German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
hey all,


On the 10th of this month my 9 y/o just all of a sudden couldn't walk. No prior issues except for a few years ago and she just had a pulled muscle. took her to the vet on the 11th, did xrays etc. She has a pretty badly fused spine but he put her on gabapentin, presidone and an antibiotic. The next day she was actually up walking on her own again but went down that night and hasn't walked since. Both feet are flipping and still not walking today. she does seem like shes gained strength, I can stand her up and get her feet under her and she can stand on her own for a little while. I can also tickle her feet and she twitches her legs pretty well now. Any idea on whats going on? Im freaking out that its irreversible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,845 Posts
I'm hesitating to post, because your dog's situation might be different...but I had this happen with my first GSD. She had fusion of the lumbar spine, along with a bacterial infection in the spine.

Anti-inflammatories, an antibiotic and supplements to boost her immune system did help over the short term, but eventually, I had to have her PTS, as she was dragging her rear end along the ground, and could no longer walk.

If the drugs don't help, I am afraid there's not much anyone can do for your dog. I am just surprised it happened so fast, though. With my girl it was a gradual process.

I am wondering about other causes - I believe there's something called a spinal stroke that can cause sudden paralysis, or a ruptured disc in the spine.

Has the vet done an MRI? That's about the only way to determine exactly what is going on.

P.S. the title of your post is misleading. This had NOTHING to do with her hips, it's more than likely it's the spine that's the problem. Is everything else okay? How is her appetite? Is she tilting her head or showing any signs of an issue with her brain or ears? (brain tumor, old dog labrynthitis.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Spinal injury?

Her appetite has slowed but she is eating. I think she's having problems holding her bathroom, sometimes she waits to go other times she messes herself which of course, isn't like her. Other than that she can still wag her tail and she's not acting any different at all. No I haven't done an MRI, just the x-rays. I was gonna see about waiting till Friday to see I'd she continues to slowly improve before I call the vet back. At first she had zero strength to stand and wouldn't twitch her feet at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,845 Posts
Yes, my dog had trouble holding her poop. She never lost bladder control, though, but I wouldn't have been surprised if that had happened too.

Keep us updated, okay?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,092 Posts
Garret, I just went through this with my Airedale. We had success with chondroitin and msm from a health food store along with ultrasonic treatment vat the vets. By success, I mean able to get up and down. Able to get to his water bowl and outside to relieve himself. Was able to keep him around for a couple more years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
There wasn't much improvement so the vet went up on her presidone to 80mg for those days. I've had to drop her back down to 40 a day for the past 2-3 and she's lost all progress. Back to being completely limp and not standing at all on her own. I took her in yesterday morning and was pretty much told the only thing to do was to get a wheelchair and see how she does or to out her to sleep. Needless to say I don't know what to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,138 Posts
Before you make a choice that's permanent (death), please ask for a referral to a board-certified veterinary neurologist. They practice in specialty clinics or at vet school hospitals. Normally, your "primary care" vet would handle the referral and record transfer for you, but you can "self refer" if your vet won't do that. A specialist consultation and exam, without extra diagnostics, runs about $150 (they can normally re-use the x-rays and bloodwork that you've already paid for).

You might have to drive a bit to get to one of these specialists, if you don't live near a vet school or in a big city. It's worth doing.

They have the expertise to help you assess whether there is spinal damage or deformity (potentially fixable by surgery performed by a specialist), degenerative myelopathy (progressive and terminal, but your dog could live pain-free with a wheel chair for another 6-12 months), spinal infection (possibly-but-not-always treatable), etc. DM runs in the breed, but so do spinal issues! Spinal issues can mimic DM so it really is worth having an expert weigh in on what is going on. DM is a "rule-out" diagnosis that you land on after ruling out the other possible causes, so you need some help ruling them out before you give up.

This directory can help you find a specialist:
Veterinary Specialist Directory - Find Veterinary Specialists - VetSpecialists.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,092 Posts
Magwart, always enjoy your posts. Agree with your post, but we have to be mindful of quality of life. In other words, what is best for us may not be what is best for our pet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
220 Posts
Garrett, was wondering how your girl is doing. My Dad’s dog has immune mediated polyarthritis (IMPA) and is about 30 pounds. It is autoimmune and would be similar to rheumatoid arthritis in people.

It took a trip to a vet school to get her diagnosed and it came on fairly rapidly after what we thought was a virus that she had.

High doses of prednisone along with gabapentin got it initially under control, but taking her off pred meant a 5mg drop every 4 weeks. She started at 25mg and right after the change to 15mg she relapsed. It took going up to 40mg of pred and putting her back on gaba 3x a day to get it back under control. When she relapsed she could barely move and just trying to move her onto a mat was extremely painful. Once she stabilized for a period of time, we started to wean her off the gaba and the pred.

I tell you this because I am surprised that if your girl was starting to do better at 80mg that your vet would not leave her at that level longer or that he would drop her dose so quickly.

I am not a vet and I do not know what the max dose of pred would be for your girl, but it is generally based on weight. Usually it is reduced slowly after a condition is stabilized.

Also, I put my first dog into a wheelchair. His hips were bad and he ended up with cancer as well. He took right to it and got around wonderfully. My Dad made it and he could either support himself by standing on platform for his hind paws or he could let the padded rings support him at his hips (legs went through the rings). He used his front legs for propulsion.

I wish you and your girl well.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top