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Old 02-01-2013, 02:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hello from Virginia (discussions on neurological diseases in GSDs)

I have proudly shared my life with GSDs for over 30 years!

I'm looking for discussions on neurological diseases in GSDs. This past Wednesday (1/30/13) I had to make the heartbreakingly difficult decision to say goodbye to my beloved 3 1/2 year old male GSD. He was presenting with classic herniated disc symptoms and conservative treatment helped but not much. It was decided that an MRI and surgery would be necessary to get him back on all fours. He had a neurological exam and MRI on Tuesday 1/29.
The neurologist was certain that he had a ruptured disc in his mid-back and went ahead and scheduled surgery to follow the MRI. The MRI showed absolutely nothing wrong with his spine. Nothing. His problem was neurological but DM was ruled out due to his age (3 1/2), the suddenness with which the symptoms arose, and the pain and swelling in his back.

Has anyone else had a similar problem with a young shepherd?

Last edited by MaggieRoseLee; 02-01-2013 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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So sorry to hear about your dog. What did your breeder say and how are the littermates in case there is a genetic component?
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Cian was a rescue. He was picked up in Rutherford County NC as an abandoned/stray and was on death row. He was 6 months old when I adopted him. I have no other information but my vet did a very thorough exam when I got him and he was in excellent health. His recent MRI showed a healthy spine. His primary care vets and the neurologist are as puzzled as I am. He went from running and playing one day to walking like a drunken sailor the next. This quickly progressed to him literally sitting and scooting/dragging his hindend. I'm heartbroken as he was the most loving, gentlest GSD ever. Everyone who met him fell in love with him.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry about your dog.

Did you check him for tick diseases? One of my dogs fell over one day and was paralyzed. Long story short, he had a bad infection of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It took him a month before he could walk again, and six months before he was almost-but not quite normal. He died a year later from hemangiosarcoma, which two vets think was at least indirectly caused by the RMSF, a blood-borne infection.

Your dog also could have had a spinal embolism.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes he was checked for all sorts of tick and bacterial infections. Nothing. Spinal embolism? I'm going to look that up. It wasn't mentioned. Thanks.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Was Myasthenia gravis (MG) tested for with bloodwork? Recently euthanized a 3 yr old GSD in my clinic for it. Presented with intermittent rear limb paralysis and lethargy.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myboyz View Post
Cian was a rescue. He was picked up in Rutherford County NC as an abandoned/stray and was on death row. He was 6 months old when I adopted him. I have no other information but my vet did a very thorough exam when I got him and he was in excellent health. His recent MRI showed a healthy spine. His primary care vets and the neurologist are as puzzled as I am. He went from running and playing one day to walking like a drunken sailor the next. This quickly progressed to him literally sitting and scooting/dragging his hindend. I'm heartbroken as he was the most loving, gentlest GSD ever. Everyone who met him fell in love with him.

Had he had a recent vaccine prior to the symptoms?
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't believe they tested for MG. He had not had any vaccinations prior to this. It's heartbreaking.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myboyz View Post
I have proudly shared my life with GSDs for over 30 years!

I'm looking for discussions on neurological diseases in GSDs. This past Wednesday (1/30/13) I had to make the heartbreakingly difficult decision to say goodbye to my beloved 3 1/2 year old male GSD. He was presenting with classic herniated disc symptoms and conservative treatment helped but not much. It was decided that an MRI and surgery would be necessary to get him back on all fours. He had a neurological exam and MRI on Tuesday 1/29.
The neurologist was certain that he had a ruptured disc in his mid-back and went ahead and scheduled surgery to follow the MRI. The MRI showed absolutely nothing wrong with his spine. Nothing. His problem was neurological but DM was ruled out due to his age (3 1/2), the suddenness with which the symptoms arose, and the pain and swelling in his back.

Has anyone else had a similar problem with a young shepherd?
I'm sorry for your loss. I have been through both DM with a 9 year old and tick illness with seizures with another one and neither sounds anything like what you are describing. However, there are many different tick illnesses my dog had a really rare one called Babesia.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Yes he was checked for all sorts of tick and bacterial infections. Nothing. Spinal embolism? I'm going to look that up. It wasn't mentioned. Thanks.
Also known as "FCE". however, the neuro vet should have seen it or known about it from the MRI. What was the diagnosis?? They just said they didn't know?

Fibrocartilaginous Embolism
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