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Dog with strange behavior- just getting old?

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  • Dog with strange behavior- just getting old?

    My previously healthy , 10-11 year old, 30 lb terrier mix has started moping around, moving slowly and deliberately, and laying down more than normal (which may be due to the heat) crying out in pain (which she never does) sometimes when I come home or when she is outside, and walks with her head held low - maybe 3 days out of the last 2 weeks. She went to the vet and had a thorough physical exam and bloodwork - all normal. She is getting Rimadyl twice a day for stifle arthritis/?partial ACL tears. I am going to take her back to the vet, and thought about asking for xrays of her neck and back.

    She is up to date on shots, heartguard, etc. She is eating normally (although slowly for her)

    Has anyone had a dog with symptoms like this? Any suggestions on what else to ask the vet to check?

  • #2
    Xray that back and neck....


    • #3
      Did your vet do a blood scan for tick diseases? Had a dobe showing very similiar signs to what you describe. At first the vet thought Wobblers ( very common in dobes) even Xrayed his neck. Showed some deteroiation of veterbrae but something didn't seem right to the vet so she took blood and almost fell over when the results were very positive for Rocky Mtn Spotted Fever. This was a few yrs ago and this tick disease was just emerging where I live. It had attacked the veterbrae in his neck. treated with Doxy and pain med and in a very short time the dog was fine. you just never know. sometimes even though it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's not a duck.


      • #4
        Second... check out tick borne disease. It can be in your face obvious, or insidious.


        • #5
          Ditto above, plus if you have the funds I would also do abdominal rads or an ultrasound. Bloodwork isnt always going to tell you if something painful is happening in the belly. Hope your pup feels better soon!!


          • #6
            Ditto above, plus if you have the funds I would also do abdominal rads or an ultrasound. Bloodwork isnt always going to tell you if something painful is happening in the belly. Unfortunatley a lot of the time, a mass on an organ, or free in the belly, isnt going to make a huge change in the bloodwork.

            Also, xrays of the neck/back arent always of value if there is no palpable pain in the area. Usually, if there is a disc or something major happening, there will be some sort of pain or ataxia present and the best way to locate it is through a myelogram (Fluoro, CT or contrast radiographs). Plain rads can absolutley locate arthritis in the spine, but this is usually an incidental finding and doesnt often cause animals to become lethargic and go off their food. However, Im sure if you vet feels there is pain in his neck or back he will recommend diagnostic options to fit your budget.

            Either way, hope your figure out whats going on so you can get your pup healthy again!!!


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for the advice, I will discuss all this with the vet. When my husband took her to the vet last week, she was acting completely normal (like a horse with intermittent lameness who's always fine when checked by the vet), so I think they thought she would be fine and didn't dig too deep. But she had another bad day yesterday and even today when she's almost normal I can tell she ain't quite right.


              • #8
                I also would check for tick bourne diseases and do rads. One of our dogs was acting similarly and the abdominal x ray showed a corn cob stuck in his intestines. He needed emergency surgery to remove it.

                Jingles for your dog!
                Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                • Original Poster

                  So today we went to the vet. Xrays of her neck, chest and abdomen all normal. He aspirated an enlarged submandibular gland, and gave her an antibiotic shot in case. She has mild degeneration in her mid back and shoulders. She seems to be feeling better, so we're just waiting on pathology.

                  Thanks for the input, everyone. Oh, she also had her heartworm test a couple weeks ago, tested for Erlichia (sp?) and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever - those were normal.