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Malka
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08-11-2012, 06:49 AM
If previous increases were only 15mg a 30mg increase could be the cause of the ataxia getting worse, but just a thought Linda, as the ataxia seems to have only started when Loki was put on Pb, could you discuss with the neurologist the possibility of adding Keppra and/or Zonisimide and trying to reduce the Pb?

I count my blessings every day that Pb seems to suit Pereg so well and that she had no adverse reaction when it was increased by 50mg, ie 50mg TID instead of BID.

(((hugs)))
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Lynn
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08-11-2012, 07:12 AM
So sorry Linda. I have everything crossed it is the increase in the pheno as it does seem to coincide with the ataxia.

Not sure if there is another drug out there you could try if this is the case.
Having lost Ollie to DM one if his problems it is not something I would wish anyone else.

June says some breeders are now DM testing and you could buy the test kit but I will say it is very difficult to test for DM at the moment they find it hard to say it is that so tend to test for everything else first but saying that Ollie's was a rare mutation and in his neck not in his rear end his rear end problems were a polyneuropathy all the nerve endings were dying off the myolin sheath that that protecs them start to die.

If they say it isn't the pheno and you have 70 for the kit I would give it a go like with Ollie you try anything.

(((Hugs))) hopefuly it is somethng easily remedied.

The test you would do and breeders do is the sod1 gene mutation which is the type of DM most dogs get.
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GirondeDeb
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08-11-2012, 07:58 AM
I'm so sorry you're being put through this extra worry.

My pointer was checked over by the specialist surgeon before her cruciate surgery last year, and one of the things he did was that toe test on her back legs. She failed on both sides, only bringing the foot back to the correct position in two movements. The surgeon said that indicated problems in the spine...which could be caused by damage, arthritis or degenerative disease.

I have been treating her for arthritis (which the X-rays showed was quite bad in both back legs) and she seems to be doing really well, so hopefully that is all it is (although that's bad enough).

What I'm trying to say, is that the test shows something is wrong, but it might not be degenerative disease. Hopefully this was a case of your vet coming out with the worst case scenario.
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Lucky Star
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08-11-2012, 10:17 AM
Originally Posted by Azz View Post
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..
Thanks Azz - he is already on a mainly raw diet, although he now has half a packet of Wainwright's for breakfast because he refused the raw stuff. He gets tinned sardines, mackerel and salmon too. (I'm nothing special, I love Loki and many on Dogsey have done their best for their dogs. )

Originally Posted by Malka View Post
If previous increases were only 15mg a 30mg increase could be the cause of the ataxia getting worse, but just a thought Linda, as the ataxia seems to have only started when Loki was put on Pb, could you discuss with the neurologist the possibility of adding Keppra and/or Zonisimide and trying to reduce the Pb?

I count my blessings every day that Pb seems to suit Pereg so well and that she had no adverse reaction when it was increased by 50mg, ie 50mg TID instead of BID.

(((hugs)))
Hi Malka - we have been prescribed Keppra for when he is seizing to try to reduce the cluster. I'm not sure it did much really. The neurologist said he felt that the effects of Keppra wear off when used daily, so we went down the Pb route.

Apart from the ataxia, I'm really pleased with how the Pb has helped. Although the clusters are still too frequent (the Pb levels are still very low - he was on 60 mg twice a day and we've increased the evening to 90 mg since last week) his recovery has improved hugely, he doesn't lose bladder control and last time he only had 4 fits. This is amazing after watching him go through 17 fits last year. I really want the Pb to work for him.

Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
So sorry Linda. I have everything crossed it is the increase in the pheno as it does seem to coincide with the ataxia.

Not sure if there is another drug out there you could try if this is the case.
Having lost Ollie to DM one if his problems it is not something I would wish anyone else.

June says some breeders are now DM testing and you could buy the test kit but I will say it is very difficult to test for DM at the moment they find it hard to say it is that so tend to test for everything else first but saying that Ollie's was a rare mutation and in his neck not in his rear end his rear end problems were a polyneuropathy all the nerve endings were dying off the myolin sheath that that protecs them start to die.

If they say it isn't the pheno and you have 70 for the kit I would give it a go like with Ollie you try anything.

(((Hugs))) hopefuly it is somethng easily remedied.

The test you would do and breeders do is the sod1 gene mutation which is the type of DM most dogs get.
Ah Lynn I remember what you went through with Ollie. (Hugs).

Loki enjoyed his walk this morning and I feel he has improved (when up and about) since a couple of days ago so fingers crossed it is the increase in drug.

So if you test for DM, does this just show the dog has the potential to get it or that he is already suffering from it? The vet said an MRI would show it.

Originally Posted by GirondeDeb View Post
I'm so sorry you're being put through this extra worry.

My pointer was checked over by the specialist surgeon before her cruciate surgery last year, and one of the things he did was that toe test on her back legs. She failed on both sides, only bringing the foot back to the correct position in two movements. The surgeon said that indicated problems in the spine...which could be caused by damage, arthritis or degenerative disease.

I have been treating her for arthritis (which the X-rays showed was quite bad in both back legs) and she seems to be doing really well, so hopefully that is all it is (although that's bad enough).

What I'm trying to say, is that the test shows something is wrong, but it might not be degenerative disease. Hopefully this was a case of your vet coming out with the worst case scenario.
Oh thank you for posting - I'm so glad your girl is doing well. Loki's paws are sore at the moment anyway because he's been chewing them so I did feel the test might not have been that indicative at the moment and when I did it myself he seemed fine. He's on antibiotics for his paws - poor old thing almost rattles with all the drugs.

Thanks guys, I feel a bit brighter after our walk this morning.
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Elaine
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08-11-2012, 10:37 AM
My lot have been tested for DM, I send the test to America and it is only about 35. It is a cheek swab and tells you if they are clear, a carrier or affected. You can email the company and they will send a kit out free.
pm me if you need more info as I have some spare kits and could post one to you.
Hugs to Loki
xxx
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Lynn
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08-11-2012, 10:45 AM
Not sure I thought it told you if they were carriers if you were thinking of breeding.

Ollie had MRI's and they showed nothing.
Seeings as how well he is doing today maybe it is the drugs.

Ollie had suffered intermittent lameness all of his young life and that apperently was a clue to many of his problems but of course each one of them was a rare condiiton and hard to detect till after we had to have him put to sleep.

When I was researching DM because I was sure this was what he was suffering with especially when all the tests came back clear for every condition he was tested for and apparently thats how they test for DM is by eliminating every other problem I read DM is very hard to detect. Signs can be the knuckling under of the feet and when they go up kerbs they stumble.

Its possible in nearly 2 years things have changed but I wouldn't start thinking thats what it is just yet.
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Elaine
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08-11-2012, 11:29 AM
Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
Not sure I thought it told you if they were carriers if you were thinking of breeding.

Ollie had MRI's and they showed nothing.
Seeings as how well he is doing today maybe it is the drugs.

Ollie had suffered intermittent lameness all of his young life and that apperently was a clue to many of his problems but of course each one of them was a rare condiiton and hard to detect till after we had to have him put to sleep.

When I was researching DM because I was sure this was what he was suffering with especially when all the tests came back clear for every condition he was tested for and apparently thats how they test for DM is by eliminating every other problem I read DM is very hard to detect. Signs can be the knuckling under of t
he feet and when they go up kerbs they stumble.

Its possible in nearly 2 years things have changed but I wouldn't start thinking thats what it is just yet.
This is the company I used, and they were very helpful. From posting the test to getting result was about ten days.

http://www.animalgenetics.us/Canine/DM.htm

I think the gene for DM has only recently been discovered.

It is rife in some breeds and types of dogs than others.
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LupiLu
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08-11-2012, 12:49 PM
I'm so sorry to hear this and my heart goes out to you. Our nearly 12 year old GSD was diagnosed with DM about 4 or 5 months ago and when we first found out I naturally thought it was the end of the world. She also has some arthritis in her spine and hips so we're treating her with Rimadyl for the arthritis pain and this seems to be keeping her mobile and happy although she does appear to be addicted and you can set the clock by her because she knows when it's medicine time . As far as the DM is concerned we decided that the toe test and the vet's advice was sufficient and we haven't gone for further testing.

Her symptoms are that she is very wobbly and swaying in her back end, particularly when she gets up from lying down, is walking slowly or when she tries to turn around. She scrapes her toenails when she walks but so far has not caused any damage or bleeding to the toes or the top of the foot - but we mainly walk on grass or in the woods rarely on pavement. If she catches her leg on something e.g. a bramble, and trips she seems to be completely unaware that there is anything wrong and will just drag the leg behind her until you stop her and set her straight again, she then trots off happily as though nothing has happened. It's heartbreaking to watch but she doesn't seem to notice at all. Remember there is no pain with DM so the dog is not suffering, although as they become less mobile I imagine they can get frustrated.

We have cut our walks down a little as she seems to get more tired but she still comes out with the youngsters twice a day every day and wouldn't dream of doing anything different. I think keeping her life as normal as possible and making sure that she's included and stimulated is as important as the physical side of things. I carry a sling on our walks just in case she goes down and can't get up again but so far she holds her own and is enjoying a rich a fulfilling life. Obviously it's early days yet but I'm hoping that there will be many more to come. We have decided that when she loses the use of her back legs we will not put her in a cart because at that point she will not be able to live the life she's always known. Again, I hope that will be a long time coming and in the mean time she is a content, happy and active old girl.

Unlike your situation we aren't dealing with any other health issues so we aren't suffering that sort of worry or strain and she doesn't have to carry any other additional burden so we are very lucky from that point of view. Also at 11+ she's getting on in years and has had a long and happy life, at 8 Loki is still a young dog in his prime so it's probably easier for us to accept the situation. The diagnosis of DM was scary but so far, apart from the swaying and dragging of the feet life is no different then living with any other older dog.

I hope this has helped a bit. Wishing you and Loki well and sending hugs.
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Lucky Star
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08-11-2012, 02:02 PM
Originally Posted by girliebiker View Post
My lot have been tested for DM, I send the test to America and it is only about 35. It is a cheek swab and tells you if they are clear, a carrier or affected. You can email the company and they will send a kit out free.
pm me if you need more info as I have some spare kits and could post one to you.
Hugs to Loki
xxx
Aw thank you for your offer - that's really kind.

Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
Not sure I thought it told you if they were carriers if you were thinking of breeding.

Ollie had MRI's and they showed nothing.
Seeings as how well he is doing today maybe it is the drugs.

Ollie had suffered intermittent lameness all of his young life and that apperently was a clue to many of his problems but of course each one of them was a rare condiiton and hard to detect till after we had to have him put to sleep.

When I was researching DM because I was sure this was what he was suffering with especially when all the tests came back clear for every condition he was tested for and apparently thats how they test for DM is by eliminating every other problem I read DM is very hard to detect. Signs can be the knuckling under of the feet and when they go up kerbs they stumble.

Its possible in nearly 2 years things have changed but I wouldn't start thinking thats what it is just yet.
Well, do you know, when I came in, he actually rose to greet me. He seems much better even than yesterday so I'm feeling much more positive, thanks Lynn.

Originally Posted by LupiLu View Post
I'm so sorry to hear this and my heart goes out to you. Our nearly 12 year old GSD was diagnosed with DM about 4 or 5 months ago and when we first found out I naturally thought it was the end of the world. She also has some arthritis in her spine and hips so we're treating her with Rimadyl for the arthritis pain and this seems to be keeping her mobile and happy although she does appear to be addicted and you can set the clock by her because she knows when it's medicine time . As far as the DM is concerned we decided that the toe test and the vet's advice was sufficient and we haven't gone for further testing.

Her symptoms are that she is very wobbly and swaying in her back end, particularly when she gets up from lying down, is walking slowly or when she tries to turn around. She scrapes her toenails when she walks but so far has not caused any damage or bleeding to the toes or the top of the foot - but we mainly walk on grass or in the woods rarely on pavement. If she catches her leg on something e.g. a bramble, and trips she seems to be completely unaware that there is anything wrong and will just drag the leg behind her until you stop her and set her straight again, she then trots off happily as though nothing has happened. It's heartbreaking to watch but she doesn't seem to notice at all. Remember there is no pain with DM so the dog is not suffering, although as they become less mobile I imagine they can get frustrated.

We have cut our walks down a little as she seems to get more tired but she still comes out with the youngsters twice a day every day and wouldn't dream of doing anything different. I think keeping her life as normal as possible and making sure that she's included and stimulated is as important as the physical side of things. I carry a sling on our walks just in case she goes down and can't get up again but so far she holds her own and is enjoying a rich a fulfilling life. Obviously it's early days yet but I'm hoping that there will be many more to come. We have decided that when she loses the use of her back legs we will not put her in a cart because at that point she will not be able to live the life she's always known. Again, I hope that will be a long time coming and in the mean time she is a content, happy and active old girl.

Unlike your situation we aren't dealing with any other health issues so we aren't suffering that sort of worry or strain and she doesn't have to carry any other additional burden so we are very lucky from that point of view. Also at 11+ she's getting on in years and has had a long and happy life, at 8 Loki is still a young dog in his prime so it's probably easier for us to accept the situation. The diagnosis of DM was scary but so far, apart from the swaying and dragging of the feet life is no different then living with any other older dog.

I hope this has helped a bit. Wishing you and Loki well and sending hugs.
Thank you Lupilu, it does help a lot. I hope you have many, many more good days with your girl; you both deserve to.
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Moobli
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08-11-2012, 02:16 PM
No real advice Linda, but I just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear this news about Loki. I hope when you go back to the vet it can be ruled out.
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