Sunday, March 26, 2006

Medical problem with my Labrador Retriever - part one

Received this email from Deanna in the United States. This is part one of the email. If anyone has any ideas on this please comment or email me and I will forward them to Deanna. Thanks

Dear Fay,

My dog, Dakota, is actually half black lab and half golden retriever. She has a back problem that seems to be a mystery. I was wondering if this is a common problem in labs or if anyone has ever experienced this. Our vet seems to be stumped, but in her defense, she has never seen the problem. Here is what happens...

When Dakota jumps down off of something or even down from being up on her back feet, she occasionally has an episode of extreme pain. It is so bad, she can not walk. Her back end falls down, and if she tries to get up, she falls over. It is definitely not a seizure, although you might think so if you were not experienced (I had a dog with epilepsy before). She is aware of her surroundings during the episode. She is not paralyzed, though. Her poor back toes spread out and clinch in pain. We have had her x-rayed. The x-rays show the beginnings of spondulosis. Two of her vertebrae are a little too close together. Most days, she does not have episodes, but often she will, in the middle of a walk, slow down, lag behind, and limp for 10-15 of my steps. Then she perks up and is fine again. She is no longer allowed upstairs or in the bed. She has episodes about every 2-3 months.

Have you ever heard of anything like this? Any ideas?

Deanna

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Dear Deanna,

Dakota is a beautiful Lab mix, and I am so sorry to hear about her problem. I just wanted to let you know I received your email and will try to help you and Dakota with her condition. If I can't help, I will post your question on my blog and see if some of our readers have any ideas. I few questions you can help me with.

1. How old is Dakota, and when did this problem first start occurring?

2. What is Dakota's weight?

3. What other testing was done by your veterinarian?

4. Are there changes in her posture? When she stands, are her back legs straight down at her sides, or does she have a narrow stance where her hocks (like our ankles) come close together under her body, with her back feet pointed out on an angle?

5. You said x-rays were taken, was there any mention of hip dysplasia.

6. When Dakota is standing, does she have any difficulty balancing?

7. Do you notice any uneven wear on the rear nails, especially on the innermost nails of the rear feet.

I have some ideas of what the problem might be and we can run them by your vet for testing, but I need you to get back to me with the answer to these questions first.

Please respond back as soon as possible. Thank you for the email, and will talk soon.

Fay

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