Originally Posted by Beau Bear
I'll begin by giving a quick history.
We have a 3 1/2 year old Golden Retriever. Never had any health problems, no known family history of any disease or disorder. He is active, and very healthy.
Approx. 3 weeks ago, when he got up, I noticed he stumbled into the wall, as if he had lost his balance. This only lasted maybe 10-15 seconds, then he was fine. About a week after that, he went to get up in the morning, and his hind legs just let go. You could tell that he was weak in the hind legs. He was stumbling, and after about 5-8 minutes, was able to walk. He was a little wobbly, but that eventually wore off. I took him to the veterinarian that morning. By the time he saw the vet., he was asymptomatic. She did, however, diagnose him with a partial ACL tear. I still wasn't convinced that that was what was going on... after this visit, he was totally normal for about two weeks. No limping, no wobbling, no trouble gettting up what-so-ever.
Two weeks later - same thing. He went to get up in the morning, and his hind legs just let go. This time, it lasted about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, he was able to walk, but was really off-balance. I called the vet. immediately who took us right away (after I explained that his symptoms were neurological). She referred us to the Atlantic Vet. College in Charlottetown that morning, and we headed over right away. This time, his symptoms didn't go away - he was very off balance, had a right head tilt, nystagmus (eyes twitching, kind of like he was dizze), and poor proprioception (when they flipped his hind paws over, he didn't immediately flip them back).
At this point, they told us they would need to run some tests to see what was going on, but to basically expect the worst. They said based on their assessment, it was something going on with his brain.
They did a CBC, abdominal ultrasound, spinal tap, and a CT scan. ALL tests came back normal. No swelling, no signs of cancer, ruled out any vascular issues.... (they did say that an MRI would show the brain tissue in a lot more detail, but didn't think it was necessary). Remember, this is a vet. teaching college. The specialist talked with neurologists, pathologists, etc... no one could tell us what was going on. We are still waiting for titer results for a parasitic infection, which we should get in a week or so. In the mean time, we are treating him with antibiotics, just in case.
He's back home now. His gait is better, and eyes aren't twitching anymore. He does still have the head tilt, and his eye lid on the right side is twitching a bit. His balance still isn't 100% - I would say it's 75% better. They are consulting with people throughout North America, to see if anyone has any answers... but I thought I would give it a shot here to see if anyone has been through this, or has seen this before.... any suggestions would be appreciated. BTW, an ortho surgeon did confirm a partial ACL tear, but said that this was beside the matter, and the least of our worries at this time... Thanks!