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Hi! I have some friends that have a four year old male shepherd named Buster. They have had him since he was a puppy. Several weeks ago, they noticed that he seemed to be a little stiff, but they didn't think too much about it, just thought he had hurt himself a little bit playing. About that time, he was having some skin issues and his vet put him on an antibiotic and a steroid and they noticed Buster seemed to be improving. The steroid prescription ran out about a week ago though, and things started to worsen again. He has lost about 5 pounds recently and is having a terrible time getting to his feet. I have seen a video that my friends took with them to show the vet and it is heartbreaking.

My friends took Buster to the vet both yesterday and today. Yesterday, they did bloodwork which showed a low white blood count and two of the other numbers (unsure of which) were a little high. Evidently, they tested for tickbourne illnesses and some other things, too, but they were negative. He was running a fever. They did not sedate Buster yesterday, because it was late in the afternoon and they had worked Buster in to be seen, but they did sedate him today and did xrays. Nothing much showed up on the them. The vet put Buster on a new medicine, but said if there was no improvement in the next couple of days, he would need to see a specialist.

My friends are just distraught. Does anybody have any idea what this could be? One of the things mentioned was degenerative myelopathy.
 

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DM would not cause stiffness and a fever.

My guess is something autoimmune. The steroid probably helped. They should make an appt with an internal medicine specialist.
 

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Based on what I learned when Shane was diagnosed with DM.....I don't believe DM would show symptoms at 4 years.... typically 7-8 >>>...further there's the DNA test nowadays for DM....once again I'm thinking too young for DM...also Shane to my knowledge never had a fever.

Based on your post.... lyme disease came to my mind....but I'm sure as heck NOT a vet.....if I was in your friends shoes I'd see a specialist.


Just reread your post and saw they'd checked for tick borne illness....your friends will have a lighter wallet---but yes... i'd fast forward to a specialist.
 

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Where does Buster live? There are weird things emerging in some regions and not others.


Any other neuro symptoms? Hind end or all four legs that aren't working?
 

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Where does Buster live? There are weird things emerging in some regions and not others.


Any other neuro symptoms? Hind end or all four legs that aren't working?

Thanks for all the responses.

Buster is in Kentucky. No other neuro symptoms have been noticed. It is just the hind legs.

My friend tells me that she thought Buster might be a tiny bit better this morning. The vet just started him on a anti-inflammatory, carprofen, gabapentin for nerve pain and an antibiotic, doxycycline. Even though the test for tickbourne illnesses was negative, she is giving him the antibiotic to be on the safe side.
 

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DM would not cause stiffness and a fever.

My guess is something autoimmune. The steroid probably helped. They should make an appt with an internal medicine specialist.
I'm going to agree with this my boy Clay was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder last year he had all of the same symptoms the vets thought it was some sort of bad infection at first but could not resolve the issues he was having, so we were sent to a specialist and after many tests, scans and stuff steroids were his last option he had lost so much weight and was on death's door the fever ravaged his body but steroids worked and he recovered well... I hope you friends find the awnser to there poor boys illness.
 

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Definitely not DM. Too young, and it does not come on quickly, it's a slow, progressive disease. There can be plateaus, but once it starts there is never any improvement.
 
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I would suggest checking for Leptospirosis. My Dutch Shepherd picked it up from the urine of an infected possum in my yard in town.
 

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It does sound like a autoimmune issue. I’m not sure how well antiflammatories work that well if it is indeed autoimmune. Steroids work best for autoimmune issues. I hope Buster is feeling back to himself soon!
 

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Hi! I have some friends that have a four year old male shepherd named Buster. They have had him since he was a puppy. Several weeks ago, they noticed that he seemed to be a little stiff, but they didn't think too much about it, just thought he had hurt himself a little bit playing. About that time, he was having some skin issues and his vet put him on an antibiotic and a steroid and they noticed Buster seemed to be improving. The steroid prescription ran out about a week ago though, and things started to worsen again. He has lost about 5 pounds recently and is having a terrible time getting to his feet. I have seen a video that my friends took with them to show the vet and it is heartbreaking.

My friends took Buster to the vet both yesterday and today. Yesterday, they did bloodwork which showed a low white blood count and two of the other numbers (unsure of which) were a little high. Evidently, they tested for tickbourne illnesses and some other things, too, but they were negative. He was running a fever. They did not sedate Buster yesterday, because it was late in the afternoon and they had worked Buster in to be seen, but they did sedate him today and did xrays. Nothing much showed up on the them. The vet put Buster on a new medicine, but said if there was no improvement in the next couple of days, he would need to see a specialist.

My friends are just distraught. Does anybody have any idea what this could be? One of the things mentioned was degenerative myelopathy.
There's a simple test the vet can do in the exam room and, if he/she suspected DM, that test should have been done, it literally takes a couple of seconds.

I don't remember DM causing a lack of appetite.

It sounds suspiciously like Valley Fever, where is your friend located?
 
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