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Rebecca
Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 15583
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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I have a nine year old white male staffie named Snoop.I got

Customer Question

I have a nine year old white male staffie named Snoop.I got him off a friend 6 yrs ago after i had my black labradoor to sleep.Snoop had a wierd condition then,.when he got excited he looked like a broken mechanical toy.This condition would come and go.to stop it when it did happen.I sat quiertly with him for ten minits or so,and he would go ok.About 3 yrs ago i stopped taking him out for walks becos after 5 mins walking he would struggle.So since then he has been quite happy at home.My Garden is completerly Paved.Had this specially done for him.for obvious reasons(sanatary)I worm him regular,Treat him for fleas etc,and he is showered at the recommended times.This last month he has become progresiverly worse.His back legs are failing him badly.He is eating and drinking okdoing his buisnees regularapart from him struggling to keep balance when he poos.He doesnt seem to be in pain.His co ordination is really bad now.When i turn a light out in the evening he twitches his head as if he had been shocked.The same with flashing lights on the t.v.I have checked his ears.Doesnt seem to smell,and know gunge or anything.he aint lost no weight,but his spine seems to really be pronoun especially in the centre.One last thing,he has terrible bad breath even though his teeth seem ok.PLEASE Help him.I am heartbroken, thinking the worst.I need to know whats up with him.before i have him put to sleep...THANKYOU.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
Hello,
I am sorry to hear you are worried about Snoop. My name is***** am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.

If his back legs are failing, and having balance issues when he defecates, it could be caused by more than one thing: He might have bad arthritis in his spine, hips, or legs, or he could have a neurologic problem, where the spinal cord is slowly degenerating.

The treatment for arthritis would be supplements (fish oil, glucosamine, an herbal product called DGP for Doggone Pain), pain medication (tramadol or gabapentin), and anti inflammatory medication (aspirin, carprofen, meloxicam). However, it it is his spinal cord, or a stroke, these would not help him much.

If he were my own dog, I would start with a good examination and test his reflexes to try to tell if this is weakness, arthritis, or diminished spinal cord function. If it is his spinal cord, there is probably not much that will help him but sometimes steroids like prednisone helps for awhile.

If you put one of his back feet upside down, so the top of the foot is on the floor, he should put it back to a normal position in a second or so. If he does not seem to know his foot is in this position, this probably is a spinal cord problem.

Most of these medication need a prescription, so having your vet check him to find out where the problem is would be best. The glucosamine, DGP and fish oil do not require a prescription.

The head twitching could be a form of seizure. So could the mechanical walking you describe.

The pronounced spine in his back could mean a spinal cord problem, or he could be walking hunched from pain.

The bad breath may be an infected tooth in the back where you can't see it. It can also sometimes be a sign of a growth or an infection in the mouth. Having a good look in there with a light, looking down the throat, at the tonsils, under the tongue, and at all the teeth would be the place to start.

You can only get a prescription for these medications from a veterinarian who has seen and examined him.

I can understand your worrying that this could be serious, and he may very well have an untreatable condition. However, he may respond to medication. The best place to start is a good physical examination, and coming up with a diagnosis of his problem. Once we have a diagnosis, we know the best treatment.

Let me know what else I can answer or help with.

Rebecca



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The things you mentioned i have allready crossed off.What about inner ear vertigo.you have not mentioned this.Could it be a possibility.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
Inner ear vertigo is possible. I would expect to see a head tilt, and "nystagmus", a rapid rhythmic back and forth motion of both eyes if he had that.

Is he doing anything like that?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

When he tries to walk i have seen them go side to side.He has become really sensative to light.Just been to check on him upstairs.When i turn the light off he flinches violently.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
The sensitivity to light could be a form of "mini" or "partial seizure".

Your description of how he walks is called "ataxia". Usually it is an indication of neurologic disease.

It sounds like he has something affecting his central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It can be hard to get a definite diagnosis since it is hard to evaluate the central nervous system (CNS). Blood tests and X-rays do not tell us much. You have to do things like spinal taps, CT or MRI.

Steroids like prednisone might be worth trying; it helps some CSN diseases.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am taking him to the PDSA tomorrow,hopefully he will be examined.I fear the worst to be honest.I have a bit of experiance with dogs,and all my sences are telling me that its not going to be a favorable out come for him.I am very gratefull for your time Rebecca.As you know its a heartbreaking thing to go through,and i am relly dreading it.I am a fifty year old X doorman,.Suposerdly Hard Man.Got to be honest.I havent stoped crying for 2 days.I will have a word with the big Boss man up in the sky tonight.Ask for a favour,if you know what i mean.Again.Many thanks.x

Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
You are so welcome. I can understand your feeling that this could be bad, and it could. I sure hope you find some treatment that will give him some more quality time.

I hope you can cash in that favor.

Rebecca
Rebecca and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for a good rating.

Rebecca
Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
Peter,
How is Snoop doing? What did you find out?

Rebecca