Folks: dear family friend and loyal exercise buddy is struggling. Our 5 1/2 year old male Shelty started (2 months ago) to have a head tilt and droopy ear and mouth on the left side. Vet said either palsy or tumor pressing on the facia nerve.
Tried prednisone with no change.
That was 2 1/2 months ago. He’s been happy just “crooked”.
Today on my daily walk I noticed his bark is different. Less powerful and pitched lower. Then noticed he stopped eating and drinking. When he tries he expatriates it like mad. Took him to another vet. She concluded it is possibly a mass pressing on the 7th facia nerve and now it’s progressed to the 9th that controls the esophagus. We can’t be sure without imaging. MRI runs about 2K.
I got food down him if he eats almost standing. They hydrated him with a subcutaneous injection of fluids.
He sleeps for 20 min then hacks up any saliva he tried to swallow.
I don’t get it. I don’t want to rush too quickly in saying good bye. I’ve come up with these list of questions. Tell me if I’m looking at this wrong:
1. could the Palsy and now this be two entirely different and unrelated things and we’ve just associated the two because of timing? Remember, his Palsy started 1st week in February and mid April he has this.
2. Since we don’t have a positive confirmation from an MRI, is it possible his gagging on food and water is a bug and it would pass with time? Meaning are we jumping the gun too fast to put him down next week when he could recover—if we were patient? Is it wise to give him time with such swallowing issues? All other parts of him are normal. Behavior, energy, temperament, even desire to walk.
3. I can feed him upright and he eats. The issue is water. Not sure how to do that. If we can solve that, should we give him a period of time to see if he improves? Meaning does such swallowing issues ever self-resolve?
4. No one has done blood biopsy. Why? Could one indicate what might be an issue?
5. Could he have a foreign object lodged in the pharynx or esophagus? Vet did not examine for that.
6. His bark has changed but It was only different as of today. Is that possible from an infections or damage or is that always neurological.