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What part of the country are you in? I think that in some states that are infested with lyme disease ticks (like CT, New York State, etc) the testing is much more routine. I know so many people who have had lyme disease and I think a couple of people who have pets who have had it.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Update:

Took her to the vet yesterday afternoon. Pretty much they said these types of illnesses are hard to diagnose...but the Dr said when they hurt all over and it's not neurological, it probably may be poly-arthritis. Since I mentioned Lyme, they took blood and sent it to the lab.

Here are the meds prescribed:
- We doubled up the Metacam
- Added Doxycycline 100MG (2x/day)
- Added Valium (2-3x/day)for a muscle relaxer. She's tensed up a lot and the yelping seems to come from anticipating being touched.

They also gave her fluid therapy since she was dehydrated.

Last night she was falling over and couldn't walk. We took her out to potty and she would fall over. It was absolutely heart breaking. Usually she sleeps in the bed w/ us, but we're so afraid of her falling off, so we took an old comforter and her bed and let her sleep on the floor beside us.

About 4am she was just laying there crying, but not moving. Wife took her out to potty and she fell again. Wife was in tears- this has been her dog for 10 yrs, mine for 5.

We gave her the Metacam at 6am, and the Doxy at 8am w/ her breakfast, and she seemed to feel much better.

One note- we feel that the Valium is too much for her and maybe what makes her fall over, so we've decided to hold off on that.
I'm curious to hear what you all think about this.

We also try to get her to drink more water- she's panting a lot and she hasn't pooped since yesterday morning. The vet said she had a lot in her when they checked her.
 

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wow this seems to keep getting worse :(

the pain meds can constipate them so maybe add a little pumpkin with the food

That is alot of meds and why the doxy unless confirmed lyme :(

I am just not a believer in using meds without having a confirmed diagnosis with mine

If stopping the valium does not make her better please take her to a specialty hospital and make sure you have copies of all the paperwork from your vet in a file to hand it to them.

I do not have any experience with valium with my dogs but I am getting concerned this is neuroligical and if neuroligical time is of the essence so if still falling over when stopping the valium please get to specialist.

also antibiotics and nsaids affect the tummy so make sure to give with food and I would split them up so give one with breakfast and one with dinner unless they have to be given more than once a day
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Thanks folks- there's never a good time to have your lil one get sick and wonder if this is the end... but I just lost my mom after a 10 yr battle w/ cancer. So the timing is not the best.
 

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Thanks folks- there's never a good time to have your lil one get sick and wonder if this is the end... but I just lost my mom after a 10 yr battle w/ cancer. So the timing is not the best.
hang in there do not give up :)

Sometimes the hardest part is figuring out what exactly is going on which is diagnostics. Sometimes they have symptoms that can be a few different things so just hang in there but I really think a specialty hospital is in order at this point.

where do you live? Are you near a specialty hospital or a vet college? It sounds like what your vet is stating through what you have written that this is the next step.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
I live in Charlotte NC. The vet suggested that we take these steps (meds) before we go to a specialist, which we agree.

Our worry about going to a specialist is that the costs will be more than we can afford. We were told MRIs can be around $1800. As much as we love our girl- this isn't an option.
 

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I live in Charlotte NC. The vet suggested that we take these steps (meds) before we go to a specialist, which we agree.

Our worry about going to a specialist is that the costs will be more than we can afford. We were told MRIs can be around $1800. As much as we love our girl- this isn't an option.
completely understand :) I hope she is feeling better soon and you are a great dog parent for looking into every possibility to get her better so hang in there

jmm and dr jaimie on here are in the profession and I see jmm is on here today so maybe she can shed some light on what may be going on as well as she is very helpful
 

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Discussion Starter #50
This weekend showed no signs of improvement. She can't even walk now. Last night was the point where we could take no more. We thought she had a seizure- but little on that later.

We took her to our vet this morning and they said we need to take her to a specialist.

Went to the specialist and the Dr diagnosed this as Tetraparesis. The Dr said that all symptoms point to a vertebrae in the neck. But when we said she had a seizure last night, he said that concerns him.

About what we thought was a seizure last night-
She was on the sofa w/ us and suddenly she rolled to her side and started crying. Both front arms were straight, and her right back leg started paddling. The entire time she seemed coherent. No vomiting, urinating, or defecating. Just severe pain and stiffness.

So it's very possible that she did not have a seizure.

Here's what the Specialist wrote:
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Diagnosis: Tetraparesis (open etiology)
Presenting Problem and History: Bess has a three week history of progressive tetraparesis. Initially she showed weakness in the right front limb. Radiographs of the spine show no significant abnormalities. Bess may have experienced a seizure or a pain event.
Physical examination: (weight 3.6 kg) No significant abnormalities.
Neurological examination: Severe tetraparesis. Falls when trying to walk. Absent postural reactions in all four limbs. Increased front limb tone but flexor withdrawal is present. Marked cervical spinal pain.
Neuroanatomic localization: C1-CS spinal cord segments
Diagnostic Testing: None
Treatments:
Give the following medications:
Stop Metacam for at least 48 hours prior to beginning prednisone.
Continue diazepam as directed.
Doxycycline may be continued.

11/8/2010 -Tramadol HCIsomg tablet, 7 tablets
Give 1/4 of a tablet by mouth every 8-12 hours as needed for pain.
Rx #: XXXXXX, By: Doctor, DVM, ACVIM-Neuro

11/8/2010 -Prednisone 2.5mg, 14 Tablet
Give 1 tablet by mouth every 24 hours for 7 days then 1/2 tab every other day.
Rx #: XXXXXX, By: Doctor, DVM, ACVIM-Neuro
Prednisone is a steroid that is given to reduce inflammation or swelling. Side effects of this drug includes increased drinking and urination, and increased appetite. Long term use may cause dry hair coat, weakness, muscle loss, darkening ofthe skin, & distended abdomen. Uncommonly prednisone can cause restlessness, vomiting and diarrhea, and increased
susceptibility to infections.

Please call if Bess develops a loss of appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea. The dose of prednisone may be adjusted based on her response to treatment. Never give a steroid such as prednisone with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (aspirin, Previcox, Deramaxx, Rimadyl, or Metacam).

Recommendations: Bess has weakness in all four limbs (tetraparesis) that is most likely due to a problem related to her spinal cord. Possible causes include a bulging or ruptured intervertebral disk, a spinal tumor, or an infectious/ inflammatory disease. A herniated intervertebral disk is most likely. Due to the severity of Bess' clinical signs and the lack of improvement, additional testing with possible surgery is recommended. This would give her the best chance for recovery.

To make a definitive diagnosis and make additional treatment recommendations, diagnostic imaging (MRI) would be needed. This requires general anesthesia.

The other approach to treatment would be use of anti-inflammatory drugs for possible spinal cord compression (related to a disk or spinal tumor) in combination with confinement. This type of treatment is unlikely to correct the underlying problem such as a herniated intervertebral disk. Bess should be stricly confined for the next 3 weeks. This means that Bess is to be in the cage at all times (including eating and drinking). The only time Bess should be out of the cage is to go outside 4 times a day. Bess should be kept on a short leash while outside.

If at anytime Bess seems to be getting worse, such as having more difficulty walking or a greater degree of pain, please call XXXXXXXX. Also, please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions or concerns.

-------
 

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Discussion Starter #51
So after talking w/ the wife, we are going the Prednisone route for now. Even though there's not a price on our little girl, the doctor quoted $3500 for an MRI and surgery to repair her disk.

We can't use Carecredit (nor would we want to- I've heard many stories about them and just today I read an email about their lawsuit about predatory lending). We've already reduced our household expenses- i.e. dropping premium cable TV, gym memberships, and other financial cuts. We also have a child on the way and worry that we need to have savings built up when the kid comes.

I asked the doctor to give me numbers- 90% success w/ surgery vs less than 50% success w/ meds. We're not giving her the best odds, but it's what we can do.

Last but not least- when we gave her Prednisone 3 weeks ago when she first starting showing signs of limping, after 2 days, she was back to normal.

Hopefully, this dose of Prednisone will do the job.
 

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could this specialist rule out GME completely as that runs in the breed and the neck area, seizures, paralysis are all related and high doses of pred help this as well as chemo drugs.

If the xrays showed nothing this is my concern :(

Here is a group of people who are very helpful - worth joining to ask questions -maybe it is not this but they may be able to help you


http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/NewGMEDogs/?yguid=274781681

I have never heard of the other thing posted

did you see a neurologist or orthopedic?

I feel so bad for you and her :( Please read that link i posted on gme earlier
 

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:( I do not think they ruled out GME from what they wrote here:( many times gme gets diagnosed as a disk issue when it is not like Pam's Lola. I will ask pam to come here and hopefully help again

Bess has weakness in all four limbs (tetraparesis) that is most likely due to a problem related to her spinal cord. Possible causes include a bulging or ruptured intervertebral disk, a spinal tumor, or an infectious/ inflammatory disease. A herniated intervertebral disk is most likely. Due to the severity of Bess' clinical signs and the lack of improvement, additional testing with possible surgery is recommended. This would give her the best chance for recovery.

To make a definitive diagnosis and make additional treatment recommendations, diagnostic imaging (MRI) would be needed. This requires general anesthesia.

:( from reading this and knowing it runs in breed and nothing showing on xrays this is my concern. It is treatable so join that group and see if this sounds familiar to them as they have dogs with GME. If it is not this then at least you have been able to rule this out as it does not sound like specialist has ruled this out completely. If neck pain and C1 involved it worries me :( as neck pain is a sign of this.

sorry I could be way off as not a vet but what you are describing I would definitely call specialist and ask is GME ruled out as that is an inflamation of the spinal chord disease. It can happen at any age and it can come on from a reaction to something like vaccines, flea meds, etc - anything can trigger it and there is no known definitive cause.

what happens is the spinal chord gets inflamed thus causing swelling in the brain. Getting the swelling down with high doses of steroids helps the dog and they also use a chemo drug to help with this but they do have to get a firm diagnosis. I so hope others can help you more with this and info to help your baby.
 

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All that I can add is, if your dog does have GME, you need a neurology consult. You need a spinal tap and MRI for diagnosis. If that is the diagnosis, high dose pred, seizure meds and immunosupressive drugs will be the treatment. It is long (at least 12 months) and costly. Lola was diagnosed a year ago and is currently doing well. I would estimate I have spent 3000 out of pocket and insurance has picked up about 5000. There is no guarantee of survival or overall quality and outcome. But, I love my dog. Sorry if this sounds dismal. The vet field is still learning about GME and treatments are still sometimes largely experimental. But you may be able to save your dog.
 

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OMG 10 isn't old that's for sure. I'm crying to see this. I hope she can benefit from the Pred.

My step son's Rottie is only 9 months old,she had a limp that was progessively getting worse. Then she began to have her back feet slipping out from under her. She was falling over when she'd potty... We suspected hip dyplasia,even at two months. Vet said you can't really diagnose HD until they're about 2 yrs old. Well hers is so bad,they diagnosed it at 9 months.
Seemed like everyday it was getting worse. We were looking at PTS.

Vet said to try glucosamine ,it took about 2 weeks to start to help and by 4 weeks she was like a new dog. Some pain issues,but nothing like she was having...
It'll buy her some time,her hips are really loose...

But it's helping w/ the pain. Luckily it comes in a soft chewie form,so she thinks it's a doggie treat. She's such a sweetie and gives you those big puppy eyes...

You have to do what you can,not an easy decision if they're suffering or you can't afford to do as much as you want to.

Hugs to you and sweet brave girl. Ask about glucosamine,can't hurt I wouldn't think.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
update-

today has been a long day. she's helpless- cant walk, randomly cries/yelps... sounds like tires screeching. it helps to hold her in my lap (i work out of the house), but clients calling all day and trying to work doesn't help the situation. my wife can't take off.

what really bugs me is one response I got from a client- I tried to explain to him that I have a very sick dog-family member- but he didn't get it and I don't have the energy to bring the wrath of fury on him via email.

We're waiting for 3AM tonight/morning to start her on Prednisone. The vet said we have to wait 48 hrs since the last Metacam dose.

So for the last day we've had to sit and do nothing but watch our little girl suffer. We've continued the Valium, Tremodol, and Doxy...

but can't wait till 3AM
 

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I just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear that you and Bess are going through this. It must be heart wrenching not to be able to help her when she's this uncomfortable. I hope the meds work and wanted to say you and your wife are terrific trying all you can to help. If there's a point where nothing works, and I really pray that doesn't happen, we will be here for you. Sending prayers for her to get better.
 
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