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Old Dog Problems- Update post 65

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  • Old Dog Problems- Update post 65

    Some of you may remember Bo and most recently, his bout with suspected canine vestibular disease. I'm not convinced that's what it was... he only had a few of the typical symptoms. He finished his medicine for an inner ear infection (just incase that's what it was). He is still a little unbalanced if he shakes his head or sneezes but he's significantly better than he was a couple weeks ago.

    Anyway, I've noticed a couple of times now that it looks like he's peed himself while he's been sleeping the past few weeks. Most recently a few days ago on his dog bed. There have also been several dime sized spots on the floor throughout our house and I am pretty sure it's pee, but I can't tell for sure (it may be drool).
    His appetite isn't what it used to be either. He's always eagerly eaten his dry food. I put it off to a) the medication or b) him getting used to having canned food mixed in so he would eat the medication. I've started mixing canned food back in with it and he eats it but not with gusto.
    Poor guy is super stiff lately too. He's on a store bought joint supplement but you can definitely tell he's gotten stiffer in the back end. He's having a harder time sitting or laying down.

    I've always been a worrier. I don't know if this warrants a vet visit or if this is just typical of old dogs. Thoughts?
    Last edited by Milocalwinnings; Nov. 4, 2012, 12:32 PM.
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"

  • #2
    I think both things warrant a vet visit. If he's gotten stiffer lately, it could be that the shakiness on sneezing/shaking his head could be that his arthritis has gotten worse - my older dog has arthritis, and when she's off her medication she will lose her balance more easily when she sneezes, etc. If his joints are hurting more, he may need to go to an NSAID or pain-killer along with the supplements. Pain could be the reason for a lessened appetite.

    For the peeing, there are medications that can help with urinary control. The most popular one seems to be Proin.

    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, time for a trip to the vet. Prion is one medication for incontinence. We use DES for our old gal. She also has lots of arthritis and we've done some
      different stuff. Right now a month Adequan shot and Previcoxx is working well. When we switched to Previcoxx from tramadol, it was like getting a new dog, she's eating better, more active including rolling our Aussie around,
      just much happier dog.

      Comment


      • #4
        Incontinence can happen to a healthy geriatric, more frequently with females but males can experience it too. There are various meds that often work quite well for this issue.

        However, there are other causes for incontinence as well. Maybe a urinalysis would help rule things out like stones, tcc, infection, diabetes,low USG. UA's are usually quite cheap and can give you a wealth of information.

        As for recuded appetite, arthritis can absolutley cause pain which would turn an animal off food...but so can many other things. I would talk to your vet regarding starting an NSAID trial such as metacam, previcox, dermaxx, rimadyl etc. (pending a normal blood pannel) as opposed to a store bought glucosamine. Stiff hind end, reluctance to rise/sit it often a sign of arthritis, but can also be a sign of abdominal pain.

        Hopefully your dog will feel better soon!!! Jingles!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Vestibular disease is thought by many to be a result of hardening/imlammation of the inner ear structures in some cases. The prednisone that is given helps that.
          Older dogs often are arthritic. Pain from bending over can make them less likely to eat as it hurts. Try putting his food dish on a raised surface. Also ask vet about doing a loading dose (1 month, every 4 days) of Adequan. Also put dog on a Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM daily supplement (you can use ones for people). Add in a fish oil supplement (people one is fine.)

          I'd also get a Lyme and Erlichia test done.

          Comment


          • #6
            You may want to consider starting to confine your dog to familiar areas, so it doesn't wander around leaving spots here and there and has problems from maybe getting lost or trying to do what is not comfortable doing any more.

            You can use belly bands for incontinence until that is resolved.
            Our vet doesn't like any such use for long, as it can cause more problems with rashes and licking and biting at flanks, etc. compounding the problem, than it solves.

            Managing geriatric dogs with those problems is about using your imagination and trying to maintain a good quality of life for your dog.
            It is an ongoing process and you need your vet on board for that.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Bluey View Post
              You may want to consider starting to confine your dog to familiar areas, so it doesn't wander around leaving spots here and there and has problems from maybe getting lost or trying to do what is not comfortable doing any more.

              You can use belly bands for incontinence until that is resolved.
              Our vet doesn't like any such use for long, as it can cause more problems with rashes and licking and biting at flanks, etc. compounding the problem, than it solves.

              Managing geriatric dogs with those problems is about using your imagination and trying to maintain a good quality of life for your dog.
              It is an ongoing process and you need your vet on board for that.
              Thanks for the replies, everyone. After discussing with my mother this morning, I am going to make an appt. on Monday to bring him in. She said that our 11 year old dobie mix had occasional incontinence which turned out to be a UTI. I'll bring a urine sample with me. I also want to get bloodwork done. Even if it's normal it will be a good baseline for future comparisions should the need ever arise. My family has bloodwork done anually for our seniors and I was going to do it for him when I initially picked him up, but after the inital cost of everything else (upwards of $700) within the first two days of picking him up, I decided to hold off.

              My family has 4 dogs back in VA who are all old (age 10, 11, 11, and 15). Thankfully the only problem we have had with them so far is just some normal arthritis, aside from the occasional incontinence caused by that UTI. We've been lucky.

              I wonder about the diabetes... my mom actually brought that up this morning. I'll discuss with the vet. He does drink a lot of water, IMO, but I don't know how much water is normal for a dog to drink. I have a 10 qt water bowl that I just bought a few days ago and he's drank between 4-7 quarts a day for the past 3 days. Prior to that I don't know exact amounts, but I used to have to refil his water bowl several times a day. That should show up on bloodwork, no?

              As far as confining him- our house is just one floor. He is only allowed access to the kitchen and living room (about 500 Sq.Ft) during the day, and then my bedroom at night. All of the house is tile except for the bedrooms, so any dribble is easily cleaned up.

              I'm not willing to use the belly band or any form of diapers, but I am open to medication options.

              Jetsmom: I had a lime and ehrlichia test done when as soon as I picked him up. He tested positive for lyme but both my vet back home and my vet here in MS felt that it was due to a previous case (once they have it, they always test positive), as they didn't feel he was showing symptoms of lime at that time. I will remind the vet of this at his appt, however. It may be worth treating for just incease.
              "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"

              Comment


              • #8
                Seems that you are on the ball, already doing most that can be done, just need a second pair of eyes on him and a vet is the best for that.

                Good luck with the vet appointment.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I kind of remember the details about the vestibular incident. It also sounds like it could have been a stroke. (Don't panic.) Was her blood pressure taken while she was hospitalized? If she is hypertensive, that could cause the stroke. A friend is going through something similar with her elderly dog, same symptoms. It wasn't vestibular, but a stroke, and she is now on medications for her hypertension and is being monitored closely. She is also on pred and anti-seizure medication and doing well. What kind of vet saw your dog? A general practioner?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "Strokes" in dogs are not like people (if they did have a stroke like in people, they would likely die pretty quickly). Canine strokes are called vestibular or FCE's. With FCE's its common that the dog will have unilateral or sometimes bilateral paralysis. Doesnt sound like your dog has had an FCE. Thromboembolisms are the closest we consider strokes in dogs that relate to human strokes. Most dogs dont survive these events, but they certainly can. This depends on location, size and clearance time of the clot. Having a blood pressure checked is important, but 99% of the time if the dog is throwing clots there is a reason for it that needs to be investigated.


                    Is your dog still on prednisone?? If so, that is a likely cause for the increased thirt and incontinence.

                    Becareful starting any other medication (and no NSAIDs!) if he is on prednisone.

                    I think a vet appt is a great idea, best to get a baseline even if it is normal (And I will keep my fingers crossed that it is)

                    If you have the funds, might also be worth a referral to a neurologist if things arent back to normal yet.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Beckham03 View Post
                      I kind of remember the details about the vestibular incident. It also sounds like it could have been a stroke. (Don't panic.) Was her blood pressure taken while she was hospitalized? If she is hypertensive, that could cause the stroke. A friend is going through something similar with her elderly dog, same symptoms. It wasn't vestibular, but a stroke, and she is now on medications for her hypertension and is being monitored closely. She is also on pred and anti-seizure medication and doing well. What kind of vet saw your dog? A general practioner?
                      The vestibular thread can be seen here: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ght=vestibular
                      He didn't have 100% of the symptoms of vestibular. His main symptom was the vertigo (causing him to be super unbalanced). He could hardly walk and was falling over, but the next morning was 10x better and only had minor balance problems. He had no head tilt, rapid eye movement, vomiting, etc.
                      Vet wasn't convinced it was vestibular but thought it could be an inner ear infection so he put him on meds for that. I'm not sure if his blood pressure was taken but I can ask when I go in this week.

                      Originally posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
                      "Strokes" in dogs are not like people (if they did have a stroke like in people, they would likely die pretty quickly). Canine strokes are called vestibular or FCE's. With FCE's its common that the dog will have unilateral or sometimes bilateral paralysis. Doesnt sound like your dog has had an FCE. Thromboembolisms are the closest we consider strokes in dogs that relate to human strokes. Most dogs dont survive these events, but they certainly can. This depends on location, size and clearance time of the clot. Having a blood pressure checked is important, but 99% of the time if the dog is throwing clots there is a reason for it that needs to be investigated.


                      Is your dog still on prednisone?? If so, that is a likely cause for the increased thirt and incontinence.

                      Becareful starting any other medication (and no NSAIDs!) if he is on prednisone.

                      I think a vet appt is a great idea, best to get a baseline even if it is normal (And I will keep my fingers crossed that it is)

                      If you have the funds, might also be worth a referral to a neurologist if things arent back to normal yet.
                      He was never on prednisone. The vet put him on Keflex (Cephalexin) for 7 days. He's no longer on any sort of medication. He's always drank a lot of water, but now that I have the 10 qt. bowl I'm able to measure just how much he drinks. His balance is almost back to normal but he still does have some residual problems. If he sneezes or shakes his head he loses his balance. Unfortunately I probably don't have the money for a neurologist.
                      "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Inner ear infections can take a LONG time to resolve. If symptoms arent quite gone yet, mention this to your vet they may want to continue antibiotics for longer term.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Update

                          Well... everything came back normally. Urinalysis, full blood work, etc. She doesn't like how much he's drinking but doesn't feel that spending tons of $$$ on additional testing is the route to go right now.

                          I'm glad everything was normal, but on the other hand, I was hoping something (insignificant) would show up at least so I know I'm not crazy Oh well, on the bright side at least I have bloodwork done now that we can compare to if/when he next needs bloodwork.

                          She did give me some meds for his incontinence to try so hopefully those help.
                          "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Bo is still not quite right (NQR). He still has not been eating well and is still drinking a lot. We haven't had any more inconnintence issues since Monday so hopefully that means his medicine for that is working.

                            Last night he threw up in my room (I found it when I stepped in it this morning... yuck). This morning he let me sleep in til 9 which I thought was weird, as he's usually up at 5am and if I continue to sleep he definitely is anxious for me to get up by 7. He hasn't been excited for our walks at all today and isn't eating. I couldn't even get him to take a hotdog with his medicine in it today. He just looks depressed.

                            Vet said that without spending a lot of $$$ there's not much else she can test for. All of his bloodworke dsscame back normal, his urinalysis came back normal, etc. Everything looked great. She suggested keeping an eye on him and see if his appetite and attitude remains the same after today.

                            I'm a college student and did have money set aside for him but spent a lot of it on his two expensive vet bills within the last 4 weeks. This wouldn't be as much of an issue except I am having $500 deducted from my pay this month because of an error in pay from the summer and things are very tight right now.

                            I'm just worried about him. I don't even know what else to test for that won't cost me thousands of dollars...
                            "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Instead of going back to this vet, ask fora referral to an internist. Its not expensive for a consult. Bring all the current bloodwork - they will look at it,and may be able to make sense of it.

                              I have known many patients to come in to see an internist with their bloodwork that was "normal". Just interpreting it all together,a physical exam and history had come up with a diagnosis.

                              A good example of normal bloodwork,increased water intake, strange behavior, anorexia etc. could be something like Addisons, Atypical cushings, Carcinomatosis, Histiocytosis etc.

                              A typical internist referral is $100-$150. I think the next best diagnostic tool that will be recommended is an abdominal ultrasound...this tool can often give you a solid answer.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
                                Instead of going back to this vet, ask fora referral to an internist. Its not expensive for a consult. Bring all the current bloodwork - they will look at it,and may be able to make sense of it.

                                I have known many patients to come in to see an internist with their bloodwork that was "normal". Just interpreting it all together,a physical exam and history had come up with a diagnosis.

                                A good example of normal bloodwork,increased water intake, strange behavior, anorexia etc. could be something like Addisons, Atypical cushings, Carcinomatosis, Histiocytosis etc.

                                A typical internist referral is $100-$150. I think the next best diagnostic tool that will be recommended is an abdominal ultrasound...this tool can often give you a solid answer.

                                What is an internist? I guess I could probably look online and have my answer to that question I will definitely speak to my vet and look into it. I am going to keep an eye on him for a few days. He's always been quiet and calm, but it's obvious today that he does not feel well. I couldn't get him to eat a hotdog or a piece of my chicken today, which is weird (he usually takes his meds in a hotdog piece). I gave him fresh food with some more canned food mixed in and no interest. It just doesn't sit well with me. It's always hard with older dogs
                                "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Jingles for your old dog!

                                  Hope you find out what is going on soon. My old pup did a lot better all-around when I got him on some pain meds from the vet - he is getting very arthritic in his back / hips. I am going to look into getting adequan for him too. But this dog gets so upset at the vet (he is a rescue head case and is terrified of being handled by strangers - he pees himself and fear bites), I may hold off on that for a while.

                                  Same dog also had an issue dribbling urine a few years back when he was sleeping. Turns out that he had some crystals in his urine (vet suggested a urinalysis). He went on antibiotics for 10 days because he had a 'slightly elevated' level of bacteria, and vet also suggested putting him on daily vitamin C doses to help balance the pH in his urine as it was too alkaline. If these things didn't work then she suggested an ultrasound to look for kidney stones. Luckily this cleared up and he's been fine since.

                                  Anyway, hugs to you and I hope you get to the bottom of this soon !

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I agree with Squish. I see you are in VA and I believe there is a veterinary teaching hospital there that may have internal medicince;;
                                    Here are some private practices.
                                    http://www.hopecenter.com/
                                    http://www.vetreferralcenter.com/
                                    I am not a huge VCA fan, but:
                                    http://www.vcaspecialtyvets.com/sout...anesthesiology

                                    I forget, has he had an ultrasound or been testing for Cushings?

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Beckham03 View Post
                                      I agree with Squish. I see you are in VA and I believe there is a veterinary teaching hospital there that may have internal medicince;;
                                      Here are some private practices.
                                      http://www.hopecenter.com/
                                      http://www.vetreferralcenter.com/
                                      I am not a huge VCA fan, but:
                                      http://www.vcaspecialtyvets.com/sout...anesthesiology

                                      I forget, has he had an ultrasound or been testing for Cushings?
                                      I'm from VA but am in Oxford, MS for school. I know the bet mentioned cushings but she felt it was unlikely, so I don't remember if she actually tested for it. I'll have to find out.
                                      "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Ask your vet instead of doing more bloodwork, to get a referral to the Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital (or if there is a closer one to you). Seriously, save your money with any more bloodwork at the regular vet and go to a vet who specializes. In the long run, it will save you money.

                                        Comment

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