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My Great Dane Can Barely Get Up And Walk

March 10th, 2009, 12:36 AM
I'm new to this board and would appreciate any assistance I can get to figure out what's wrong with my dog, Gracie. She's a 6 1/2 year old great dane. We noticed what felt like small swollen glands around her neck. Almost overnight, they grew to baseball size. She also had sores around her face and nose. We took her to the vet and he put her on Baytril and Amoxicylin for the infection due to her high white blood cell count and to heal her sores and glands. During this time, she also stopped eating to the point that we had to puree her food and syringe feed her. We took her to the vet again and he took a biopsy of the swollen glands. Fortunately it wasn't cancer. He also ruled out any liver or kidney problems. In the meantime, she began to lose mobility in her legs and neck and could barely get up and walk. She did not want to move. It was all we could do to lift a 160 lb dog to get her on her feet. She would take a step or two then lose her balance. She couldn't keep her feet underneath her. When we'd try and help her up, one of her front paws would always be folded under so she was trying to stand on the top of it rather than the bottom of it. One of her hind legs would flare out and twitch uncontrollably. Since cancer was ruled out, the vet put her on prednisone in hopes she would start walking again. After being on predisone for 4 days, she has shown some improvement. She has her appetite back and is eating a lot. She is also able to get up with help. Once she's up she can walk on her own, albeit very shaky and stiff legged. Almost like a baby learning how to walk. It kinda looks like she has parkinsons. The vet now has started her on Clavamox instead of the Amoxicylin. Between spending 3 nights at the vet, all the blood-work, biopsys, and medication, we are into this for almost $2000.00. Our vet now wants to do an ultrasound to rule out something else. What this is, I don't know. This will cost another $300.00. We are ready to walk from this Doctor as he has been very little help. We are ready to bite the bullet and take her to UC Davis Veterinary Hospital as it is suppposed to be the best in our area but is 70 miles away and expensive. I know it may end up costing us several more thousand dollars, so before we take this step, I thought I'd post this to see if anyone can help us figure this out. At this point, we just want to know what's wrong. We'd rather be given bad news than not know. It's really starting to wear on us. If anyone has any experience with these symptoms and could assist us it would be greatly appreciated. Sorry about the long post.
Thank you,
Gracie-L's Dad

March 10th, 2009, 12:47 AM
any xrays taken?

March 10th, 2009, 01:17 AM
A possibility for the inability to stand, walk and the foot knuckling is Fibrocartilaginous Embolism ( but it does not account for the swelling, sores or high white cell count.

If you are unhappy with the current vet I would take her to UC Davis :2cents:

March 10th, 2009, 06:07 AM
Prednisone will definitely cause a constant increase in appetite, and make her want to eat again. At this point, that's probably a good thing because she needs to strength to fight whatever is going on, so she can get better. Best of luck with the vet and :goodvibes: for a speedy recovery for poor Gracie.

March 10th, 2009, 07:39 AM
With so many progressing symptoms, I think I'd be on my way to UC-Davis. The way we look at it, after a certain point, if we have to spend more money on testing, best to have the experts in on it. Even thought it sounds like your vet has been pretty thorough, new eyes may see something that's been missed. If you go, have your vet fax all the test results so far to the vet at UCD.

Is it possible she got too close to a rattler? Has she been checked for tick diseases?

March 10th, 2009, 08:10 AM
I agree with Hazelrunpack. I would take her to the other vet 70 miles away. There is something wrong with her and she needs the best care right now and a fast and correct diagnosis.

Gail P
March 10th, 2009, 09:21 AM
I have no idea about the lumps, swelling etc. but I had a Great Dane that became very lethargic suddenly, to the point that she could hardly lift her head or stand and walk. She was diagnosed with Addison's Disease. She almost didn't make it and was kept in intensive care at the vet clinic for 3 days, on fluids and steroids. After she came home she had to take prednisone and fludrocortisone daily (lifelong meds) but began to feel better. She had no kind of swelling or anything, quite possibly this is something entirely different than what your dog is experiencing but it might not hurt to ask about Addison's just in case. It's something that is frequently overlooked. Good luck with your girl, hope she's feeling better soon.

March 10th, 2009, 09:24 AM
Thank you for the help. This morning she got up on her own. It was a bit of a struggle, but a good sign non-the-less. You've convinced me I need to make arrangements to get her to UC Davis.

This is a great board. I'm glad I found it. Thank you all again.

March 10th, 2009, 09:27 AM
Her vet did check for Addison's Disease and it was ruled out. Thanks for the reply. It is much appreciated.

March 10th, 2009, 11:49 AM
UC Davis - fast. It will be expensive but not as expensive in the long run as continuing the exploratory procedures at your local vet. Personally, I would want to see a neuro. Please ask your vet to make the referral for you - this will help - and actually might be necessary. We live in Toronto, Ontario and needed the vet referral to see the neuro at Guelph Vet Hospital - the equivalent of UC Davis. Doctors are absolutely wonderful and they keep up with their respective specialties. Hope your pup is okay.

March 10th, 2009, 02:48 PM
:goodvibes: for the UC-D visit! I hope you can get in quickly. :fingerscr And I hope Gracie is feeling back to normal again soon!

August 5th, 2009, 07:03 PM
My 7 year old great dane, Izzy, is having all of the same problems described by Gracie-L.
Paw folding over, difficulty walking and getting up, now she just wants to lay down, swelling along the leg, swelling in the neck, became HUGE overnight! First vet looked at her, took x-rays and said bone cancer. I took her to another vet who took more x-rays and says it is NOT bone cancer but so far, he is not sure what it is. high white blood cell count, high liver enzymes.. she has had blood in vomit and urine. she is being hospitalized overnight at new Vet's office and is on a strong antibiotic and fluid therapy. I visited her today, sat with her for an hour and she was sitting up for half of the time, big improvement since this weekend, but was laying down again when I left. Does anyone know what was wrong with Gracie from March? Any help would be greatly appreciated and could save Izzy's life. thanks!

August 5th, 2009, 11:55 PM
Aumadara I'm sorry Izzy is also having troubles :grouphug:

Unfortunately Gracie-L hasn't been back to post any update :shrug:

Is there a Veterinary Neurologist nearby that you can get a referral for?

Ask your vet about Cervical Vertebral Instability aka Cervical Spondylopathy aka Wobbler Syndrome

:goodvibes: Good luck & please let us know how Izzy is doing :goodvibes:

September 7th, 2009, 08:54 PM
Hi, we never did really know what was wrong with Izzy. she saw a second vet that the Great Dane Rescue of North Texas recommended, and he was a great vet. x-rays did not show bone cancer, but she had blood in her urine and was definitely suffering from some sort of infection. her swelling was terrible by this time, like two tennis balls on each side of her neck, her shoulder joint was very swollen and her leg swelled all the way down to her paw. her chest swelled also, she was miserable. she was hospitalized at the vet's for 2 days, given IV fluid therapy and baytril. she was still very swollen but was feeling good enough and getting around good enough to come home. i continued baytril, gave her cimetidine for nausea, and prednisone for the swelling. she continued to get better and by that weekend was chasing one of our cats. she was great but still had a swelling on the front of her chest. then, the limp came back. I really thought it was lyme disease, all her symptoms fit. we did another week of baytril, cimetidine, prednisone but the swelling increased again. the vet agreed to treat as if it was lyme and we switched to doxycycline this Wednesday... by Friday she was in obvious misery, as swollen as she was the first time, and had diarrhea. Saturday it did not improve.. Sunday I was frantic and calling emergency vets but she vomited up a large amount of blood and then died while I held her head in my lap. Her vet doesnt know yet, I'll have to call him tomorrow and tell him. Unfortunately, I still don't know what was wrong, I don't know what happened to her. She had almost fully recovered from whatever it was, but sadly, I lost her yesterday. I kept a towel with her stomach contents on it in case the vet wants to do any testing. wish I had an answer, certainly wish I could have saved her.
I miss her so much already, love you Izzy =(

September 7th, 2009, 08:57 PM
I am so sorry for your loss :sad:

September 7th, 2009, 09:04 PM
Aumadara I'm so sorry :sad: :grouphug:

:rip: sweet :angel2: Izzy :candle: She is playing at the Rainbow Bridge ( with those who've gone before :candle:

September 7th, 2009, 09:07 PM
:grouphug: I'm so sorry, Aumadara :sad:

:candle: Izzy

September 7th, 2009, 09:54 PM
:rip: Izzy :cry: