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Discussion Starter #1
So Harley (10 month old Akita-GSD mix) was acting weird at my girlfriend's parent's house last night, and I went over there after class and he definitely was not right. He didn't eat his dinner, and wouldn't drink any water. He was walking around with his tail between his legs, and was unsure around people. Usually he is running around and loves to play. So I take him outside and have him run with me, and then I notice he is lifting his back paws when we stop (just one at a time, but he lifted both depending on when we stopped). I also notice he is walking very close to the side of the house, and when we go inside he seems to have a hard time keeping his balance. He also seemed to be staring off into space. He started to sway back and forth, so we called the emergency animal hospital and took him in when my girlfriend got off work. Earlier in the day he threw up part of his breakfast, it was mostly kibble with a bit of foamy saliva in it. It wasn't the first time he'd done this, usually he will throw up his food every couple of months.

So at the vets office they take his temperature and monitor him, do some blood work, and $300 later find out there is nothing wrong with him. They gave him some wet food to see if he would eat before we left, and he scarfed it down. On the way home he whined a little bit, and when we got to my house he laid on my bed before we all went to sleep. At first he wouldn't go in his cage, but then I got up and told him to go in and he went in and laid down. This morning he seems to be acting more normal, but won't eat his food. I tried to hand feed it to him but he wouldn't take it. Then I tried some of my roommate's dog's food, and he ate it. So I guess its time to switch foods, but does anyone have any idea what was wrong with him last night? Was he having a seizure? I thought maybe inner ear infection, but he hasn't been scratching at them and they weren't red or anything. Plus, I figured the vet would have checked that. I'm scared something is wrong with him and we just haven't caught it yet...

Thanks for any help.
 

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I thought maybe inner ear infection, but he hasn't been scratching at them and they weren't red or anything. Plus, I figured the vet would have checked that.
Vets have to walk a fine line between being thorough and making people feel ripped off. For $300 in NY, the vet couldn't have checked a whole lot.

I'm somebody who's slightly nutty about my dogs and I don't have children, so I would go to the vet and say, "Find out what's wrong with my dog. Call me when you find out what's wrong or when we get to $X,000, whichever comes first."

But that's just me.
 

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I'd sure keep a very close eye on him and if he continues this behavior take him back to the vet for more testing.
 

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My daughter used have seizures, this sounds similar. She would stare out into space, but did not exhibit the typical flaying and writhing, she usually threw up after the seizure and then became very tired. You also mentioned his hind legs, do you think he has a spinal problem, pinched nerve? My previous dog, who died from cancer walked with her tail between her legs the first time she had severe pain. Sorry never have seen this behavior before myself. I have not had too may good experiences with the emergency vet, she told me there was nothing wrong with my dog, sent us home with narcotics and she died 3 days later. Maybe try your regular vet. Hope you get a diagnosis soon.
 

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Vets have to walk a fine line between being thorough and making people feel ripped off. For $300 in NY, the vet couldn't have checked a whole lot.

I'm somebody who's slightly nutty about my dogs and I don't have children, so I would go to the vet and say, "Find out what's wrong with my dog. Call me when you find out what's wrong or when we get to $X,000, whichever comes first."

But that's just me.
Holy crap. My vet doesn't charge unless they find something... and then only for meds. My average "dog is not normal, needs meds" visit is ~$20
 

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Will be sending well wishes for your Harley, and hope that he gets better soon. :)
 

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Any vomiting or diarrhea?

For $300 you would get a full CBC and an exam and several other tests as well.

Find out exactly what tests the vet ran. Get the results of the blood work and look for any, even slightly, elevated levels.

Keep a very close eye on him--if that were my dog I would be very concerned as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just got home from class and he seems back to normal. He greeted me with a wagging butt and pawing at the cage door while I tried to open it :). Brought a toy out for me and played for a bit. I tried to give him fresh water to drink but he didn't want any, then when I let him roam the house he drank my roommate's dog's water. So I switched his bowls out and tried to give him food again and he ate it, but was still unsure at first. So maybe the bowls were part of the problem this morning? I've been meaning to get stainless steel bowls for him, but keep forgetting.

The vet gave us paperwork and forwarded the info onto our regular vet, but the paperwork is at my girlfriend's house so I'll have to post that later. I remember it was blood work, urine analysis, and maybe something else? I don't know, I'll post it later. It was $95 just for the initial exam. But at almost 10:00 at night, there aren't many places to go...

Right now he is squeaking his toy wanting me to play, so I guess I'll give him some play time. :)
 

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Earlier in the day he threw up part of his breakfast, it was mostly kibble with a bit of foamy saliva in it. It wasn't the first time he'd done this, usually he will throw up his food every couple of months.

.... This morning he seems to be acting more normal, but won't eat his food. I tried to hand feed it to him but he wouldn't take it. Then I tried some of my roommate's dog's food, and he ate it. So I guess its time to switch foods, but does anyone have any idea what was wrong with him last night? Was he having a seizure?
It sounds like the food is definitely causing an issue. I don't know about the strange behaviour that you describe though. Had he had any medication just previous to that (heartworm, vaccinations, etc.)? Chewing anything odd in the yard?

I would call up the vet and ask for a copy of the blood results for your file at home. Then look carefully at the results and see if you find any values that are close to the edges of the ranges.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
He hasn't had his heartworm med since November, and no vaccinations recently. A couple weeks ago my girlfriend found a dead bird near where he has been hanging out, but I would think that was long enough ago where it would have bothered him sooner. I fed him his regular food (TOTW High Prairie) for dinner and he ate it with little fuss... I think it may be getting stale though, since it sounds crunchier than usual. Anyways, he seems to be back to his normal self for now, here he is hanging out on the bed with a Christmas toy...

 

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Did you take him to VSR emergency hospital near MCC? Just curious as they tend to rip you off and I have personal bad history with them... I'd definately follow up with regular vet.
 

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Yes, that is where I took him. They are the only 24/7 vet I know of around here, do you know of another?
 

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I feel your pain. I took my (biggest nuisance, wish we could find her another home) dog to the vet last month because she was throwing up and refusing to eat.
We spent $800 and they found nothing, plus she is still throwing up about once a week, personally I think she has acid reflux.

Take him to your vet and double check. I hope they find out whats wrong.
Do you think he might have bumped his head or anything to cause the walking issue? Did they check for tick diseases?
 

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The symptoms definitely sound neurological. But the source of the symptoms is often harder to pinpoint...a seizure? Perhaps. Why a seizure? Again, often difficult to pinpoint. Could be genetic, could be environmental (ie, did he ingest something that caused the problem?). Watch him very, very closely. Keep a journal of his activities, note when you see something "off"...what time of day/night, what symptoms, what was he doing immediately and 8-10 hours earlier...sometimes it can help you identify a pattern or a potential source of the problem. Good luck!
 

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Yes, that is where I took him. They are the only 24/7 vet I know of around here, do you know of another?
I think Orchard Park in Buffalo may be one other - not sure if there are any others to the west? Unless you go south and it will still be expensive at 10 at night!

Let us know what info you can share.
 

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Hi Firebird . Sorry to hear about your dog.
Did your vet do an x ray -- I am thinking MAYBE the dog , male, right age, right size weight category, is experiencing pain from panosteitis , which is a bone inflammation that comes and goes, so self limiting. Sometimes these dogs are totally listless, flat as a pancake , won't eat and limp , favoring different limbs. The dog might be holding a right forepaw up or being very delicate in walking on it. Another time a rear leg can be tucked up flamingo style. Pano , long bone, growing pains can be seen on x ray with a darkened shadow rather than the hard white of bone.
An x ray would have also shown if the dog had ingested something like a tennis ball cover, sock etc. Have heard some real bad stories about pigs ears and those rawhide bones building up as undigestible material like a dam , part of the stomach becoming dead tissue and blood poisoning the dog. I don't mean to scare you just to point you in a direction so that you can ask some questions .

Make sure the dog has water . Offer pedialyte . Plain. You have to watch sports drinks which may be sweetened with something disagreeable to the dog or toxic .

Be aware of all things which are toxic to your dog.

This includes xylitol -- a new sweetener used in many diet / calorie reduced foods and chewing GUM. A stick of gum could be enough to kill the dog .

Raisins -- toxic, chocolate toxic , "drugs" toxic - hey just throwing it in -- cigarette butts - tobacco , anti freeze , avocado, macadamia nuts . we should get a full list up here .

For emergency it is a good idea to have Silicea gel around . http://www.nakaherbs.com/pdf/silicea_gel.pdf This binds the offensive toxins and eliminates them.

hope for the best
 

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I think Orchard Park in Buffalo may be one other - not sure if there are any others to the west? Unless you go south and it will still be expensive at 10 at night!

Let us know what info you can share.
Yes, Orchard Park is an e-vet and has a good reputation. There is another one here but they are awful so I won't even say their name.
 

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krystyne -- throwing up once a week , what you think is acid reflux , isn't good . Is the vomit yellow bile -- then help the pancreas and liver with some good probiotics and digestive enzymes. Does the "reflux" vommiting happen after a large meal then give smaller meals and check into a hernia situation.
 
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