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Old February 3rd, 2009, 12:11 AM
DrFrizB DrFrizB is offline
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4 year old female German Sheppard lethargic, limping, whimpering and loosing hair

Hello, thanks for reading. I am trying to find out what is going on with my brother's dog. I've cut and pasted parts of his email below. Any ideas? Is it degenerative myelopathy? Poisoning? Tick bite? Thoughts on other possible causes? Homoepathic treatments or other treatment considerations?

Thank you so much!!

We are presently trying desperately with our vet to figure out what is wrong with Eden. Back in late Nov 08 she began to act lethargic and was increasingly less active. We took her to the vet and he indicated it was likely a pulled muscle but could also be the early stages of hip dysplaysia. He put her on glucosamine and off we went. By the end of December she was worse and was having trouble getting up, going up the stairs, refused to chase her ball... So back to the vet for x-rays on Jan 13 which showed that her lift hip is really good but her right is slightly loose. She is eating fine (solid gold, organic, EFAs) and has solid stools. Both the vet and the radiologist indicated that hip dysplasia was not apparent and did not explain the pain and discomfort she was feeling. Eden continued to not want to move and it seemed like her fur was falling out from just petting her plus she was dropping "butt chunks" of hair. The radiologist wanted further x-rays of the pelvis and of the spine. This was done this past Tuesday plus blood work. Still waiting for the x-ray analysis but the blood work showed low potassium levels. No indication of liver disease or diabetes. When we got Eden home from the vet however, she was even more lethargic and was walking funny - like her back right leg was asleep and she was stumbling, crossing her right below her. I showed the vet a video yesterday and he asked for a urine sample which he got today. When she went to sit down, it took her about 10 seconds and she whimpered the whole time. Whimpered when she struggled to get up too.

Dad thinks we may be dealing with Degenerative Myelopathy as a coworker of his mentioned the symptoms.

Vet hasn't weighed in yet with most recent x-rays.

If anyone has any suggestions or thoughts, please share. I know this is tearing my brother and his family apart.

Many thanks,
Friz

Last edited by DrFrizB; February 3rd, 2009 at 12:41 AM.
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 01:11 AM
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growler~GateKeeper growler~GateKeeper is offline
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Sounds like it could be any number of issues, it is also possible Eden could have more than 1 issue going on at the same time

Has the vet suggested seeing a neurologist or having an MRI?

Has hypothyroidism, pancreatitis and kidney failure been considered/ruled out?

What about a Homeopathic Vet consultation?

When looking for a homeopathic vet this has a list of homeopaths following world renowned Dr Pitcairns' teachings http://www.drpitcairn.com/referrals/anhc_referrals.html
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 10:02 AM
DrFrizB DrFrizB is offline
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Thanks Growler

Eden did have pancreatitis about a year ago. Her diet was too fatty. However, she now has an incredibly good diet. We are still waiting for the results from the last x-ray and urine sample. The vet has not recommended any of the things you recommended so I will take that with me when my brother and I go this week.

I'll keep you posted.

Thanks!
Friz
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 10:07 AM
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Poor girl! Sounds like she is definitely in pain - and pain can be very debilitating for a dog. Did the vet put her on any pain killers while they try to diagnose the problem?
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 09:42 PM
DrFrizB DrFrizB is offline
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No pain killers yet

No, but we are going to the vet tomorrow. Nothing has changed yet. :sad:
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 10:13 PM
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Where does your brother live? And have they done any bloodwork for Eden since this episode started?
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Old February 8th, 2009, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrFrizB View Post
Hello, thanks for reading. I am trying to find out what is going on with my brother's dog. I've cut and pasted parts of his email below. Any ideas? Is it degenerative myelopathy? Poisoning? Tick bite? Thoughts on other possible causes? Homoepathic treatments or other treatment considerations?

Thank you so much!!

We are presently trying desperately with our vet to figure out what is wrong with Eden. Back in late Nov 08 she began to act lethargic and was increasingly less active. We took her to the vet and he indicated it was likely a pulled muscle but could also be the early stages of hip dysplaysia. He put her on glucosamine and off we went. By the end of December she was worse and was having trouble getting up, going up the stairs, refused to chase her ball... So back to the vet for x-rays on Jan 13 which showed that her lift hip is really good but her right is slightly loose. She is eating fine (solid gold, organic, EFAs) and has solid stools. Both the vet and the radiologist indicated that hip dysplasia was not apparent and did not explain the pain and discomfort she was feeling. Eden continued to not want to move and it seemed like her fur was falling out from just petting her plus she was dropping "butt chunks" of hair. The radiologist wanted further x-rays of the pelvis and of the spine. This was done this past Tuesday plus blood work. Still waiting for the x-ray analysis but the blood work showed low potassium levels. No indication of liver disease or diabetes. When we got Eden home from the vet however, she was even more lethargic and was walking funny - like her back right leg was asleep and she was stumbling, crossing her right below her. I showed the vet a video yesterday and he asked for a urine sample which he got today. When she went to sit down, it took her about 10 seconds and she whimpered the whole time. Whimpered when she struggled to get up too.

Dad thinks we may be dealing with Degenerative Myelopathy as a coworker of his mentioned the symptoms.

Vet hasn't weighed in yet with most recent x-rays.

If anyone has any suggestions or thoughts, please share. I know this is tearing my brother and his family apart.

Many thanks,
Friz
Am going to give you quotes from 2 books I have: frm Earl Mindell's Nutrition & Health for Dogs---(heading of this is called Breed-Specific Health Problems-in other words what a breed is prone to) One of the health problems for a German Shepard-"Degenerative Myelopathy--a progressive deterioration of the spinal cord." I also wish you would go into the I Love Dogs forum where I have posted some other info frm this same book to do w/German Shepards. It is under the Dog Health and Nutrition section and I have titled it German Shepards-Nutrition (I just can't rewrite it all here)
http://www.i-love-dogs.com/forums/ Click on (under web results) Dog Forums-I-Love-Dogs-Your Ultimate Dog forum I use same 'name' there--Corky/Max. If you click on my name--just like in this forum--will bring up my profile---hit statistics and will be able to get all my posts up---wish you would also check esp. under all titles--Because you love your dog-- You prob. think I have German Shepards--I don't (I do have 2 dogs though)--I am trying to help all dogs as much as I can because I love dogs and feel so sorry for them--too much to go into now but if you read my posts here and on I Love Dogs forum you will get the 'drift' I think. I wish everyone owned this book that I just mentioned above---I see it is listed under Ebay and very cheap for the used ones. (hope they still have it--haven't checked for a week or so) I do tend to chatter on-and I'm a 1 fingered typer to boot!

This is quote frm "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"----heading is: Degenerative Myleopathy--This is a degenerative disease of the spinal cord that appears to run in families. It occurs primarily in middle-aged German Shepard Dogs. It is the most common cause of hindquarter weakness in German Shepards and their crosses. The Siberian Husky and other large breeds are also affected.
The disease manifests itself as a slowly progressive weakness or paralysis of the hind limbs, along with an unsteady gait suggestive of hip dysplasia. The toenails on the hind feet may show abnormal wear from dragging on the ground.
Treatment with corticosteroids and/or vitamin supplements has not proven to be effective. About 50% of dogs will show some improvement when given aminocaproic acid.---end of quotes. This book was copywritten in 2000, so may not be up to date on treatments.(and this is the 3rd edition so may be a newer updated one out there)-----Try putting words Degenerative Myleopathy/German Shepards and or /treatment or just dogs instead of German Shepards--explore. Please check out my posts in other forum--One sentence I will hopefully get you thinking about German Shepards (dogs)---they need fresh enzymes to be healthy--all cooked food has no enzymes---another word to check out is enzymes .
Maybe you have found out by now what is happening and what to do--and dog is not in pain----another thing--if on some pain medication--go into computer and look it up---for instance: Rimadyl for dogs/bad reactions (side effects) I've had a little experience w/that one and was up all night w/dog because of it--so had plenty of time to look it up---needless to say the rest of the D_ _N stuff went in the garbage. And please don't believe everything the vet tells you----Find some posts on that too that I may of posted in one of these 2 forums?? I know you are pretty busy with your dog but I hope you will check out these things as soon as you can--My 2 dogs are almost 11(June 13) and 10 (April 1st)---and I wish I had only known the things I know now a long time ago------a lot of malnutrition,etc can not be turned around that has already happened--I can only do the best I can for them right now and hope it is able to still do some good. Last sentence I will leave you with(and you will see about it again , if you read that post on German Shepards-Nutrition) German Shepards have the most problem digesting their food and getting any good out of it---think maybe that has a lot to do w/the long list of things they are prone to and why their life span is shorter than a lot of other breeds! Please give me some feedback on all of this and how the dog is doing when you find the time. Can not believe the vet didn't think about this maybe being the problem--at least mention it and check for it too??!! esp since this happens to German Shepards a lot!!

Last edited by corky/max; February 8th, 2009 at 05:20 PM.
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