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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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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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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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Is she on permanent medication due to the spleen removal?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
She's on no meds for anything as she sailed through the spleen removal :laugh: 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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"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.
 

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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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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
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all. As it's intermittent, and also when we had the vet workup there was no temparature, soreness etc present, we do not think it is an infection. Full ultrasound and x-rays 5 weeks ago indicated no other tumours which is why the vet is thinking probably not cancer related.

I will push for the blood workup just to be sure but it does sound very CCD likely. Luckily she is a happy senior the majority of the time but we will get to the bottom of this!
 

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So, after another bad day on Friday we went for the full bloods etc and results are back. Liver, kidney etc all normal, low platelets (although are being created normally), no sign of infection but some low pancreatitis markers. Basically everything is functioning normally but she's anaemic so there is likely an internal bleed somewhere. Metacam seems to be helping when she is bad so that is likely helping with inflamation.

Given the hemangiosarcoma that's likely another tumour so we have scans booked for later this week.

:thumbsdown: definitely not the news we wanted and we will have to figure out next steps.
 

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Was the spleen sent it to a pathologist for diagnosis or was it presumptive?

If it was a true diagnosis, then, I am sorry to say, it probably is the Hemangio. If not then I would also look in to tick borne illness like Erlichia which can cause anemia and platelet issues.
 

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Sounds like my dog when she was diagnosed with Dementia. She had very similar symptoms. She also started snapping at the kids and I for no reason. If she was laying down and we walked past her she would try to bite us.
That's when our vet said it was time.
He said there's no treatment and it will only get worse. She was also about 12 or 13. :(

Good luck. Saying good bye is never easy
 

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Discussion Starter #15
GSDSAR - we had a full histology of the spleen and tumour when it was removed and got the confirmed diagnosis.

She's very quiet again today so we are preparing for the worst for tomorrow. If it shows a bleed / another tumour then we are going to have to discuss options and next steps :-(
 

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Wishing you all the best.
 

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https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/anemia

B12 iron and folic acid are very important with anemia. Perhaps this may perk her up a bit.

Adding eggs and fresh meats and liver, as well as a b12/folic supplement.
When supplementing B12 look for "Methylcobalamin" form as opposed to Cyanocobalamin (synthetic = toxic waste on fragile system). Methyl more bio-available. Usually comes as 1000mcg. Folic acid 400mcg. You may find combo product.

The vet should have b12 injections
Crossing my fingers for you guys tomorrow.
I'll make a wish on my wishing jar :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It's another tumour and a bleed. She went rapidly downhill - no food, not able to walk, no interest in anything and difficult breathing for 24 hours but has perked up now although still tires too easily.

Vet has said that she could have a day or two, or a week but basically we are waiting for the final bleed out. Now need to make that terrible decision to avoid her a moment of stress or pain :(
 

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I am sorry to hear and sad you have to go through this . It is never easy to make the decision. Does your vet come to the house. There are mobile vets . If you need to put her down it does help if the vet comes to the house to put her to sleep.
 

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So sorry for you and your Girl:(...My wish, that she gives you more time to spoil her, hug her and love her and that she passes on her own naturally, without pain and without you having to make the "is it time" decision.

Give her rubs and hugs and kisses from me and G
 
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