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confusing symptoms… any ideas?

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Old 05-06-2016, 04:35 PM
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Of course none of the symptoms were present at the vet appointment, even though they had been earlier this afternoon. Figures. I tried to get video of him staggering and high-stepping earlier in the day, but missed it. So the vet cleaned his ears in case something in there was bugging him.

And he took some blood for a geriatric blood panel (Emory is 9 and a half)… and said he figured it was probably "ideopathic Old Dog Vestibular Syndrome" and that it would go away on its own.

Here's hoping.

We are supposed to go back if it persists. And he will call us with blood panel results. I'm hopeful that it will resolve itself because I have freaked myself out by reading articles about brain tumours and so forth, which is always a bad idea.
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Old 05-07-2016, 02:39 PM
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The vet says the blood panel was normal. So now I'm really worried that it's something neurological. His head is still swaying back and forth, and he's losing his balance and walking very clumsily.

What's going on?

Has he had a stroke?

Do symptoms of brain tumours come on this abruptly?

The vet has said we need to "wait and see" if he improves. Waiting is pretty awful. I don't know what to think.
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Old 05-07-2016, 04:58 PM
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Oh that's got to be difficult, waiting is awful. Unfortunately it could be anything, hopefully it's vestibular. Try not to read too much on the net for diagnoses, the information is variable in truth and often pessimistic, if he's comfortable maybe take some time to do something lovely with him to take your mind off things. My thoughts are with you.
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Old 05-07-2016, 08:27 PM
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Oh that's got to be difficult, waiting is awful. Unfortunately it could be anything, hopefully it's vestibular. Try not to read too much on the net for diagnoses, the information is variable in truth and often pessimistic, if he's comfortable maybe take some time to do something lovely with him to take your mind off things. My thoughts are with you.
Thanks, I'm driving myself a little bit crazy worrying about it. I'm trying to let him rest in hopes it will help with recovery, but he must think I'm nuts because I'm following him around like a stalker and constantly taking video of him trying to capture the head swaying… Sigh. I hope he's okay.
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Old 05-07-2016, 11:52 PM
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What was included in the blood panel?

You might want to ask your vet about Cushing's and Atypical Cushings (see article linked below) -- even if it is just to rule it out.

https://www.petfinder.com/blog/2010/..._disease_in_d/
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Old 05-08-2016, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Lisa DogLover View Post
The vet says the blood panel was normal. So now I'm really worried that it's something neurological. His head is still swaying back and forth, and he's losing his balance and walking very clumsily.

What's going on?

Has he had a stroke?

Do symptoms of brain tumours come on this abruptly?

The vet has said we need to "wait and see" if he improves. Waiting is pretty awful. I don't know what to think.

Going by his symptoms and your video, and by what I went through with my old dog, my two guesses for the new symptoms. Are vestibular disease, and stroke. The two often mimic each other.

My old boy had a few mini strokes that seemed like seizures when I saw him having them. He'd be laying next to me seem the be sort of out of it, with his head swaying, then it'd just go away. He did that a couple times, the first time I thought maybe I imagined it, and I was going to take him to the vet to see what was going on but he had a large stroke before I could.

I'd not wait and see with your boy, I'd try and get a second opinion and a third one if necessary, explain to the new vet what's going on, what he's been treated for, and how he's steadily getting worse.

If nothing else ask your vet about giving him baby aspirin in case it was a mini stroke, the aspirin may be able to prevent any more of them, BUT ask the vet before giving them to him. They are what my vet had me giving my boy after he had a second stroke a week after the first large one to try and prevent more.
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Old 05-08-2016, 02:18 PM
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Thank you for that good advice. We went back to the vet today with our video - and it was a different vet (there are two who share the practice, so we can get a second opinion pretty easily). He said that he noticed that Emory's thyroid levels were just slightly low when he looked at the blood panel. (The first vet mentioned this too but did not think it was an issue.) So the second vet has ordered another test on the sample for TSH levels, hoping for more information about the thyroid.

He also said that if we don't see improvements, we could try administering fluids and mild antibiotics, which would flush any potential toxins (I don't think there are any toxins present) and would fight any possible infection (like meningitis).

Meanwhile, Emory's head seems more steady today. He is still a bit off balance, and the head sway is still present but far less noticeable. I really hope this is a good sign that things are moving in the right direction.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:37 AM
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Waiting for TSH results today. Meanwhile, strange symptoms continue. His head swaying still seems a bit better (though not completely resolved). He has times when he seems perfectly normal, plays with the other dogs, acts happy. Other times he hides in his crate and shivers. Yesterday he had an erection - which is really abnormal for him. He was licking at it and seemed quite uncomfortable. I had to stop him and get him to walk around so it would go away. This worries me because it is completely unheard of for him. First time in his whole life that I have ever seen him with an erection. Makes me think something is misfiring in his neurological system. Sigh. This is very worrisome. I'm really hoping it's just a thyroid thing that can be managed…
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:53 PM
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Okay, vet just called and said that he has confirmed that Emory has hypothyroidism. So we are picking up some medication to start him on immediately. I feel glad to hear that there is some kind of diagnosis - and hoping that all this weirdness stems from that and nothing else! The vet says we need to bring him back in 6-8 weeks to have another blood test and see if he is responding to the medication. I will report here too to let you all know if we see a reduction in his strange symptoms.
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:57 PM
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I hope that getting the thyroid levels under control will resolve all his symptoms.

Did they also check him for Cushings?

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites...-pet-dogs.aspx

Last edited by Rain; 05-09-2016 at 07:59 PM.
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