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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

Long time lurker here who rarely posts. I was hoping for some opinions from other GSD owners. I have an issue with my 3 year old female GSD Trinity. I've had her to the same vet twice now and none of the Dr.'s can find anything wrong with her. I figured maybe some here have seen this problem?

What happens is any time I walk her, she slows down after maybe just 1/2 a mile to the point where I am ahead of her pulling her. She eventually will stop completely, and you need to give her 2-3 min before you can resume walking. One time this summer she completely stopped walking and laid down refusing to walk any more and I carried her home. My other older male GSD can run all day, so this definitely seems really unusual to me.

When I play frisbee or ball with my two GSD's. The male runs like a rabbit all day. Where as Trinity will go for one attempt then just give up and watch / lay down.

She doesn't appear to be limping anywhere. I stretch and move her legs, and touch her feet. She's not showing any pain at all. She's had her hips X-rayed at 6 months and didn't find anything. It just seems like she is exhausted and tired. This has been going on for over a year now. She's also been tested for Lyme / Heartworm and nothing. She is getting slightly heavy (95 pounds) but I don't overfeed her.

I just feel terrible for her. She is in the prime years of her life but I feel something is bothering her that I can't help with.

Aside from any comments / ideas. If anyone has a good Dr. in New Jersey that they recommend, I am willing to take her pretty much anywhere for a second opinion. Please PM me.

Thank you!
 

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I wish I had some good advise to pass along. Keep us abreast of what's going on with your girl ... Good luck !
 

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I would have a thyroid panel run, which includes the free T4 and the TgAA.

I would try some joint supplements if she isn't already on a good one at full dose.

If both of those didn't help, I would probably have a blood panel run, and look for indications of tick diseases - might do a trial of doxy is nothing else could be found.

I would also evaulate current diet and ingredients.
 

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Maybe get her hips done again. Do you have a copy of the ones she had done at 6 months? Things can change dramatically from 6 months to 3 years and her hips would be the first thing i'd double check.

What are you feeding? Are you supplementing anything?
 

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Have you checked her thyroid? Low thyroid can cause tiredness, slow heart rate and also weight gain.

Siena had this going on and the thyroid was low, but not low enough to diagnose (had all but weight gain symptoms) and we retested in 3 months and she was no longer producing any thyroid, so she went on meds and does great now. She will turn 4 next week, but this all started just before her 3rd birthday.

Have you ruled out parasites? Does this happen every day, or perhaps, only when it is hot? My dog (long hair) hates the heat and becomes sluggish when it hits around mid-70's. Have any of the following been ruled out: Addison’s disease, Cushing’s syndrome, and diabetes mellitus.

Hope she feels better soon. Keep at it with the vets. We found a holistic vet that has worked wonders with our dog because they treat the body as a whole because everything is linked somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Lisa, I was thinking something along the Thyroid issue as well.
She gets 3 capsules of Salmon Oil supplement a day, but no specific joint supplements. Is there a specific one anyone would recommend?

Her diet consists of raw fed (Chicken, Pork, Beef, Lamb) and she also gets Blue Wilderness no grain feed.
 

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Another vote for getting her thyroid checked. This sounds more like that than a joint issue. I am surprised your vet didn't check it already--lethargy and weight gain are signs.
 

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Is she panting excessively? Any other physical signs? I think all of us GSD owners are hyper alert for hip and other joint discomfort, but it sounds like maybe you ruled that out.

What did the vets do to work her up? Was the onset of the problem sudden? How often do you try to exercise her?

Just feel that more info will help you get better advice :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Diana, that's positive to hear. From the comments so far it sounds like that may be the route to go and get that tested. None of those diseases have been ruled out, but I will make sure the next time I go armed with some more questions to get her better.

Lucy, the vet didn't think another X-Ray was necessary but I will have them run another one if nothing else can be found.

Have you checked her thyroid? Low thyroid can cause tiredness, slow heart rate and also weight gain.

Siena had this going on and the thyroid was low, but not low enough to diagnose (had all but weight gain symptoms) and we retested in 3 months and she was no longer producing any thyroid, so she went on meds and does great now. She will turn 4 next week, but this all started just before her 3rd birthday.

Have you ruled out parasites? Does this happen every day, or perhaps, only when it is hot? My dog (long hair) hates the heat and becomes sluggish when it hits around mid-70's. Have any of the following been ruled out: Addison’s disease, Cushing’s syndrome, and diabetes mellitus.

Hope she feels better soon. Keep at it with the vets. We found a holistic vet that has worked wonders with our dog because they treat the body as a whole because everything is linked somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
No I agree, the more info. I can give the better.

She doesn't pant excessively. The problem is not sudden, it's gradually gotten worse which is what made me post after another walk last night when she started showing signs even sooner then usual.
Her diet has never changed for 3 years, and she still is a good eater.

When I take her to the vet, that's just it. They don't work her up, they have her walk around the office to see her stance / posture etc. But never walk her outside for 10min to see what I see. Also, they tell me they run her blood which it seems at this point I need more information on what they are checking it for.

As far as exercise, my dogs have 2 acres on which they are outside most of the day chasing deer, rabbits, and each other. And I also have play sessions at least for 20-30 min or we go for walks.

Is she panting excessively? Any other physical signs? I think all of us GSD owners are hyper alert for hip and other joint discomfort, but it sounds like maybe you ruled that out.

What did the vets do to work her up? Was the onset of the problem sudden? How often do you try to exercise her?

Just feel that more info will help you get better advice :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, I have another vet appointment for tonight. Thanks everyone I'll leave feedback on how it goes.
 

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If it were me, i'd push for another hip x-ray no matter what the vet recommended. Getting the elbows done too wouldn't hurt either.

Please post a follow up to let us know how the appointment goes. Good luck.
 

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My first thought was thyroid too. Hope all goes well at the vet tonight. Keep us posted.
 

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I assume she's been checked for a heart problem?? Thyroid seems the most obvious because of her weight without overfeeding. Is it possible to exercise her more frequently for a shorter amount of time? Poor girl, you must be worried
 

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As a person who is hypothyroid I can tell you those are the same symptoms I get when my levels are low. And believe me, I will get so tired that I will have less then a tenth of my normal energy. And yep, weight gain is a part of it as well.

My parents greyhound had to go on thyroid supplements so I know that dogs can get this. I would start there.
 

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Thyroid, yes. When you do the hip, do the elbows too, they can slow a dog down if they are painful, usually they would limp though.

If it is thyroid, the good news is it is not terribly expensive to manage.
 

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i agree with having her thyroid checked. if that doesnt show issue, have her heart checked. Push for a full blood workup and be obnoxious about it too. Check for tick diseases. Hip and elbow xrays.... the whole bit. If your vet doesnt agree with what you want to do in order to find the possible cause, find a different vet. Let us know how it goes! i hope you get it figured out.
 

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MrPuck: My female GSD had the same symptoms you describe when she was coming down with cancer of the spleen (hemangiosarcoma). X-rays and regular blood work did not detect anything wrong. It was not until her cancerous tumors grew and could be detected by ultrasound that I finally knew what was going on. I agree that she should have a detailed blood panel, which checks the thyroid activity for one. Just be prepared that blood work, the more detailed it is, is very expensive.
 

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My first thought was her heart. I don't know much about thyroid, but people seem to think that may be it, and I hope it's a simple fix for her. My friend's dog has high cholesterol. And we know high cholesterol can lead to heart problems. She's only 3, but if there is not a thyroid problem, I would definately have her heart checked more thourghlly to make sure she's not having problems there.
 
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