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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 14 year old lab, that other than the issues I am about to describe, is pretty healthy. Meaning, his mobility is still pretty good, his appetite is normal, he isn't lethargic in any way, his bowel movements are normal, no vomiting, etc...

About 7 months ago I went to the vet to inquire about some skin problems he was having. Long story short, the doctor did some bloodwork and saw that his thyroid level was on the low side of normal. He had me try thyroid supplement which I did, and in line with that, I began to notice he was getting very hyper, restless (particularly during the day), pacing alot, and just generally bouncing off the walls. I decreased the dose thinking he was getting too much thyroid but that didn't really do much. He was also coughing here and there so the doctor x-rayd his chest to see if there was anything obvious in the way of congestive heart failure, etc... The cray came back clean. A couple weeks back I complained to him that he was still acting really crazy, bouncing off the walls, wouldn't settle down, endless amount of energy, etc.. Still eating well but he began losing a lot of weight.

The doctor thought we needed to rule out any cancer in the abdoman so early last week he got an ultrasound and other than slightly enlarged adrenal glands, they saw nothing out of the ordinary. His restlessness got so bad that he refused to fall asleep, would hide under desks, and even in the shower, and otherwise contuniously pace. He was given ace sedative which I started giving him to sleep. A few backs, I also reported to the vet that a weird thing would happen where when he is laying down on his right side, he would be in the rest position, and he would get some kind of a JOLT that would make him jump up out of sleep and then he would get scared and begin pacing yet again. The vet didn't think much of it. Late last week I told the vet that the restlessness wasn't getting better and that sometimes even the sedative wouldn't keep him from pacing and panting, etc... the jolts kept happening. The doctors now think it might be a tumor in his brain so they put him on prednisone starting Friday (3 days ago). I expected his pacing and restlessness to get a little better but so far the prednisone has done nothing to alleviate those symptoms. I also video'd the JOLT that I am talking about and you can view it here:

http://vimeo.com/5686020

Does anyone have a clue what is going on? He is 14 and I am not in denial about putting him down if he is in pain but its very difficult because other than the fact he can't sleep without the aid of sedatives and this constant jolting event, he appears to be fine, playing with his toys, eating, etc... what do i do? a brain scan would be $1,000 and I couldn't do anything even if it did show something. I'm just confused because if it were a tumor, I would have expected the prednisone to do something to help.

I'm at a loss at this point of what is best, and the lack of a firm diagnoses makes it even more difficult. If he had acute kidney failure, heart disease, etc... the decision on what to do would be much simpler, but his quality of life appears to be just fine still other than the stuff I mentioned above. Thoughts?

Also, anyone know if aceapromazine is safe to give to dogs effectively, every day? If he can't sleep, then I have no choice but to give him this daily. The vet said it's very safe but I still feel bad knocking him out every day.
 

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The prednisone needs time to work..if you are dealing with a pituitary tumour (which along with the thyroid and adrenal glands all work to regulate metabolism and energy) the prednisone MAY work with time.
I'm sorry your old guy is going through so much (and you too)...I don't know if the ACE will be a problem long term, but I believe my dog's quality of life is more important than the length. If the ACE is not good long term but allows him to sleep and the prednisone starts to work and he's feeling better than the amount of time you have with him may be shortened but it is GOOD time.
You will know when it is time to say goodbye and it is a blessing that we are able to end our pet's suffering when this time comes. As hard as it is. I recently had to send my almost 17 yr old cat, Vandal, to the bridge and I'm battling the sadness constantly..but I do NOT regret the choice..he was suffering and it was about him and his quality of life.
My thoughts are with you and I hope you and your boy have good times ahead.
 

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It says your video is private. You need to change the settings so that others can see it.

I have no idea what it might be, but I do not think that Acepromazine is a drug intended to be used daily. It's usually used for standalone events, like before/after surgeries or stressful traveling/grooming, etc. Your vet would know this best. You may want to look into supplementing him with Melatonin, as it is used as a sleep aid in people. Antianxiety meds could be an option too, like Xanax. But if the Ace isn't stopping it then I don't know that these things will either. There definitely must be an underlying problem.

Sorry I can't be of more help.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Has your dog been tested for Cushings/Addisons?
Yes, sorry I should have mentioned that. Last Monday, they did the ultrasound and it came up clean. Then they tested for Cushings and it also came up clean. That is when they began speculating it could be a tumor in the brain.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You decreased the thyroid medication but did you ever have the blood retested?
Yes, I decreased the thyroid medicine down to just .2mg and he was on it for a while then they retested and it was still around the low normal range. Ironically, if he had a significant thyroid definciency, the symptoms he is experiencing should be the OPPOSITE, meaning weight gain instead of weight loss, and less energy/restlessness/pacing, not more.
 

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From my experience with Pred, it made my non aggressive dog very aggressive and gave him a huge appetite.

I'm hoping your boy's weight loss is just because he is pacing so much, that he's using up his calories, and it' s really not a symptom of anything too serious. His jolts look like spasms - can you tell where it starts from. I couldn't tell if it was started like a hiccup, or if it's a jolt in the head. Have you changed his food by any chance, or has the formula changed that maybe he's reacting to it? I'm trying to be optimistic and hope its something simple.

Also - does he seem to lean to the side when he stands/walks. My vet thought her own dog had a brain tumor because she would fall alot, and/or would lean to the side while walking. From what I understood from her ( and i could be mistaken) she thought this was a symptom of a brain tumor. This vet never had it confirmed as she didn't want to put her 13 year old dog through this, it's been over a year and she's still a happy dog, who walks to the side and falls on occasision, and takes predisone. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks for the reply. Most of the time he gets this kind of jolt its almost always when he is laying on his right side and when he gets the jolt/spasm he jumps up and looks to his right side as if he thought something poked him. Not sure if it originates in his chest area or his head but for whatever reason he always looks to the right.

As far as head tilt/leaning, no none of that. He walks just fine, has never fallen over or collapsed as of yet, just constant pacing/panting/anxiety. I just can't understand how he can't settle down long enough to want to sleep, even if hours and hours go by.

Well I have an update. You know how I said he's been acting crazy, restless, hiding under desks and in the shower? Basically how he used to act during thunderstorms? well I came home to my bedroom carpet ripped to shreds JUST like he did during the 4th of July years ago. So something is making him terrified but there is nothing in the environment itself that has changed so I am completely perplexed. I am just at a complete loss for an explanation.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I would put my money on the thyroid meds. Is he still on them?
No! That's just it! I thought for sure it was the thyroid meds so I was fed up and stopped giving them to him completely since his level was never THAT low anyways and I needed to start ruling things out. Definately not the thyroid meds.
 

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Has any thought been put into Canine Cognitive Dysfunction? It's basically Alzheimer's in dogs and a lot of what you are describing fits into the symptoms perfectly.

Usually it goes one of two ways. The dog becomes more anxious and tends to space out a lot and sleep OR the dog becomes more anxious and restless.

You can google it and see if it fits at all. If it is CCD there are medications that can help, like Anipryl.

Best of luck for both of you! I hope you can get to the bottom of this!
 

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Awhile back someone else on these forums had something similar her older dog became fearful of everything even his shadow it got so bad she sent the dog to her daughters to see if being with other dogs would help . Come to find out the poor little guy was having seizures . On last update I read once started on treatment he was able to come back home and wasn't afraid any longer .
 
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