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Help please - Neurological Disorder since 15 weeks old

Neurological Disorders Resources. Treatment and care for pets having pain or trouble walking or standing due to spinal injuries or neurological disorders like IVDD, FCE and DM.
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pitasmom1990
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Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:09 am

Help please - Neurological Disorder since 15 weeks old

Post by pitasmom1990 » Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:50 am

When we first picked up George from a family a few hours from our home he was 10 weeks old and we were pretty naive on how puppies behave when you first get them so we thought that our new pup wanting to be on the floor of the car was a normal thing. We soon learned it was not. Several things occurred within days of our first visit to the vet at 15 weeks, 1st, George fell off the end of our bed...falling backward - and our bed is 3 feet off the ground. The next thing was George tried to come up our stairs and again fell onto the laminate floor. This was falling 2 steps down. The next was I took George for a walk around the block and after going about halfway, he laid down and that was it. No more walking for him. Then he went to the vet. He was checked out. I explained what happened to him, and they said he was fine. They gave him his shots and 2 days later he was walking in circles. Within a week he developed left sided paralysis where we noticed his eye didn't blink and his face was drooping. We brought him back to the vet and they noticed his eyes moved up and down and he was lacking in motor function on the right side. We had taken George for a CT scan since they thought at first he might have fluid on his brain but after 3 reviews of the scan, he was confirmed not to have it. We took him for a neurologic consultation and were told he would need an MRI and a spinal tap to see what was going on but...whatever would be found, there would be nothing they could do for him. I wanted it done so we would know what we were in for but my husband didn't want to spend the money for the scans, nor the travel and time from work expenses which would all cost over $5,000. By the time George was 4 months old, we were told by one of the vets in the practice that George would most likely not last another 7 months. Well George is now 3 years 7 months. When he was 2 we had his left eye removed as it almost ruptured from damage we believe the cat clawed him and since he was on tacrilimus, that only made the eye worse.

Now to the current days' problems... George's circles have become much worse. He can't straighten out from them. He used to his a wall and be able to follow along it to get where he was going. Not anymore. Within the past week, he can no longer get in and out of the house to do his business. Within 2 days of my writing he cannot get out of his circle long enough to pee without peeing on himself and falling over. It takes him about a half hour to eat his food because he's pushing to the left so much, he's unable to get the food in his mouth. With regard to his mouth .. he has a weak tongue. When he licks you, it's hard to tell he's doing so since it's so light.

Now those are all his deficits. Now let me tell you about George, my protector. He's so smart. If I ask him if he's hungry, he will bark non-stop! If I ask him if he's ready for his eye drop, he licks his chops. If I ask him if he wants to go outside, he used to come next to me and put his paws next to me on the couch or he would let me know he needs to go out by doing that. He still will bark and he will still lick his chops but he can't let me know he's got to go out though he does not have any accidents in the house. If I ask one of my other dogs...what did you do?...George will come and try to attack them...by attack, he jumps to try to get to them and growls. He can't do that anymore and growls, circles and gives up.

The reason for my writing this is that I just want to make him feel better. I want to be able to help him to walk straight. Because of his head tilt to the left which is causes his circles, putting a wheelchair on his hind legs (which the right one is weak) will not help him. Is there anything that could keep his head from tilting to the left? When I would try to walk him, I was wrap the leash to go around the left side of his head which would help him to walk straight for a couple of houses where I'd fix the leash to try again. Is there such a product? Is there any advice? He's getting worse. I know this but he does eat, he does have moments of being happy, he is my Georgie...and when I got him, I petted his head and told him I was going to love him for ever and ever and I was going to name him George. Oh and he also doesn't like to have his head petted or to touch his lower back. That's it...please...suggestions?

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CarolC
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Re: Help please - Neurological Disorder since 15 weeks old

Post by CarolC » Sat Jan 02, 2021 6:42 pm

:banner:
Hi there, replying in blue.
pitasmom1990 wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:50 am
When we first picked up George from a family a few hours from our home he was 10 weeks old and we were pretty naive on how puppies behave when you first get them so we thought that our new pup wanting to be on the floor of the car was a normal thing. We soon learned it was not.

Before I read the rest of this, it sounded like maybe he had motion sickness/was car sick, and I wondered if dramamine would help. Dramamine is not for all the other things he has going on, but you might ask your vet if it would be safe to try with him to see if it makes any difference at all. It doesn't cost much.

If not, you might ask the vet if s/he can think of any other medication that would be safe to try, might possibly help, and at least would do no harm. Ask them if they have truly tried everything they can think of, even if it's a long shot. I understand they are reluctant to try a lot of things without a clearer diagnosis.


Several things occurred within days of our first visit to the vet at 15 weeks, 1st, George fell off the end of our bed...falling backward - and our bed is 3 feet off the ground. The next thing was George tried to come up our stairs and again fell onto the laminate floor. This was falling 2 steps down. The next was I took George for a walk around the block and after going about halfway, he laid down and that was it. No more walking for him. Then he went to the vet. He was checked out. I explained what happened to him, and they said he was fine. They gave him his shots and 2 days later he was walking in circles. Within a week he developed left sided paralysis where we noticed his eye didn't blink and his face was drooping. We brought him back to the vet and they noticed his eyes moved up and down and he was lacking in motor function on the right side. We had taken George for a CT scan since they thought at first he might have fluid on his brain but after 3 reviews of the scan, he was confirmed not to have it. We took him for a neurologic consultation and were told he would need an MRI and a spinal tap to see what was going on but...whatever would be found, there would be nothing they could do for him.

I want to be quick to say I am not a vet or in the medical field, and this condition in your dog is outside of my layman's experience, so there is little I can suggest. But if the testing showed there was some kind of infectious disease, as described in this article

https://todaysveterinarypractice.com/he ... -approach/

then there are treatments they could try, though I see in one place where it mentions a guarded prognosis.

Here is another article that may be slightly helpful.

https://www.fitzpatrickreferrals.co.uk/ ... r-disease/


I wanted it done so we would know what we were in for but my husband didn't want to spend the money for the scans, nor the travel and time from work expenses which would all cost over $5,000.

Perhaps you could ask them if they could offer partial testing that is more within your price range. For example the MRI without the spinal tap, or vice versa. The MRI should be safe but it involves anaesthesia and he already had a CT. The spinal tap has some risk, you would need to ask about that, but if you feel he is getting worse, you might start to feel it is worth taking a chance to get the information you need. Do they have to do the whole package of tests, or can they maybe start with selected tests and then decide where to go from there?

By the time George was 4 months old, we were told by one of the vets in the practice that George would most likely not last another 7 months. Well George is now 3 years 7 months. When he was 2 we had his left eye removed as it almost ruptured from damage we believe the cat clawed him and since he was on tacrilimus, that only made the eye worse.

Now to the current days' problems... George's circles have become much worse. He can't straighten out from them. He used to his a wall and be able to follow along it to get where he was going. Not anymore. Within the past week, he can no longer get in and out of the house to do his business. Within 2 days of my writing he cannot get out of his circle long enough to pee without peeing on himself and falling over. It takes him about a half hour to eat his food because he's pushing to the left so much, he's unable to get the food in his mouth. With regard to his mouth .. he has a weak tongue. When he licks you, it's hard to tell he's doing so since it's so light.

It sounds like he needs assisted feeding. You could take his canned food and roll it into bite size meatballs and feed him one bite at a time. If he's having trouble eating, then you probably want to be sure he's getting enough to drink so he isn't getting dehydrated.

Now those are all his deficits. Now let me tell you about George, my protector. He's so smart. If I ask him if he's hungry, he will bark non-stop! If I ask him if he's ready for his eye drop, he licks his chops. If I ask him if he wants to go outside, he used to come next to me and put his paws next to me on the couch or he would let me know he needs to go out by doing that. He still will bark and he will still lick his chops but he can't let me know he's got to go out though he does not have any accidents in the house. If I ask one of my other dogs...what did you do?...George will come and try to attack them...by attack, he jumps to try to get to them and growls. He can't do that anymore and growls, circles and gives up.

He sounds wonderful! What a sweetheart! :wub:

The reason for my writing this is that I just want to make him feel better. I want to be able to help him to walk straight. Because of his head tilt to the left which is causes his circles, putting a wheelchair on his hind legs (which the right one is weak) will not help him. Is there anything that could keep his head from tilting to the left? When I would try to walk him, I was wrap the leash to go around the left side of his head which would help him to walk straight for a couple of houses where I'd fix the leash to try again. Is there such a product? Is there any advice? He's getting worse. I know this but he does eat, he does have moments of being happy, he is my Georgie...and when I got him, I petted his head and told him I was going to love him for ever and ever and I was going to name him George. Oh and he also doesn't like to have his head petted or to touch his lower back. That's it...please...suggestions?

Again I have no idea. It seems like he needs to have the circling treated medically if possible, and the tilt is probably not actually causing the circling but is part of the whole condition. But you've taken him to the vet repeatedly and so far they haven't found a treatment. I can think of some things, but I'm not at all confident they will help and I worry about putting a strain on a dog's neck. You don't want a sore neck on top of his other problems.

There are several kinds of dog collars that might help him keep his head straight and I don't think they'll cause neck strain, but I'm still not sure having his head straight is going to solve the circling. There's the BiteNot collar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33nzWtMiN7k

BiteNot.jpg
BiteNot.jpg (9.04 KiB) Viewed 419 times
There is also a custom neck brace made by Therapaw. It is only available through the vet but I will attach an old photo from their site.
Therapaw_cervical_neck_brace.jpg
Therapaw_cervical_neck_brace.jpg (12.84 KiB) Viewed 424 times
There are a number of dog halters that are supposed to control the head to prevent pulling. These are kind of like the leash idea you described above, so maybe they would work in a similar way but you wouldn't have to keep stopping and adjusting it. I'd still want to be careful with his neck.

There is the K9 Bridle
https://www.k9bridle.com/k9-bridle-the- ... s-pulling/
The GenCon collar
https://gencon-allin1.co.uk/
The Gentle Leader collar
https://www.chewy.com/petsafe-gentle-le ... l/dp/52157

You might find a better one by searching under "dog halter" or under dog collars to prevent pulling.

If you find out what his diagnosis is, I hope you will post back. We've had senior dogs here with vestibular syndrome. My own senior dog began circling because she was going blind in association with kidney failure (blind dogs will circle). She simply couldn't see, but she didn't have the other symptoms you describe. I hope you find out what it is.

pitasmom1990
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Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:09 am

Re: Help please - Neurological Disorder since 15 weeks old

Post by pitasmom1990 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:11 am

Thank you so much for posting back! I had taken Georgie to the vet on Monday to see if there was something else that was bothering him such as an ear infection or urinary tract infection. They believe whatever's wrong with his brain has progressed to a point where they suggested sending him over the Rainbrow Bridge. I simply couldn't do it. They told me there's no quality life - that George is alive...that's it. I disagree and didn't feel he was at that point. However this morning I'm reflecting that I should have gathered the strength for him. I write that as I watch him go in circles, lay down and cry. He's been crying more and more and it sure didn't help when I took him outside this morning that I stepped onto a ramp and immediately fell with my feet flying out from under me. I had him in my arm at the time. He growled to get away from me - who could blame him!! But he had to poop! My husband said I scared the poop right out of him.

The vet had put him on Gabapentin (spell?) so my plan is simply to love him up and try to make his life as comfortable as I can until I feel he's ready. I do love him enough to do what's best for him...when it's time and not before.

I'm also going to check out your links to see if any of them will help. I love the idea of the collar but for him it's impossible - his head/neck turn to his looking at his butt - even when he's trying to eat so I only see that hurting him but I will still look and I cannot express how grateful I am to you for all of your information and all of the thought and consideration you have given me. I only wish I had found this site when I was searching for help when he was 4 months old.

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critters
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Re: Help please - Neurological Disorder since 15 weeks old

Post by critters » Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:01 pm

:whale: Wow, he has SO much going on!

I have a brain damaged permakitten something like your baby; frankly, Ares is like no other, and that's saying something since he's my 4th brain damaged wonker. He, too, has tried gabapentin, and I was going to suggest it.

Are you satisfied with the vets? Not all vets are willing to do disabilities...

"my plan is simply to love him up and try to make his life as comfortable as I can until I feel he's ready. I do love him enough to do what's best for him...when it's time and not before." It may be that this is all you can do; just take it minute by minute and see what happens.

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Re: Help please - Neurological Disorder since 15 weeks old

Post by CarolC » Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:12 pm

I really don't know if the information will be of any help, but I do understand the situation of trying to do the best for a special needs pet with no road map and not enough information. I always feel bad when I see someone going to the vet repeatedly and still not getting what they need for their pet.

I hope you are OK after the fall. :shock: That happened to someone else who was carrying her dog and she and her dog were both injured when she slipped on icy steps. It sounds like your dog is OK so you are both lucky. :angel: I hope the gabapentin will make him somehow more comfortable.

I know your husband does not want to incur large veterinary bills, but if it would help, there is a loan for veterinary care that you pay off monthly. From what I have heard, the terms are good and people are usually accepted. It is called Care Credit. A lot of veterinary hospitals and emergency clinics have the application available at their desk. You fill it out and they let you know right away if you are accepted. The chances are good the neurologist offers it. So if you wanted to take him for additional tests and not have to pay a whopping bill all at once, that might be an option. You could call the neurology receptionist and ask if they take Care Credit. Then maybe he could get his additional tests. A lot of people here, such as people whose dog is suddenly paralyzed and needs emergency surgery, have used Care Credit. I've never heard anything negative about it. Of course, if the neurologist really thinks nothing can be done, as they said before, and he's sure about that, then it makes no sense to spend money needlessly.

https://www.carecredit.com/vetmed/

Hoping for the best for you and your dog! :)

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