Panstitia, Lyme, Arthritis.... *confused*
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Thread: Panstitia, Lyme, Arthritis.... *confused*

  1. #1
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    Arrow Panstitia, Lyme, Arthritis.... *confused*

    My sister and brother in law have a great little basset rott mix named Julie, she's about 8 years old, but something is wrong and the vets only serve to confuse us more.... but first a little background...

    They got the dog when she was around 1-2 years old. She was starving, eaten up with worms, and quite mistreated. Despite their accute allergies, they took her in, got her back to good health, and intended on finding her a new home with someone who could be around her more than 2 min without sneezing and wheezing. They never found that home, and Juli's still here. She's well fed, housed and taken care of, but hasn't had a whole lot of attention because of the allergy thing. Enter me a month ago. I moved in and bonded with her right away, but I still don't know her all that well. Neither do my inlaws, but they do love her, they just can't be around her.
    About 3 days ago I noticed she had started shedding pretty heavily, spent some time brushing her. Same thing next day, and a bath. (the weather got hot here quick so I didn't think much of it, now i'm wondering) Yesterday I go out back to feed her, and she kinda drags herself towards me. No control over her back legs at all. She used to have a habit of standing on the deck railin (about a story up) so the first thing I think is she's fallen. I yell for my brother in law while feeling around her hips back and legs to see if I felt anything weird or if she'd react in pain. Nothing but a tail wag, she really didn't seem concerned at all. We take her to the emergency vet, where after a bit of effort she gets up, walks about 6 paces and collapses back onto her left leg. The vet did x-rays of her spine and back legs (the right one was sensitive, the left one lame) and found that she had a couple of small spots inside her long bones. She questioned us about her age again, as she suspected panosteitis, gave her a shot of rimadyl, and told us to follow up with her normal vet. We asked that she stay over night so we could go home and maker her living space a little more confined so she would rest. I got her into her normal vet's office around 8:30 this morning. By this point she was walking short distances, still trying to keep her weight off her left leg. Upon looking at the x-rays vet informs me she has 2 vertebrae a little closer together than normal, and mentions the spots in her legs, but doesn't really explain what it could be. Says that it's definitely not pano because of her age, says something very vague about tick bites (she gets Advantix, I've never seen a flea or tick on her) or infection, prescribes 75 mg rimadyl once daily and 100mg doxycycline twice daily, tells me to call and let her know how she's doing in a few days and makes a prompt exit. Came home, gave Juli her meds and started reading to see if I can piece this puzzle together. As I said earlier, I don't really know her well enough to distinguish if she's had any behavioral changes prior to this, or much of her history, so that doesn't help. She's normally pretty happy go lucky and playful, and maintained that disposition through this whole fiasco until about 3 hours ago. She's starting to get a little irritable (this is the first time I've ever heard her growl) and once she found a cool comfy spot, she stayed there. I'm glad she's resting a little, I moved her food and water to her side to encourage it, in fact. She seems kind sad too, and whines or sighs softly every now and then. She didn't even react to the lawn guy while he did the yard (usually gives a little bark and wags her tail at him) I know she's in pain, stressed, and worn out over the last 21 hrs so I don't expect her to be active at all. I just wish I actually knew what was wrong so I could help her in some way, or at least understand it a little more. The normal vet was pretty much inconclusive, and doesn't want to do any type of bloodwork. From what I've read what she's going through is very much like pano, but I think she's a bit too old for that. If anyony has any idea, or knows a resource where I may be able to gather a few more answers (or at least clues) please let me know. She's not even my dog, but I hate to see anything suffer, it's breaking my heart....

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    This is what I would do. I would get the x-rays from your vet and take them to another vet. Those things can be expensive, and I think another vet's observation would be valuable. Explain the situation to them, and hopefully they have more time to spend on the dog...it doesn't sound like your current vet does. From my experience, spots in x-rays in the bone could be bone cancer, but only a vet could make that call. Definately get the x-rays from the vet...you paid for them afterall!

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    The original x-rays were given to me by the emergency vet, and the normal vet (oddly and disturbingly enough) didn't ask to keep them for her files, so I've still got them, along with copies of both doctors notes. I believe in having copies of everything, just in case. It also helps give the next vet a reference point on how she has progressed and her treatment plan. I will see how Juli is doing tomorrow morning, and if the meds don't seem to be helping her, I'll get an immediate 2nd opinion. I also just called the office and her vet is supposed to be calling me back so maybe I can at least get something a little clearer out of her. Either way I think I'll be getting a second opinion, I'll just take a little more time to find a highly recommended one if she seems to be improving. No more than 3 days though.

    The other difficult part of this is convincing her owners she needs a second opinion.As I said earlier, she's not exactly MY dog, and they pretty much go with whatever the vet says (vague as it may be.) I went solo to her visit this morning because they both had to work and I didn't. And I am really concerned for Juli, I know she has to feel pretty miserable right now. She normally has all the energy and spirit of a six week old pup, even at the grand ole age of 8. I would gladly schedule another appointment myself, but my money is a little (a lot) tight right now, and I can't afford it. And it's a subject that has to be handled delicately. They were relieved that the current diagnosis is easily treatable and not life threatning. How do I go about telling them that that may not be the case at all??
    Last edited by julisaunt; 06-15-2006 at 05:18 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Senior Member bigdawgs's Avatar
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    First of all, I want to say that i have a basset hound who had very similar symptoms, so on this I speak from my own personal experience.
    The reason she asked about ticks is Lyme, and sometimes it presents itself the way you describe. Lyme can present itself many weeks after being bitten by an infected tick, so if she has EVER been bitten, that is a possibility. There is a blood test for lyme, but it sometimes shows a false negative in the early stages.
    When you mentioned the spots on her back on the xrays, and knowing she is a basset makes me wonder if there is a herniated disc, which causes the symptoms you describe, but can be tough to see on x-ray.
    Did the vet check her back foot reflexes by turning her foot pastern side down while she is standing? Normally, if you do this, a healthy dog will immediately flip it back the right way. If they didn't try it yourself. If she won't flip it it indicates some nerve involvement, which would lead to a back/disc diagnosis. Daisy herniated a disc in her back by jumping on and off furniture. In her case, the paralysis you spoke of did not get better in a day or two and the herniation was complete. This is a big problem with long back breeds such as basset hounds, dachshunds and the like, but can happen to any dog. I personally know of 3 other bassets who have had similar problems. Noneof the other bassets i know required surgery, so there is non surgical options if the herniation is mild. It appears to me your second vet is taking a cautious wait and see approach. I do not know where you are located, but you could always call the nearest state university that teaches vet medicine. Or contact a vet that specializes in orthopedics. In the long run, messing around with treatments that aren't working sometimes ends up being just as costly as going to a specialist in the first place. The specialist can do an MRI (Not a cheap procedure) if necessary. In Daisy's case, they did a lamonectomy, and although she has slowed down a lot, she can at least walk and run. She has developed some arthritis and is now on Metacam for that. her surgery was 3 years ago. She is 9+
    In the meantime, do not let that dog walk stairs. Take a towel as a sling and run it under her lower belly, holding her back end up and letting her use her font legs to go up or down steps necessary to go outside.

    I forgot to add that the shedding thing probably has nothing to do with this. This is the normal time of year for dogs to blow their winter coats, and basset hounds are notorious shedders, at least mine and most of the ones i know are.
    Last edited by bigdawgs; 06-15-2006 at 05:36 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    Unaltered dogs are at greater health risks, including some cancers. Please spay or neuter your pet!!

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    Yes, she got the reflex test and did just fine. There were some times she seemed to be suffering from a mild numbness. The vet was palpating sp? her leg and she didn't look in her direction or even seem to notice until she moved to painful areas. I will have to speak to the vet more about her spine when she calls me later. And I have no problems with her method of treatment, especially since we are in an area full of lymes disease. I just wished she had more time to *what's the word* elaborate a little more on things such as what the spot in her leg could be, and what could be happening in her spine (other than just old age) Basically she threw a whole lotta really big words at me at once, then moved on to the next thing, and by the time I had a moment to get a word in edgewise, she was already out of the room. I would like to have some idea of what the next step is if this treatment fails. Although the nurse I spoke to on the phone earlier explained that a crit case had just come in the door, and that's why she had to leave almost instantly.

  8. #6
    Senior Member bigdawgs's Avatar
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    You can call back 1st thing in the morning. They usually are at their least busiest and ask to reexplain, or the tech can explain. Have her call you back.
    sounds like surgery can be avoided and thats a very good thing! Daisy's cost us almost 1800 dollars.
    Unaltered dogs are at greater health risks, including some cancers. Please spay or neuter your pet!!

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    I agree that a second opinion is definitely in order. And unfortunately, bone cancer is not uncommon in rotties. I hope that you get the answers you need and I wish the best for little Julie.
    Newf is my name, drool is my game!

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