Mystery - anyone seen this before? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
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Mystery - anyone seen this before?

My old girl is 11.5 years old, pure bread, reasonably healthy GSD. She's got a little arthiritis, going slightly deaf and was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma back in June (tumour on spleen - had spleenectomy with full tumour removal) but has had 2 clear scans. Raw fed and lives very happily with our other 4 dogs.

In the last few weeks we've seen her start to have odd phases which last 12-24 hours; basically she goes off all food (turns her head away), spends all the time lying down (I call it sphynx laying as she is 100% square), she often takes hersefl off or stares at walls, is a bit wobbly when walking and refuses to interact. She seems vacant and we have to physically go over to her to get her to move or acknowledge us. She doesn't seem to be in any obvious pain.

We've had a general check at the vets and heart etc all seem fine, next stop is bloods to see if anything is showing there but we are all a bit stumped.

My main concern is the not eating as she doesn't have a lot to spare! We thought it might have been vestibular syndrome but it lasts too long and there is no eye flicking etc.

Anyone seen or heard of anything similar?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 04:35 AM
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Sounds a lot like cognitive dysfunction, aka dog dementia. Have a chat with your vet.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 08:04 AM
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Growing up we had a poodle whom became a senior suffered from back problems as he grew older he had a stroke. Your girl symptoms reminded me of my Freddy's. He used to stare at the walls endlessly. He was never the same it seemed as if a light just went out. Just as in people its a lack of blood flow to the brain caused by many health issues. There is no paralysis like people get as far as i am aware. The changes are sudden, head tilt, confusion, lethargy, wobbly walking it can be hard to distinguish from dementia or cognitive disorder which i believe is a gradual decline. a vet would have determine . Its rough seeing them go through this but they are not in any pain if this is what it is. Biggest challenge would be getting him to eat.


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 08:14 AM
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It sounds a bit like dementia. I've only seen it in cats, but symptoms range from what you describe to erratic behavior. Keep an eye on her and talk to your vet about a possible neuro consult.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 09:10 AM
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Is she on permanent medication due to the spleen removal?

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. - Unknown
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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She's on no meds for anything as she sailed through the spleen removal and has the all clear at the moment so we have avoided giving her anything. The only supplements she gets is glucosamine etc.

Looking at the canine dementia stuff I think it sounds similar and will be talking to my vet tonight. She's not like it all the time though and bounces back after 12-24 hours (she seems to have been having 1 episode a week) and eats, runs around and plays like normal after.

The vet has also asked us to film her next time it happens so they can see exactly what she is like at home.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 09:54 AM
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"basically she goes off all food (turns her head away), spends all the time lying down (I call it sphynx laying as she is 100% square), she often takes hersefl off or stares at walls"

might be some intestinal discomfort , crouched position indicating pressure or tension ,and she is internalizing , waiting for the discomfort to pass .

how would you adjust her diet ?

when the spleen is removed the liver has to take over its filtering function so you may want to ask your vet about liver supportive supplements such as glutathione boosting undenatured WHEY (goat/bovine) , NAC N-Acetylcysteine
Lysine (NOW has a double strength) , sources of selenium (could be one ground brazil nut) , alpha lipoic acid (health food store) and also to help the liver in its function , cleansing milk thistle seed , dandelion , burdock, bile stimulating peppermint, nettle leaf and beneficial turmeric.

to stimulate appetite warm the food slightly to blood temperature , use a little bit of garlic .

think about making a big pot of bone broth which will give you glycine and proline, minerals and so many other benefits .

the dog had some pretty major surgery and I wouldn't doubt a course of antibiotics afterward, when the dog was at an advanced age so bounce back would be slower.

something to restore the gut flora so that the nutrients are absorbed would be helpful.

Carmen

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 12:31 PM
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My shepherd, Jake suffered from dementia. His symptoms were more noticeable at night, which is called sun-downing.
He would start pacing at 5pm and stop and stare at nothing.
The vet prescribed atavan at night, which kept him comfortable.

This is called sun-downing in elderly people as well.
Take care.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayneA View Post
We've had a general check at the vets and heart etc all seem fine, next stop is bloods to see if anything is showing there but we are all a bit stumped.
That should have been the first step. Platelet count. Your vet should have encouraged this.
Although you may view this as a dementia type occurance, you really need to look at the obvious. Spleen removal.

Also agree with Carmen, that the problem lies with pain somewhere, the stomach, liver, pancreas. She could have an infection - huge chance of that without the spleen. She could have other tumors

I hope you find something to help her

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. - Unknown
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 08:08 PM
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Since it's intermittent, could it be some sort of seizure activity?
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