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What to do? Our Sheltie won't get up...

2770 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Eklutna
Our ten-year-old Sheltie refuses to get up today. This has happened before, I regret to say that he managed to go next door and eat the neighbor's grapes a few years back, and although we didn't know this could cause kidney failure, he couldn't get his hindquarters off the ground for a few days and just lay around. Yet he could go down the stairs and do his business....

Same thing today. Since then, the vet has him on Meloxicam and Tramadol, and just yesterday he was playing with our other dog, our young Westie.... This morning I found him under my computer desk, refusing to get up. My husband, who gets up at the crack of dawn, said he seemed stiff, but gave him his meds and left him alone. He is not eating, but we gave him some coconut oil, which he LOVED. He takes Omega 3s and the usual arthritis stuff, something called Arthropower: Glucosamine & chondroitin, MSM, Manganese, etc. . . .

We're trying to decide whether we should take him to the emergency vet (wickedly expensive), or just watch him until our vet appointment in the morning (the regular vet "doesn't have time" to see him, according to whoever picked up the phone in the office, which annoys me greatly).

I'm a little freaked out, because we just lost our other Sheltie on the back porch of a vacation cottage; in that case, it was probably time for him to go, he had heart failure and seizures; but he was 12 and right on schedule. It's just that when you just lost one...


Thanks, Eklutna
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Let me understand, your Vet was open and seeing patients, but didn't have time to see an emergency patient!!!!!!!??? To add insult to injury, your dog is one of his regular patients!! I would get past whoever it was that answered the phone and get this info to your Vet. If indeed this is the case, IMO its time for a new Vet. Meanwhile IMO a Vet needs to see your dog, sooner rather than later.
We were able to get Pippin into a local vet whose sign we'd seen for years. She took him right in, and did x-rays and did what appeared to be a careful evaluation. We paid her a good bit of money, but she seemed to know what she is doing. She is NOT a wholistic vet, that's for sure: Pip has been on Meloxicam and Tramadol, and she prescribed Truprofen instead of the Meloxicam. However, she shocked us by suggesting EIGHT Tramadol per day for pain. Yikes!!! We'd been giving him a half! I happen to have Fibromyalgia and use Tramadol, but I take two a day; cannot imagine giving a dog of 50 pounds eight of 'em. Anyway, she saw loads of arthritis, nothing new there...and said that he had a slight irregular heartbeat and possibly enlarged liver and spleen...or not. She said neither of these were necessarily a problem. She suggested a sonogram, but frankly, having spent $300 already, we just didn't feel we could afford another $300 at this time. She did do blood work, and we will find out about that tomorrow, including a thyroid test. So we don't know quite yet, and he is still quite lethargic, but he can manage to get down the deck stairs to the yard.

Oh, about the "old" vet: she did this dog's "new puppy" exam, nine years ago, but because she and her associate were "in surgery" today, could not find time to see him. I am bitter about this, and I intend to address it with her, but meanwhile, she has lost two patients. Whoever answered the phone didn't even suggest that there is an emergency vet in the area!
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Sounds like you have taken the proverbial 'bull' by the horns. Lets hope that the arthritis pain can be controlled, and nothing more serious is going on, that can't be managed. As far as the tramadol dosage, eight seems high, depending on mg per tablet, but I am not a Vet so not qualified to really advise you. Your Vet has access to what the maximum allowable dosage, and that is certainly something he or she would be willing to share with you. Wish you luck and hoping all goes well with further testing etc. Keep us posted with your progress.
Thanks, we're supposed to hear from the vet re blood tests today; I gather Shelties are prone to thyroid problems, so if it's that, at least we can probably control it. She did say that she particularly looked for "masses" on the x-rays, and didn't see anything, so that's a relief.

All this has made me determined to begin feeding raw and freeze-dried foods to my boys, so I'm heading over to what looks like the best thread for this. I'll update this one, though, and I appreciate all your help and advice.

A lot of you helped me last week when our Sheltie had what was evidently a monumental arthritis flare. Turns out his bloodwork looks pretty good, and his xrays did too.....and we've been giving him tramadol and weaning him off one more toxic NSAID to start him on a perhaps less-toxic one (Meloxicam to Truprofen)....

We also started raw feeding, and it's going really well (that's another thread on "Dog Food"). I wonder if that hasn't helped most of all, because he is still pretty sedentary, but if given the opportunity, he will get up and play ball and horse around with our Westie, so things are going pretty well. And he loves those chicken legs!

I'm wondering if any of you have dogs who are like this chronically, though: he's only nine years old, and he IS naturally pretty inactive. And he is obviously in pain and has difficulty getting up the stairs, etc. We try not to "baby" him, but still be empathetic. We bought him one of those sort-of-hammock beds for dogs (not sure what they're called), and it's low to the ground, but he doesn't much like it, although the Westie has pretty much claimed it! Maybe raw-feeding will help, but I can't help wondering if this is the best it's going to get. The vet suggested giving him up to eight tramadol a day, but that really turns him into a I dunno....

Anyway, just an update....I have a feeling we're not out of the woods.

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