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HELP - Vet cannot diagnose our Spaniel!

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Vikki Kinnear, May 17, 2019.


  1. Vikki Kinnear

    Vikki Kinnear PetForums Newbie

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm a recent joiner as I am worried about my 4 year old working cocker spaniel and I feel like I need the help of the internet! Sorry for the long message but I don't want to miss anything out

    About 3 weeks ago, we went on a family trip with our dog. Everything was fine until the second night. We were eating dinner with the rest of the family and my partner touched our dog and he yelped (which is unlike him). We thought maybe he had caught him funny, but kept an eye on him and he seemed fine. The next day, we went to take him for a walk. he is usually a typical working cocker - pull, pull, pull and happy to run and walk allll day, but today we got him out of the car and he was just plodding along next to us. About 10 minutes later, he sat down and refused to move and we saw his back legs were trembling. We carried him back to the car and within 20 minutes, the trembling had stopped and he seemed fine again. We left the holiday early and drove home, with the intention of giving him a day at home to rest. He seemed to perk up and we were happy that he was ok but would keep an eye on his bodily 'in's and out's'.

    The next day, we went to walk him and the same thing happened again - after about 5 minutes he sat down and trembled and was in pain, so we took him to the vets. She diagnosed infection of the anal glands, emptied them and sent us home with anti-inflammatories and antibiotics and no walks. We took him home and a couple of days passed, where we noticed that he wasn't pooping as normal and was not getting better so we took him back and they performed blood tests and an xray of his abdomen, as well as noting his temperature at 105 (usual is 101 - 102). Results came back and they thought he had stopped pooping due to his anal gland infection and had then become constipated so sent us home again with laxatives and more pain killers.

    Fast forward a few more days and he has perked up and is much more himself, although we noticed that his back right leg was a little unresponsive and he still didnt seem to want to jump onto the sofa/bed as he usually would and still, when we tried to walk him, he would sit down, back legs trembling and would go rigid making little 'mmmmmm' noises for about 15-20 minutes. Back up the vets, this time with him still visibly in pain. More xrays and tests and the vets were still none the wiser, but this time they mentioned that it could be neurological and maybe meningtis, although bloods were still clear for all tests.

    We were sent home again, this time with the neurological pain killer Gabapeptin. This made him sleep and made him very unsteady on his feet, so we went back to the vets again to say that this wasn't good as we can't tell if he is wobbly because of the pain killers or wobbly as he was before so she agreed that we should try him for a few days with no pain killers and absolute rest and that the next step would be a referral to a neuro vet who could perform an MRI.

    We are currently at the point where we have rested him as advised and he is fine around the house - running, jumping, walking about - but when we tried to walk him outside yesterday, he returned to the trembling and pain which again lasted about 15 minutes. He is eating, drinking and going to the toilet fine, but it is the walks that still seem to be a problem and he is now sniffing the carpets a lot and 'licking the air'. I am videoing as much as I can for the vet as we are taking him back tomorrow but I wondered if anyone else has had this experience and can offer some insight.
     
  2. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Licking the air strikes me as possibly seizure activity? So sorry you and your dear dog are going through this. I hope someone here may be able to add something helpful.
     
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  3. Vikki Kinnear

    Vikki Kinnear PetForums Newbie

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    Seizures have been mentioned but he passed all the vets neurological tests so far and he isnt displaying any other seizure symptoms at this time so they have ruled it out for now, although the referral to the neurological vet may show something different. Thank you for your support and well wishes
     
  4. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Could it be a slipped disc?

    I’d avoid all walks for a week or two, keep him home and calm with only brief toilet breaks in the garden and gentle walking inbetween lots of rest for the duration to see if anything settles.
     
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  5. DaisyBluebell

    DaisyBluebell Earth, the insane asylum of the Universe

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    Slipped disk possible, gentle exercise for at least 2 weeks and see how it goes. Our old cavi had a SD & not much can be done except pain killers.
    Alternatively seek a referral to a neuro professional (vets can't know everything) also if you can get a body scan done just in case there is an underlying tumour (dont want to frighten you but all avenues are worth getting checked out) there is clearly something wrong & your vet is not spotting it so you need to get to the bottom of it.
     
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  6. Acidic Angel

    Acidic Angel Your ego does not surpass your pets wellbeing

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    I have to ask, has your vet done the "foot test" to check that the nerves in his legs are communicating correctly with his brain?
    For this you would simply turn one of his back feet so that it was on the knuckles, a healthy nerve connection causes the dog to immediately right the foot. If the dog is slow to recover the foot or doesn't at all, tell your vet. This could mean that a slipped or blown disc is pressing on the spinal cord and/or nerves in the back.
    The symptoms your dog is showing are very common ones for this sort of thing, though I would have expected a blown disc to be shown on an x-ray.

    You may also need CT scans doing so your vet can see absolutely everything in the dogs back, not just the bones.

    *I am not a vet, this is just my basic knowledge of these sorts of symptoms, I don't want to frighten you at all, but these are possibilities that are there.*
     
  7. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    I immediately thought slipped disk (or disk problem) too! I don’t know much about it but it jumped into my head.
     
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  8. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    I had similar with my Jack Russell several years ago.

    The problem was her lower spine.
     
  9. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    Id go with the neuro opinion TBH. General vets are good but they dont always pick up on stuff that a specialist would.
     
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  10. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    Did the vet check for meningitis?
     
  11. Northpup

    Northpup PetForums Senior

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    Stanley had a slipped disk and it was awful, really bad pain sudden onset and he was like he was being stabbed. Kept jumping.
    He was on strong doses of gabapentin gradually reduced, gentle on lead walks and around 2 months and now he’s back to normal completely.
    If it is a slipped disk the symptoms can look really severe. Like te legs shaking and collapsing and crying out suddenly we had all of that.
    Hope you get to the bottom of it soon.
     
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  12. DaisyBluebell

    DaisyBluebell Earth, the insane asylum of the Universe

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    No news on this one then?
     
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