, and he happens to drag himself so that the right side of his hip (er..the area just before the right hind leg) is constantly being pressed against the tile floor, and that has caused a bruise, which might be causing his trouble.

The muscle relaxer was given to him to get him to sleep, then he was weaned off it. The stomach drug (forgot the name, begins with a C though), is meant to relax his stomach to help him with the bathroom and just to settle his stomach, and he's shown great improvement in that area (he goes to the restroom often because he's diabetic, and he also drinks a lot of water as well).

My family and I consulted with the vet about giving him Rimedil (or spelled in similar fashion) as an anti-inflammatory, but apparently it really takes a toll on the liver, so we're waiting for him to improve some more to see if we really need to put him on another drug that he won't need.

He's also started to eat the entire portion of food he is being given, which is a very great deal like his former self. I'm just hoping that all these effects are just "shock to the system" and not permanent.

February 6th, 2008, 12:50 AM
What a nightmare, does the vet have an explanation? I can't remember if rabies is a 'live' vaccine.
Can you put out a mattress or something similar for him, until he gets his bearings? A heating pad might be comforting on that leg as well. Poor baby. I imagine brain 'shocks' are the same for an intelligent animal as they are for us, totally bewildering.
Please let us know how he does. Name?

February 6th, 2008, 07:17 AM
I'm glad to hear he's eating better now! :highfive: That'll help you regulate the blood sugar. Are the sugars very far out of whack from all this? Could he be showing the effects of too much sugar in his blood?

Is the dragging behavior new, or something he's done for a long time? The baby mattress does sound like a good idea. We used one for our old arthritic lab for many years--he loved it! (The biggest problem is trying to keep it out of the traffic pattern, cuz it'll trip you up if you forget and try to walk through it...:rolleyes:...I'm a clutz. :o)

Rimadyl, or any of the NSAIDS like Etogesic or Deramaxx, can be very hard on the liver. But did the vet mention anything about baby aspirin? It may be a little easier on the liver. You still have to watch for signs of bleeding, though. See what your vet thinks--we've often used the orange chewable 81 mg baby aspirins to just "take the edge off" and make them more comfortable. And you don't have to pill them--ours just chew them on their own.

February 6th, 2008, 08:02 AM
Poor pup and you,he certainly has been trough the wringer,all those drugs:sad:
I can only wish both of you well,have no experience,no suggestions...but know of the sadness and heartbreak watching your loved animal suffer.
:pray:for your pup:fingerscr

February 6th, 2008, 08:47 AM
Actually, we have three mats, one per dog, and that is where he sleeps if he isn't sleeping by me. They are right behind the couch, so no one ever walks on them or anything.

Baby aspirin, that's a pretty good idea, I'll talk to the vet about it. Thanks.

As far as an explanation, the vet said exactly what we thought: Either the drugs or neurological. But I really tend to think that it is the drugs because he wasn't unconscious for but a second, so lack of oxygen doesn't seem likely. Plus, there are countless drugs for humans that have the seem effect, legal or illegal.

His blood sugar was only off the charts on one occasion, and that was when he had just started recovering. He wasn't eating a full bowl of food then, so we weren't giving him the full dose of insulin (which the vet increased by the way...). After that event though, he's been peachy fine as far as blood sugar goes.

February 6th, 2008, 09:27 AM
My heart goes out to you both - all I can contribute is a prayer for a recovery!

February 6th, 2008, 01:39 PM
How is your dog today, Lloyd?

February 6th, 2008, 02:29 PM
He's improving, and I say that because he's going back to his stubborn self. :)

He's starting to walk along the same routes he used to, and his bathroom visits are far more productive. I tend to think that the reason he's walking in circles (counter clockwise) is because his right leg is really sore, so he probably doesn't want to put weight on it.
I think so because I have steered him the opposite way, and if I dangle food in front of him then move it to his right, he's there in a jiffy. I believe it is that he doesn't want to turn, not that he can't.
But that's what I think, I wouldn't really be able to actually prove it.

Other than that, he's doing much better, but he is still very shakey from time to time; however, nowhere near as often as before.

February 6th, 2008, 03:48 PM
I'm glad he's negotiating the room better, Lloyd! :highfive: And stubborn is good, too. :D

Sounds like he's enjoying a slow but sure improvement. :thumbs up

February 8th, 2008, 01:14 AM
Now he's started to walk around normally, though he still walks in circles occasionally. Hurray!

Also, he's starting to take off your finger again when you give him food, so that's good. He used to do that all the time. :)

He has an easier time navigating inside than outside.

February 8th, 2008, 08:00 AM
Yay! :highfive: It's great to hear that he's showing more improvement day by day.

Give him some hugs from ol' hazel, please :D

February 8th, 2008, 10:07 AM
Well i have 2 red eared slider turtles and one has been acting weird. Everytime she's in her normal tank she just floats around at the top eye's closed and not wanting to move much, but when i take her out and put her in a little rose bowl she's happy, her eyes open and she moves around, i'm not sure what's wrong with her, and i'm not sure if it's serious or not could someone please help?.

February 8th, 2008, 11:00 AM
Hi, beanbag. Welcome to the board.

The best way to get an answer to your question is to post it again in the health forum as it's own thread. See the pale blue banner above where it says "Pet health - Ask the members..."? Click on that, then look for the New Thread button toward the top of the page. Make sure you give it a title that mentions turtles and you'll get lots more information from members who have more knowledge of reptiles! :thumbs up :D

February 8th, 2008, 11:03 AM
hey Lloyd, have you thought about finding a holistic vet in your area? They may be better able to help you sort through the effects of various medications and suggest things to help your dog's body deal with what sounds like a huge number of stressers in the past while.

February 8th, 2008, 11:04 AM
Lloyd--I was thinking about the vaccination reaction. You might want to check with your municipality to see if they would allow proof from the vet of a good titer against rabies instead of actual innoculation. If your dog displays a high titer against rabies, he doesn't need another vaccination despite what the law says. Many dogs show consistently high titers (i.e., are protected against rabies) even without periodic vaccinations. Considering the reaction your dog had to the shot this time, it might be worth looking into, if you haven't already.