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Help Diagnose my Dog's problem!!!

March 15th, 2009, 02:37 AM

I have been tirelessly searching the internet trying to find some kind of direction w/ the problem I am having w/ my dog.

I have an 11 year old cocker spaniel name Abbie.

About a couple months ago, she slowly started losing the ability to walk. It started w/ her rear legs and moved to the front. I actually have to pick her up and hold her up so she can go to the bathroom.

She also has a seperate issue.... some kind of a skin condition that has small red, sores that smell and scab over.

I took Abbie to the vet and they 1st gave me antibiotics for the skin disease. (This was before the lost of walking occured.) The pills did not cure the skin disease. The vet also game me some special soap to wash the dog in regularly throughout the week. Neither of these treatments has cured the skin disease. I explained this so you would see that my poor dog has this to worry about as well.

Back to the walking... I took her in when she started struggling to walk. The vet did not have an explanation for it. The vet did feel a lump in the dog, but I have not had the lump tested as of yet. The vet gave the dog a treatment of antibiotics to see if it would help. This did not help. My dog became worse and completely lost the ability to hold herself upright or walk. I immediately took her back in and the vet gave me a prescription of Prednisolone (Steriods). I had to give the dog 1 per day, and have done so for about 2 weeks now. I have only seen a mild improvement. The dog can struggle to lift the front half of her body into the sitting position. She pants heavy because of the pills. She still cannot walk.

She doesn't appear to be in any real pain. I carry her out to go to the bathroom and she doesn't yelp or shown signs of discomfort.

I feel horrible and want to at least find out what is causing this. I may be willing to invest heavily to allow her to live several more years. As am I sure all of you can relate - Abbie is a part of my family and I am willing to do whatever it takes to prolong her life.

Do you think this has something to do w/ the lump? Maybe it's pushing on her spine?

do you think the skin disease and lump all tie in together?

Any bit of advice, guidance, suggestions would be great.


March 15th, 2009, 10:59 AM
What does your vet suggest you do? Does he want you to get the lump tested? I would think that would be the place to start.


March 15th, 2009, 02:50 PM
Did your cocker just have a rabies shot recently? When was last time it had this shot? I also have an eleven yr. old cocker and he just had his 5th rabies shot (damn law!!!) this past Thurs. afternoon (the 12th) Put rabies vaccination/side effects/dogs in your browser. This may not be the problem but Rabies vac. is ruining their immune system---the more they have. There can be an immediate reaction and there can be reactions quite a bit later. My Corky acted like his back legs were not working right (just for a few seconds) after the 1st day. It scared the heck out of me as I was afraid I'd have to take him to the vet right away. And don't expect your vet to even think it might be the rabies shot--They don't like to own up to that one!
This could be a lot of things. One that I will quote from a vet book I have:
Hypokalemia (Low Serum Potassium)---A condition in which the dog has low
serum potassium, is a metabolic cause of generalized muscle weakness. Loss of potassium occurs with severe vomiting. It also occurs with the long-term use of diuretics that cause the kidneys to excrete potassium. Other causes of hypokalemia include bloat, diabetic ketoacidosis and Cushing's syndrome.
TREATMENT: The diagnosis is made by measuring serum potassium levels. Weakness disappears as potassium is replaced and the underlying cause is corrected.

Please keep us posted. And I also would suggest checking things out on the internet--Put words like hind leg paralysis/dogs, dogs/nervous system disorders wobbler syndrome/dogs ruptured discs/dogs peripheral nerve injuries/dogs:goodvibes:

I wish you would take her to a holistic vet----I'm wondering if she is lacking something in her diet (besides the possible potassium) You definitely need to supplement with probiotics as she is on prednisone (I hate that stuff--can lead in to diabetes and other things) Let me know about the rabies shot!! The sores could be food related. The lump could be vaccine related or cancer---Don't want to upset you further but have to mention it!

Where is the lump located? And are you sure she isn't in pain at all---panting can be a sign of pain. It sounds like she has been on a lot of meds---I only hope they aren't causing more problems---need to give probiotics for sure ----
have to keep the immune system working to try and help this situation.

March 15th, 2009, 04:40 PM
Corky/Max -

Thanks for the detailed reply. I will check into the things you recc in more detail and definitely keep this thread updated. Please continue to check it - I made need some more advice.

It is unfortunate when you can't entirely rely on your vet to put the effort in to fully and properly research the ailment in order to properly diagnose and hopefully cure it. I know they can't know everything, but sometimes I feel like they just run through the same old routine and put forth very little effort.

March 15th, 2009, 05:18 PM
It is unfortunate when you can't entirely rely on your vet to put the effort in to fully and properly research the ailment in order to properly diagnose and hopefully cure it. I know they can't know everything, but sometimes I feel like they just run through the same old routine and put forth very little effort.

It may well be a tough case and your vet is well-meaning, but if your intuition tells you he is just treading water, then I would look for a second opinion. Remember to get a copy of the file so they don't have to repeat expensive tests unless it is necessary. Maybe even ask for a reference to a specialist?

March 15th, 2009, 10:10 PM
Yes, maybe antoher vet's opinion...not that the first vet is inept, different vets just know different things...they go to different seminars...keep updated on different procedures, etc. I have found that out first hand...I am fortunate that I now have a vet who keeps quite up on things and is good at what she does...unfortunately, she is away at seminars a lot and it's hard to get an appointment with her LoL!

March 15th, 2009, 10:59 PM
I've been trying to find more info, not done looking but I wanted to ask if you had any blood work done, if not I would find another vet. Blood work would tell you among other things how well the liver is functioning--also the kidneys--which would be very important to know and important to know now before it could be too late to do anything about these two important functions! And I was going to suggest (if you went to another vet)--get all the records (you paid for them and they have to give them to you)--I see someone else mentioned this too. Sounds to me like your vet may be just be trying to 'mask' the problem with too many meds (which could make the problem into a bigger problem)---and if he did no blood work, that is pure neglect---might need x-rays too---How can he even begin to know what to do?!! I'm far from being a vet, I do read a lot. I know that the liver rids the body of toxins (poisons) and if it isn't functioning right---could cause all kinds of things as the body is not getting rid of what it should be in order to stay healthy----These sores could be because of this (many things could cause the sores, but this could be 1 thing) I'm wondering (I don't know!)--but if there was a problem with the liver not functioning right---wouldn't some of these meds make it worse--as meds. are 'poison' and it would put that much more of a 'load' on the liver!! Too much prednisone depresses the immune system also. Still think a holistic vet is the way to go.:frustrated:

March 15th, 2009, 11:16 PM
wii36o, where was the lump located?