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Lucky Star
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07-11-2012, 08:22 PM

Degenerative disease?

We took Loki to the vet tonight because his back legs have been wobbly since we increased the phenobarbital for epilepsy and because he's been chewing his paws recently.

The vet said she is concerned that he might have degenerative disease and I am worried sick now.

How can you tell if a dog has this?

Loki is wobbly anyway at the moment because of the phenobarbital increase. She did some 'test' where she took each back leg in turn and put it on its knuckles and watched which foot he left in that position the longest. She said it was the left one but when I did it, he righted both of them exactly the same.
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Elaine
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07-11-2012, 08:27 PM
I am so sorry to read this. You can do a cheek swab for DM, it is such a debilitating disease.

http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Dog-Heal.../Symptoms.aspx

Have a read here, it gives some information.

Hugs to Loki
xx
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Helena54
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07-11-2012, 08:30 PM
No nothing about this I'm afraid, but sorry to hear what the vet might think, but then they're not always right are they Hope you get the information you're after and hope more than anything that the vet might be wrong here. All the best Lucky. How old is Loki now then?
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Lucky Star
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07-11-2012, 08:36 PM
Thanks girliebiker I shall have a look at that.

I hope so too Helen - he's just 8 years old. I thought we had a few more years together. His back legs haven't been right since we started him on the phenobarbital but now I'm wondering what if he was starting this degenerative thing and the drug has made the symptoms worse?

Or maybe the vet is wrong. She wants him back in 10 days so perhaps we can get a better idea.
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Helena54
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07-11-2012, 08:45 PM
Although I know nothing about the degenerative disease, I do know that drugs can affect the body in such a way, sometimes drastically too, depending on the drugs. I remember when we had to rush Cassie to the vet at 3am in the morning when she was vomiting blood, although she walked fine and walked into the surgery fine. When the vet gave her 2 jabs, her back end just seemed to *go* and the vet turned around to me and said "oh, I see she has hip displacia too then" I was pretty gobsmacked and I told her she had never suffered with her back end until the jab!!

Another time when we had to take Zena to the vets late one night for suspected pancreatitis, again the vet gave her some jab or other, and when we got her home, she just couldn't walk through the back door, she couldn't even clamber into the bed I had put in the bootroom for her, and she was ONLY 8 months old at that time!

So you see, through experience, I do know that some drugs will have an effect on the nerves to the back legs, so probably you are right in your assumption that the increased dose of pheono is slightly affecting them already probably? Devil and deep blue then Lucky, what can you do?

Our horse vets used to do a flexion test on our horses with some hind leg lamenesses (is that a word?), whereby they lift one leg up, right up tight into the hip and hold it there for a few seconds, maybe 10 and then you have to trot them up immediately and the vet can tell what's wrong - apparently.

It's a bit of a hit and miss with any lameness in any animal, because without an x-ray they're purely going by *feel* and experience and would *could be* so try not to worry too much yet. ((((((((((hugs))))))))))
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Malka
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07-11-2012, 08:49 PM
Sorry to hear this Linda - was Loki ataxic when he was just on Kbr or only since you started him on Pb? Please give that beautiful boy a hug from me - and (((hugs))) for you too. xx
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Meg
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07-11-2012, 09:47 PM
Linda what a worry for you on top of the epilepsy .
I am sorry I can't offer any suggestions ..
Big hugs to your lovely boy..xx
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tawneywolf
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07-11-2012, 09:48 PM
I know you can get a test done for DM now Linda, it is 70 odd, because we have started testing for it within the breeds we are bringing into the programme. However we have now got our first Utonagan stud DM tested, he has a lot of the lines in him that Loki has and he is DM clear. I will be DM testing Mabs at some point in the next few months because at the moment we are asking for people to do it voluntarily, but it will become compulsory for any breeding dogs.
My dobies who got the DM (all 4 of them) seemed to start around the age of 5, so by the age of 8 it was pretty noticeable, so it could well be just the drugs, but if you test for it then you know absolutely either way. I did have one of my dogs have the operation, but the worst thing I ever did, and I have spoken to others who say the same. Took Lona to a chiropractor because she had put her shoulder out and she had a dobie with DM and he was taking part in a trial of a new drug and she said how well he was doing on it and he had a whole new lease of life. Piaf (my blue dobie) was 11 years old when she was pts at home, so despite having DM she lived to a good age.
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Lucky Star
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07-11-2012, 09:54 PM
Thanks Helen, Malka and Mini - I don't like to bleat on but I'm feeling really devastated at the moment. I can't believe after everything this could happen. I know I'm over-reacting - I can't bear to see him like this - so we just need to give it another week or two and see how he is then, once the increased pheno should be well in his system. He'll need a blood test too.

Malka. thanks - no, I didn't notice any ataxia when he was just on KBr before we started the pheno. I think I posted early on, worried about ataxia. It's just that it's much worse but maybe because we increased by 30 mg whereas before it was 15 mg. But this was because the neurologist wanted us to increase by 60 mg so we halved it, based on Loki's reaction.

Thanks TW, just saw your post and it's very helpful, thank you.
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Azz
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08-11-2012, 02:01 AM
Aww *hug* Linda, I bet it's really worrying for you.

To be honest I think you deserve an award for having seen Loki through this far, I really can't imagine what it would have been like if Rocky continually had seizures like Loki does. And can you know that lots of other owners would have given un a long time ago.

The only thing that I would probably want to look at is diet, and try species appropriate with cod liver oil supplementation... I think you have tried pretty much everything else haven't you..
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