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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,
Sorry to start a new thread on this one, but I took a video and am hoping that someone else might recognize this odd symptom and be able to give me some idea of where to start in helping my dog.

He is a nine and a half year old Italian Greyhound. About 48 hours ago now, he suddenly developed a head sway and has had it ever since. The symptom looks a bit like Parkinsons in a human. He is constantly swaying.

This is accompanied by some unsteadiness when walking. He staggers a little bit and loses his balance.

We have been to the vet. The vet took a blood panel and said it was normal. He suggests that we wait and see if the problem resolves itself. If not, he says we will need to see a neurologist.

Does anyone have any idea what this could be?

Thanks in advance for any help. (The sway is most apparent around 7 seconds when he changes his head position to look at me and his head bobs around a bit afterward.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH_DMCPTW7Y&feature=youtu.be
 

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It almost looks as though he is very weak. Any other symptoms? Let us know what the Vet says.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It almost looks as though he is very weak. Any other symptoms? Let us know what the Vet says.
The vet has diagnosed him with mild hypothyroidism, which I think makes sense as one of the symptoms is muscle or generalised weakness. He doesn't have ALL the symptoms, but I guess that is normal to have some but not all. His symptoms include:
thirst
diarrhea (which seems to have improved with different food)
swaying/trembling/staggering
shivering
isolating himself away from other dogs
sleepiness




He has started a low dose of thyroid medication today and I am hoping we will see some improvments - although he has improved quite a bit in the last two days with no treatment at all. Very very strange!
 

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The vet has diagnosed him with mild hypothyroidism, which I think makes sense as one of the symptoms is muscle or generalised weakness. He doesn't have ALL the symptoms, but I guess that is normal to have some but not all. His symptoms include:
thirst
diarrhea (which seems to have improved with different food)
swaying/trembling/staggering
shivering
isolating himself away from other dogs
sleepiness




He has started a low dose of thyroid medication today and I am hoping we will see some improvments - although he has improved quite a bit in the last two days with no treatment at all. Very very strange!

Was hypothyroidism confirmed through the T4 blood test? If it is hypo, a couple of days on Synthroid will tell the tale. What dose is the dog on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, but it's hard to know for sure if that's related to the thyroid because he has the typical Italian Greyhound personality, very skittish and shy. More so lately, I think, which could be related to the thyroid!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Funny because a lot of the thyroid issues just exacerbate what is already true for Italian Greyhounds. Another common symptom is intolerance to cold, and this is very true for Italian Greyhounds anyway, so I barely noticed until I looked up symptoms and realised that he probably has become even more wimpy about cold lately. :D Same thing with the skittishness.
 

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Funny because a lot of the thyroid issues just exacerbate what is already true for Italian Greyhounds. Another common symptom is intolerance to cold, and this is very true for Italian Greyhounds anyway, so I barely noticed until I looked up symptoms and realised that he probably has become even more wimpy about cold lately. :D Same thing with the skittishness.

Well, I'm interested to see the outcome for your dog. We are currently waiting for blood panel results to come back on our pup to see where his levels lay. He's 10 pounds and taking .1 mg twice a day, but I suspect that may have to increase.

Thyroid creates some weird issues. Ours almost looked to be having mini seizures, would just stand there and stare at nothing. couldn't jump on the couch or bed without working himself up for it.

Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I'm interested to see the outcome for your dog. We are currently waiting for blood panel results to come back on our pup to see where his levels lay. He's 10 pounds and taking .1 mg twice a day, but I suspect that may have to increase.

Thyroid creates some weird issues. Ours almost looked to be having mini seizures, would just stand there and stare at nothing. couldn't jump on the couch or bed without working himself up for it.

Keep us posted.

Yes, I have seen some of that blank staring as well. And the same thing about being unable/unwilling to jump up onto the bed. So strange! I will definitely post an update after a few days on the medication - and here's hoping your pup is improving too.
 

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Yes, I have seen some of that blank staring as well. And the same thing about being unable/unwilling to jump up onto the bed. So strange! I will definitely post an update after a few days on the medication - and here's hoping your pup is improving too.
Within 48 hours of being on synthroid, our pup was a brand new dog. All symptoms went away. Fingers crossed for you!
 

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Thanks! My little bobblehead is no longer bobbling. I feel optimistic that we are on the way to having things sorted out. :)
Synthroid works pretty quick, glad to hear it's working. Within a few days, all should settle down. Reminds me, I have to call the vet to see if anyone looked at the bloodwork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, two days after starting medication he seems 100% better. No head bobbling, more calm, back to being social with the other dogs, and what strikes me as just being more mentally alert.

For example, the dogs have a couple of X-pens where we feed them, to keep them separate so they won't steal each other's dinner. I always shut the door but leave it unlocked. Forever, Emory has been able to just nose the door open when he is done eating, but lately (maybe for the last couple of months) he has stopped doing that, and just stood there helplessly waiting to be let out, as if he had forgotten how to open the door. This morning, he opened the door by himself the way he used to! It sort of feels like he's more himself again, and I'm so happy to see it.

I guess there were a lot of little things I wasn't even noticing, or just chalking up to the fact that Italian Greyhounds are neurotic little creatues at the best of times, haha! I just didn't realise Emory was getting weirder than the rest of them! :D

I have definitely learned that thyroid problems cause all sorts of symptoms that are not listed necessariliy "typical". Nowhere did I read that low thyroid could result in head bobbles! This stuff can express itself in unexpected ways.
 

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Well, two days after starting medication he seems 100% better. No head bobbling, more calm, back to being social with the other dogs, and what strikes me as just being more mentally alert.

For example, the dogs have a couple of X-pens where we feed them, to keep them separate so they won't steal each other's dinner. I always shut the door but leave it unlocked. Forever, Emory has been able to just nose the door open when he is done eating, but lately (maybe for the last couple of months) he has stopped doing that, and just stood there helplessly waiting to be let out, as if he had forgotten how to open the door. This morning, he opened the door by himself the way he used to! It sort of feels like he's more himself again, and I'm so happy to see it.

I guess there were a lot of little things I wasn't even noticing, or just chalking up to the fact that Italian Greyhounds are neurotic little creatues at the best of times, haha! I just didn't realise Emory was getting weirder than the rest of them! :D

I have definitely learned that thyroid problems cause all sorts of symptoms that are not listed necessariliy "typical". Nowhere did I read that low thyroid could result in head bobbles! This stuff can express itself in unexpected ways.
That's excellent news. The thyroid is an amazing little organ, and thyroid issues seem to be getting more common. Hypothyroidism can wreak havoc in the GI tract as well, if you haven't experienced that in the dog, count your lucky stars.

Update us once in a while :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Oh yes, we did see some GI problems about two or three weeks before the head bobbing started. He was alternating between being quite constipated (producing stool that looked like tiny rabbit pellets!) and then terrible diarrhea that was like water.

Strange symptoms indeed! The strangest of all was that he suddenly started developing long lasting erections, having never done that in his entire life. Bizarre!

Thanks for the good wishes. I will update as we go. Sending good wishes to your pup too!
 
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