board77

The Last Homely Site on the Web
It is currently Fri 17 Aug , 2018 11:35 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Geriatric dog diseases
PostPosted: Tue 02 Nov , 2010 4:18 pm 
Sharpe-sighted
User avatar

Joined: Thu 28 Oct , 2004 7:46 am
Posts: 1312
Location: Hyrule
Yesterday my dog just woke me up in the morning. I wanted to take her out but she couldn't keep herself on her paws and always fell down. When I finally got her out of the door, she walked in circles and continued to fall down on one side. I was so upset. It was a holiday over here and of course our vet is away the whole week. So we went to the emergency vet, fully expecting that we wouldn't take her back home again.

Well, it turned out that she has geriatric vestibular disease http://www.hallvet.com.au/2010/10/geriatric-vestibular-disease/ which seems to be rather common with big dogs.
(she's a cross-bred between Dalmatian and Berner Sennenhund, is 14 years now and weighs 40 kilos)

Never heard of that before.

After doing some research on the web, I'm glad that this vet seemed to have experience with this disease as there were several comments in a forum that said that some vets don't know about it and say it's hopeless.....

I'm also glad that she doesn't vomit, but the rapid eye movements are a bit disturbing.

Are there any more geriatric diseases I should know about in advance, so I can prepare myself?

(needless to say that I cried my heart out from 5 a.m. when I tried to take her for a walk, to 10 p.m., when I finally had found out which vet was on emergency duty and got there.....)

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue 02 Nov , 2010 5:30 pm 
Aspiring to heresy
User avatar

Joined: Wed 23 Feb , 2005 6:54 pm
Posts: 17226
Location: Canada
Yikes! That would have been alarming! Good that your vet was able to properly diagnose.

This sounds hopeful, from your link:

Quote:
Most patients return to normal within a few days but others take weeks


Keep us posted!

_________________
Image

Melkor and Ungoliant in need of some relationship counselling.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue 02 Nov , 2010 6:21 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu 03 Feb , 2005 2:39 pm
Posts: 7812
Location: MO
I had a dog that did that once. The dizziness terrified her. :( Fortunately, I had a friend who recommended that I feed her raw meat because the essential fatty acids would help her.

So, I fed her raw ground meat and she recovered within a couple of days. I hope it works for your dog!

_________________

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed 03 Nov , 2010 1:03 am 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
User avatar

Joined: Thu 24 Feb , 2005 3:46 pm
Posts: 19844
Oh, that would be scary. :( :hug:

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed 03 Nov , 2010 6:27 am 
Sharpe-sighted
User avatar

Joined: Thu 28 Oct , 2004 7:46 am
Posts: 1312
Location: Hyrule
Raw meat, Maria? hm, she never had raw meat before. And if I remember correctly, dogs shouldn't eat raw pork?

I remember one of my granny's dogs that wouldn't touch any other thing than minced meat when she got him as a pup. That was quite an expensive time. I wonder if minced meat would do that trick, too.

Anyway, the first 48 hours are over. She's a bit better and can steer straight for some steps. For the dizziness I found a homöopathic thing called "vertigoheel". I gave it to her last evening and the rapid eye movement is a lot better today, but not gone.

What worries me a bit is that she drinks and can pee, but she also wants to eat but hadn't shitted (??? LOL, I do know the word for "pee", and I know at least ten words for it in german, but not a single one in english. Is there a verb like "to shit"? :scratch: ) for two days now.

Well, we'll be at the vet tonight for she wanted a second glance on the dog today and I hope we'll get some encouraging news.

The vet wanted to keep her on monday for three days to do some infusions, but that would have been such a stress for Sheera, that we said no to this. Anyway, she's not dehydrated, so they said it's okay.

Another problem for us is that because Sheera has Arthrose in the hind legs, she didn't want to walk much in the last months, so there are few muscles left on the back hand, and that makes it harder for her to rise up.

Edit: LOL, I just looked up "raw ground meat" and it turns out to seem to be rather the same as "minced meat"?

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed 03 Nov , 2010 12:46 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon 24 Jan , 2005 12:43 pm
Posts: 2660
Location: Gone to the dogs!
Areanor, over here in N. America, there's a new craze in the dog world. A lot of people have been convinced that raw meat is the most healthy, natural food for dogs. This all started with a man named Billingsworth who published a book about the BARF diet (Bones and Raw Food). Minced or ground meat (same thing) by itself is not a balanced diet. I can show you the skeleton of a young ocelot that was fed only ground meat. It developed very bad rickets from Vitamin D deficiency, and had to be euthanized. So, people who are REALLY into feeding raw food spend a lot of time researching the correct way to do it to be sure the diet is balanced and includes all the needed vitamins and minerals.

The theory behind the diet is that dogs are the same as wolves. This is a bunch of bunk in my opinion. Dogs haven't been wolves for thousands of years, and their digestive systems and teeth have adapted to eating whatever humans throw out. Also, years of selective breeding by humans has changed the dog's skull and teeth. Can you imagine a dog like a pekingnese trying to eat a raw, meaty bone? It doesn't have the teeth or the jaw structure for it.

Also, never mind that dogs have survived for generations on kibble or moist, canned dog food. And never mind that before commercial dog food came on the market, they lived on table scraps... :suspicious:

My other objection to the raw diet is that bones can get stuck in a dog's teeth, or in its digestive system, and cause a lot of trouble. If they puncture the gut, the dog can even die. Also, with the way livestock is raised and slaughtered these days, most meat is contaminated with harmful bacteria like salmonella and E. coli! The raw meat people will tell you the dog's immune system is stronger than ours, and is resistant to these bacteria. Well, right now I can tell you aobut a young female dog that has a serious bladder infection, from E. coli. There are only 4 antibiotics that will work to kill the bacteria, and they all cost about $100 A DAY!! :Q Nope, don't tell me that E. coli is harmless to dogs!

As for geriatric diseases, one of the most common and deadly is a form of cancer called hemangiosarcoma. The tumor most often attacks the liver or spleen, but it can be anywhere in the body including the brain. As it grows blood vessels, it tends to bleed. Eventually, there will be a major bleed, and at that point the owner will realized the dog is ill. Surgery to remove the spleen is sometimes successful, but often the cancer spreads to other organs, including the brain, and there is nothing the owner can do but put the animal out of its misery.

Bone cancer is fairly common in older dogs, too. The most usual symptom is limping, but of course, this can be due to more common problems of old age, like arthritis (or, as you called it, arthrose. I know English is not your first language, so I'm trying to keep the medical terms simple.)

Another common problem that large dogs get is bloat. It can attack a dog at any age, but older dogs are at higher risk. The dog will try to vomit, but nothing will come up. The owner may notice the stomach is swollen and distended. If you see this, get the dog to the vet as fast as possible. It must be treated IMMEDIATELY or the dog will die. Often the stomach will twist, and this will cut off the blood supply, causing damage that can't be fixed, unless surgery is done right away. You can help prevent bloat by feeding your dog at least twice a day, and feeding moist food as well as dry. Never give your dog ice water to drink, as this can cause the stomach to spasm, and bring on an attack of bloat.

German Shepherd dogs, and some other similar breeds often get degenerative myelopathy as they grow older. This is a condition where the sheathe around the nerves deteriorates, and eventually the nerve signals can't get through, and the dog's rear end is paralysed. They have found a gene that carries this fault, and there is now a test the owner can have done to see if their dog carries this gene.

That's all I can think of right now....Hope your girl is feeling better soon!

And I hope his diagnosis is right. I can think of several other things that could have caused her loss of balance, like a stroke, or bleeding in her brain... :uhoh: Please keep a close eye on her for worsening of symptoms!

Grammar lesson: some people disagree about whether the past tense of the verb 'to shit' is 'shitted' or 'shat'. I've seen both used. However, in English, 'shit' is also used as a swear word. If you want to use a more acceptable word, try 'poop'. Or if you want to go the medical route, try 'defecate'. Pee is an acceptable word, but the medically correct term is 'urinate'. The English might say 'pass water', but that's rather dated.

So, if I were in your shoes, I'd say "My dog hasn't pooped in two days!" And I wouldn't worry too much about it. I run a dog kennel, and we had a dog in last weekend that didn't like to 'do her business' when she was away from home. She didn't poop OR pee for two days! Eventually, nature had to take its course, though, and she pooped and peed in her cage. :roll:

Between my former job as a nurse, and my current job, running a boarding and grooming kennel for dogs, I've become an expert on this subject... :LMAO:

_________________
When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose[/size]


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed 03 Nov , 2010 1:40 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu 03 Feb , 2005 2:39 pm
Posts: 7812
Location: MO
"Crap" and "Crapped" are less vulgar than "shit" and "shat" but still considered somewhat impolite usage. Most people prefer euphamisms. :roll:

I wasn't proposing a full BARF diet! Just a couple of tablespoons of raw meat (not pork) per day in order to get the undamaged essential fatty acids straight to the dog. I gave mine venison, because that's what we had on hand, but I imagine beef would do as well. It all depends on which EFA the dog needs, but I have no data on that.

It doesn't hurt to try.

_________________

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed 03 Nov , 2010 2:18 pm 
Aspiring to heresy
User avatar

Joined: Wed 23 Feb , 2005 6:54 pm
Posts: 17226
Location: Canada
Sunsilver wrote:
This all started with a man named Billingsworth who published a book about the BARF diet (Bones and Raw Food).

This guy should fire his marketing team :D

Adding to what Sunny said, for both wolves and dogs there's a huge difference between eating raw meat immediately after it's been killed, and eating raw meat that you've bought from the health food store - who knows what's happened to it between the kill and the sale, and how long it's taken?

_________________
Image

Melkor and Ungoliant in need of some relationship counselling.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed 03 Nov , 2010 3:53 pm 
Sharpe-sighted
User avatar

Joined: Thu 28 Oct , 2004 7:46 am
Posts: 1312
Location: Hyrule
Sunny, thanks for all that information about the geriatric diseases. Considering that we had a rather healthy dog for nearly 14 years, I guess that we'll have to get used to do some nursing now.

I wouldn't have given her only raw meat, just, as Maria said, some spoons. Though I was looking for another way to get that fatty acid from somewhere else. As I said, Sheera had never gotten raw meat before ( not even mice for she never caught one ;) ) and when she was very much younger, she used to get diarrhoea when eating bones (raw or cooked ones), so we stopped that very soon.

She's really far away from the wolf.

I'm watching her rather close for the symptoms and was told, that dog don't get strokes the way humans do, but the word "stroke" is used by vets to explain the geriatric vestibular symdrom, because the symptoms are the same as with an human stroke. :shrug: Until now, all seems to be just as described.

As far as I know Arthrose is something different from Arthritis : "Arthritis is an inflammation of joints, while
Arthrosis is another term for osteoarthritis, a non-inflammatory disease of the joint in which the cartilage in the joint breaks down." So I should have said, she's got osteoarthritis... ;)

We're off to the vet now, I'll be back with the news sometime ...

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed 03 Nov , 2010 4:17 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon 24 Jan , 2005 12:43 pm
Posts: 2660
Location: Gone to the dogs!
Sorry, Maria, I wasn't targeting you personally, just all the idiots out there who will try to convince you you're ruining your dog's health if you don't feed it a raw diet. Since I'm involved in several dog forums, I hear this stuff all the time, and I'm really sick of it!

Raw meat may contain E. coli, so I'm not convinced it's safe. Just look at the number of people who've gotten sick from hamburgers that weren't thoroughly cooked. I'd go to the pet store, or the health food store, and search out a fatty acid supplement.

_________________
When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose[/size]


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov , 2010 4:11 am 
Sharpe-sighted
User avatar

Joined: Thu 28 Oct , 2004 7:46 am
Posts: 1312
Location: Hyrule
Well, butchers over here sell raw minced meat to eat - beef tartare - and a lot of people like it. :shrug:
When they sell it the butchers say that you have to eat it the same day and are not to store it. My dad used to eat it a lot. Of course it is already spiced up and with onions, but you get it also not spiced. That would have been the kind of beef my granny fed to her dogs some times ( as a treat).

At the vet, our dog was of course very nervous. When we got into the room, the first dog the vet said was: "Oh, it is worse!" and I said, "Whoa, stop. It's been a lot better before we got here!" Then she started to think and said: "oh, yes, back at university they said that the tilted head is worse, when the dog is stressed."

Well, she looked young anyway..... (that is the time I dreaded, when the docs start to be younger than you ;) )

The bad news was that the eye movement wasn't better than it was supposed to be. The good news was that the eye movement is horizontal, not vertical. (I don't know why it's good news, but it is.... :shrug: )

So it's waiting and giving her the pills for the rest of the week. As nobody seems to know what causes this vestibularis syndrome, we can only guess. It might be an infection of the inner ear, so she gets antibiotica. It might be a blood circulation thing, so she gets pills to strenghten that. It might be a problem with the spinal cord, caused by the Arthrosis, she gets something for that anyway. But the thing we fear it to be is a tumor in the head. To find out would cost 400 EUR for a CT (computed tomography), just for knowing, because they doubt that our dog would survive a major surgery.

On the way back home, we heaved Sheera out of the car and let her walk a bit and she did her business (how nice, that's the same way old ladies call it over here :) ). The Microklist the vet gave us went into the medicine cabinet.

I spend the nights on the couch in the living room, just to be sure that I'll be near, when anything happens. My husband isn't very fond of that, but he has to cope with it :P. Tonight at half past four, the dog woke me by standing up for herself and stagger her way into the kitchen to get a drink. The first time she did that by herself without me begging her. Then she wanted to get out in the garden to urinate and only fell down once. I'm really beginning to get a better feeling about the whole thing.

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu 04 Nov , 2010 12:57 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon 24 Jan , 2005 12:43 pm
Posts: 2660
Location: Gone to the dogs!
Areanor, since I got my first dog, I have been where you are now several times. You are wise not to spend a lot of money on diagnosing this problem. At 14 years of age, your dog is at the end of its natural lifespan. For a large breed dog, she has lived longer than most. The average span for dogs her size is only about 10-12 years.

My recommendation would be to love her and do your best to keep her comfortable and safe. And when that is no longer possible, to face that the end has come... :(

I had a GSD who was 14 years old. She collapsed one day, and could not get up. Her hind legs seemed to be paralyzed. I rushed her to the emergency clinic. I was in tears, because I thought this was going to be the end. As I waited for the vet, she gradually began to recover the strength in her legs. By the time he called us in, she was almost back to normal. The vet tested her reflexes, muscle strength, etc. and said he though she might have degenerative myelopathy. He recommended taking her to a veterinary neurologist, and having some tests done. He also said there was a drug that would slow the disease down, but it was expensive, and first we needed to be sure she HAD myelopathy.

I took her home, and thought about it. She was showing her age, and was sleeping most of the day. Sometimes, she would be lying so still, I would get up and look at her to make sure she was still breathing. She no longer wanted to eat much, either, and was getting very thin. It was very obvious that the end was near.

He gave her a drug to help with her arthritis (Metacam). I decided there was no purpose in spending hundreds of dollars on having her tested by a specialist. We just carried on as we had been doing before. I put chicken broth on her food to tempt her appetite. We went for one very slow walk a day to help keep her old joints moving. And I loved her, and prepared myself for the inevitable parting.

She died in her sleep, while being boarded at the vet's clinic. I was at a moot at Lidless's place in Florida at the time. The phone call came while I was at the beach swimming. When he broke the news to me on my return, I had 20 people giving me hugs and condolences.... :grouphug:

It is never easy to lose a beloved pet, but having that many people around me did help.

_________________
When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose[/size]


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat 06 Nov , 2010 8:43 am 
Sharpe-sighted
User avatar

Joined: Thu 28 Oct , 2004 7:46 am
Posts: 1312
Location: Hyrule
That's so true, Sunny. :hug:

And on my part I'm not quite ready to let her go yet.

Anyway, she's a bit better - it seems to take her babysteps to recover.
I can even tell that she thinks about going up the stairs, but I won't let her up to now.

The bad thing about our house is that we've got many stairs. Like this:

here's the attic and Jana's room ____

.....................................................\
..................................................... _____ here's Ida's room and the main bathroom
...................................................../
here's our bedroom, a guestroom_____
and the sewing room ........................ \
..................................................... _____ here's the front door and the book room and a bath
..................................................... /
the living room, kitchen and garden__
.....................................................\ _____ and the cellar.

The good thing is, that there are straight stairs, so she wouldn't have to go around a bend
and it's alway just 6 or 7 steps.

Today we'll give it a try if she can get upstairs, for we think she wants to get out and see
something other than the garden.

I hope it works, because my husband is a bit less patient than me with her :sigh:

On Monday our vet will be back and we'll see what he'll say.

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri 26 Nov , 2010 9:51 pm 
Sharpe-sighted
User avatar

Joined: Thu 28 Oct , 2004 7:46 am
Posts: 1312
Location: Hyrule
Just to report - it's over three weeks now and my dog's nearly back to normal.

She even walks downstairs again without hesitation. It took some work and my back is still aching, but it
was worth it.

:banana:

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri 26 Nov , 2010 9:57 pm 
Aspiring to heresy
User avatar

Joined: Wed 23 Feb , 2005 6:54 pm
Posts: 17226
Location: Canada
:banana: Woo-hoo!

_________________
Image

Melkor and Ungoliant in need of some relationship counselling.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat 27 Nov , 2010 3:50 am 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
User avatar

Joined: Thu 24 Feb , 2005 3:46 pm
Posts: 19844
That's good news! :cow:

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat 27 Nov , 2010 3:09 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon 24 Jan , 2005 12:43 pm
Posts: 2660
Location: Gone to the dogs!
Wonderful news, Areanor! I'm so happy for you! :D

_________________
When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose[/size]


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov , 2010 6:03 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu 24 Feb , 2005 10:34 pm
Posts: 3463
Location: Fall River, MA
Yay! :)

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group