Have you seen this condition?

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Have you seen this condition?

Postby PL_Guy » Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:58 am

This guy is eight years, nine months and two weeks old. A little more than a year ago he was a vigorous running, jumping dog hunting and enthusiastically greeting strangers and visitors. One day he went on a romp of about 1/2 mile through the woods in patchy, half foot deep, crusty snow. The next day he was lame in the right rear. The lameness resolved in a few days but returned the next time he exercised vigorously. This cycled a few times but the last lameness episode was the last time we have seen him run. That was early to mid-March maybe into April, 2019.

As time progressed his front toes became swollen and splayed out like bird toes (visible in video), he slept more and walked less until we no longer took him on daily walks. He was seen by vets in mid-June and again mid-July, and August.

Blood was drawn in June, (abnormalities - low albumin, high amylase resolved within the month), thyroid: T4 & free T4 - normal but low in range, T3 LOW (Thyroid retested recently - all normal but low in range, antibodies negative); urinalysis - protein 3+, bilirubin 1+; popleteal and sub-scapular lymph nodes palpable, x-rays and ultrasound images taken. Lymph nodes and what turned out to be a fibro-lipoma biopsied. Except for hips and front toes (above) no abnormalities seen in images. Hips not good but not graded per OFA, Muscle wasting over spine/rear legs, front toes as described above. Some swelling in elbows has since developed. The fibro-lipoma was removed and sent to pathology - deemed benign. By then he had begun to lose strength and have swelling in the carpal-metacarpal ("wrist") joints and which has worsened to what you see here in the video. As time has progressed similar weakness and swelling has developed in the "ankle" joints of the rear legs - also seen in the video. Rear end weakness has progressed to the point he needs help getting up (most of the time) or getting into the truck. In June he had some skin issues seemingly attributable to addition of a high protein food to his diet as they seemed to resolve in a number of weeks after elimination of the suspect food from his diet - BUT he is again losing hair and developing hot spots now. It seems something happened to cause weakness and inflammation of connective tissues which may have precipitated the hip problem though that may have been a structural issue from an early age which did not show up until last February. He is on Rimadyl/Carprofen for pain. His vets have not been able to attach a name to this thing.

I am suspicious of the Thyroid, with TT4 at 1.4, free T4 by dialysis at 1.40 because of experience with an earlier Lab and a vet with extensive retriever experience who said numbers similar to these were β€œIn my clinical experience. Low for a Lab.” But we have not tried thyroid supplementation – yet.

If anyone who sees this has seen a similar condition, can name it, or suggest a course of action to prolong his life at a reasonable quality level I'd appreciate hearing from you.

Edit: We live in Alaska, dog has been in Alaska since 8 weeks old. Tick borne disease very very unlikely.

Jere
Video:
https://www.facebook.com/sandy.murray.942/videos/3385842534765348/
Alternate video link:
https://vimeo.com/394797126
"Speak your truth quietly & clearly; ... Avoid loud & aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
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Re: Have you seen this condition?

Postby SMAbby » Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:03 pm

Never seen this before and I don't know beans about lab work.

I do know with almost 9 years of endless love and loyalty, I wouldn't allow this. :( They give us way to much.

With that said, man, I wish you well on the journey to ease his pain.
VC Max vom Schutzenknapp VJP 75, HZP190, VGP 303 PI 4H Nose, NA 112, UT 204 Invite 196
Baja vom Wamsbach VJP 64, HZP 169, NA 112
Anka vom Loofkamp VJP 66, HZP 139,HZP 172, NA 112
Krystal Creeks Untamed Spirit ( Abby) NA 93 Prize III UT 200 Prize II
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Re: Have you seen this condition?

Postby PL_Guy » Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:33 am

I hear you, SMA, and don't think this isn't a very hard time for all of us up here. It has been especially frustrating to watch him go down like this w/o making any progress towards even a definitive diagnosis let alone getting him some relief.

We have some supports for the front legs (dogleggs.com/carpal-support ) which help him - we took them off for the video. Sled dog boots on the front feet help too but the Lewis boots might be better for that. I have experimented with splinting the rear feet, without success yet. I need to get on with tat effort as the rear feet , especially the right one, are getting progressively worse. With the support and boots he does fairly well walking and is still interested in all the smells where we walk.

In the house, he's still, except for sleeping a lot, a happy dog. His eyes sparkle, pricked ears, enjoys his "tummy rubs," etc. He likes to go for rides as he always had. He is just hunkered down waiting for this problem to go away as hurting dogs do! The carprofen seems very effective in controlling pain.

So far, except for Lyme disease which is such a low probability up here in Alaska as to be definitely put at the bottom of the list, the most reasonable suggestion I have received from very knowledgeable dog people and a vet on another forum is an immune mediated "erosive" polyarthritis https://www.merckvetmanual.com/muscu...-small-animals . The lab which did the recent thyroid panel still has frozen serum and I have a call in to the vet who sent the sample in to try and get an antinuclear antibody test run (they won't do it for me as the account is in the vet's name :( ) If the vet is willing I'd like to try a course of prednisone in place of the carprofen but she seems hard to get on the 'phone today.

I wouldn't expose all this stuff to the public except for the hope someone will come forth with helpful knowledge and that it might help some other folks sometime in the future. Actually this is not the only similar case I have discovered.

I know his days are numbered. These are not the best of times up here in the wilderness!

Jere
"Speak your truth quietly & clearly; ... Avoid loud & aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
So much to learn, So little time!
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Re: Have you seen this condition?

Postby SMAbby » Tue Mar 03, 2020 7:50 am

I know you are doing the best you can.

Acupuncture maybe?
VC Max vom Schutzenknapp VJP 75, HZP190, VGP 303 PI 4H Nose, NA 112, UT 204 Invite 196
Baja vom Wamsbach VJP 64, HZP 169, NA 112
Anka vom Loofkamp VJP 66, HZP 139,HZP 172, NA 112
Krystal Creeks Untamed Spirit ( Abby) NA 93 Prize III UT 200 Prize II
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