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need assistance with opie

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need assistance with opie

Postby pat » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:59 pm

Hubby found Opie lying in the yard this morning.
opie can't walk. I think he might be dying.
he is semi alert, but, can't stand up. He ate and drank some water.

we managed to get him into my computer room.

prior to finding him, he was doing fine, he was able to walk up and down steps and a little walk outside.

I am just confused as to what could have happened to him.

could he have had a stroke, seizure or heart attack?
I had him at the vet about a month ago, and they said is heart was fine.

since opie will be 13 on august 2, I know there is probably nothing I can do for him icon-sad
but, I want to at least make him comfortable.

anyone have any thoughts as to what could have happened, or what would cause this?
also, anything I can do to make him comfortable?
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Re: need assistance with opie

Postby BB » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:34 pm

I'm so sorry; it is always so terrible to see your pet suffer....

A friend of mine went through similar symptoms not so long ago with his dog.
His dog had bone cancer. You wouldn't have picked it by looking at him, he didn't loose weight and, whenever I seen him would still wag his tail.
he was old, around 14 years, but had to be put down yesterday, as he was in too much pain. There were some days, he couldn't stand up, but was uncomfortable. He still ate alright.

I'm not saying Opie has cancer, but maybe you get him checked out to be sure...
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Re: need assistance with opie

Postby Lasergrl » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:41 pm

I would bet good money he has a disc problem or arthritis problem. They go down and simply cant get up. You can try and tell if he has a disc problem by holding him up with help, and place his feet one at a time, upside down, as if knuckled over. If he is very slow or doesnt right the foot at all its a good bet there is something wrong with this spine.

ALOT of old big dogs go down at some point in old age. Depending on why they can be resolved with medication alot of the times.

Also check his gum color. another reason they can go down if from a tumor that is bleeding out. If his gums are pale thats not a good sign. Check your younger dog to get an idea what they should look like.
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Re: need assistance with opie

Postby pat » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:31 pm

appreciate the replies and info.

opies gums seem to look OK.(I can remember fannie's gums when she was sick)

opie does have arthritis, he has had if for a couple years.
he walked OK, up until this morning. he is just laying on his side most of the time.

I have been giving him rimadle and pain pills daily.
seems to help. I am just confused as to why all of sudden
he can;'t walk. he has been sleeping most of the day.

His breathing seems OK. I am assuming by what you both said, that, it is doubtful he will get up again icon-sad :cry:

Now for a very hard decision, is to take him to the vet. most likely they will recommend putting him down. I can't afford to have a bunch of tests done on him. doubtful they will do any good.

If he is going to die, I would rather him die at home.

hubby is not here right now, when he gets back, I will have him help me check his disc.

thank you much..
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Re: need assistance with opie

Postby pat » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:50 pm

lg,

not quite following about holding opie up. but, if it is what I think, he is too heavy, hubby has a bad back, and I hurt my wrist

opie sat up by himself, I picked his ass end up, and he was able to stand, he headed outside.
I noticed his left front paw folds under when he started to walk. I straightened it for him, and it stayed for a little while. once he got outside, he flopped down again. icon-sad

then about 15 minutes later, he got up by himself, and walked around a little.
but, his foot kept folding under. after awhile, he manged to straighten it out on is own.

he did his business, then flopped down again. icon-sad so, we put him in the bucket of hubby's tractor, and brought him in the house. that is where he is now.

so at this point, I am really confused. I was going to take him to the vet tomorrow, but, hubby is working on my car, and doubtful it will be done tomorrow.

hubby don't want to take him to the vet, but, I don't want him suffering any longer.
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Re: need assistance with opie

Postby Lasergrl » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:59 pm

Hmm, interesting that his front is knuckling under. That could mean he has a lesion on his spine, in his neck area. They would probably want to run bloodwork and do xrays. If it were me I would decline the bloodwork but consider xrays. At 13 you are right, you are just fighting the inevitable. My lab is 13 years old. He has perfect joints and bloodwork so far, but the decline in him over the last couple months is hard to deny.

You can ask vet to "treat conservatively". That means no diagnostics, just medicine. Now they will probably want to use steroids but they cant be given at the same time as rimadyl. If you think you would treat him I wouldnt give anymore rimadyl untill he is seen. What is the other med? Tramadol? That would be ok. Its good that he can move on his own. Does he cry at all?
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Re: need assistance with opie

Postby pat » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:27 pm

lg,

if it is a lesion on his spine, I don't see any cures, other than the steroids. I would think once the steroids are out of his system, he would be in the same condition is is now icon-sad
unless they give me steroids to him for life.

yes, the other pain med is tramadol.

Its good that he can move on his own. Does he cry at all?
he moved on his own only twice today, and it was not very long icon-sad no, he don't cry. he generally just lays there, and sometimes will try and get up, but then gives up, at least until he has to go to the bathroom.
he was always good about going outside. I tried giving him a couple more tramadol a little while ago, but, he would not eat anything. I put it in some chicken. He did eat this afternoon though.

this is just so heart breaking to see opie in this condition. :cry:
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Re: need assistance with opie

Postby Lasergrl » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:35 pm

the spine/disc can heal actually. Alot of times, these "down dogs" get an adrenoline rush when you take them to the vet. This helps them get up, and then getting the meds, is enough to keep them good for quite a long time. Sometimes they dont have any reoccurance. Of course, he could be just weak, from something else. Or, he could have a tumor that will just get worse. But, steroids can aleviate symptoms of tumors for a long time too. If you descide to put him down it certainly wouldnt be the wrong choice either. Its good to have some ideas of what might be going on before taking him in. That way they cant talk you into treatments you dont want to do, just because you arent prepared.
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Re: need assistance with opie

Postby Juska » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:48 pm

My old dog Max, a few weeks before we had to put him down from sheer old age (he was well over 21 years old), had a very hard time walking and going out to the bathroom. After a while, he would just go to the back door and do his business, he wouldn't even try getting out the dog door or go down the stairs off the deck.

I didn't try the knuckling test Lasergirl suggested with Max, though I do know of it, because I just knew he was too old to move around anymore. A few days before he went to the vet, he stopped eating, even if it was something soft and/or hand-fed. That's when we knew it was time, he was ready to go.

I agree with Lasergirl in that it may be a spinal problem. That's what it sounds like to me.

Here's a video of the test Lasergirl was talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpZvY4RztGg. In this video, the dog is healthy and reacts to his foot being folded under by correcting it. If Opie doesn't do that, there's a chance he has a problem.

Also, does it look like Opie is tripping over his own feet when he's walking, or dragging his feet when he walks? It might be Degenerative Myelopathy if those symptoms are present...but you see it more in big breeds like shepherds.
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Re: need assistance with opie

Postby astargirl22 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:00 am

i am so sorry pat that u are having to watch ur animal go through this! i can offer no advice but i truly feel for u!
HUGS!!!
~PROUD PARENT OF A SPOILED LITTLE SWIFT FOX NAMED BELLA AND A HANDSOME CHILL MARBLE FOX NAMED BARRETT~
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Re: need assistance with opie

Postby pat » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:07 am

thank you everyone for the support. It means a lot to me.

right now, I am beside myself. opie was up half the night with short barks about every 2 minutes. he quieted down in the middle of the night.

he manged to get up himself and went on the front porch early this morning.
where he still is. he is back to the barks again. I gave me 3 pain pill, with hope that will help.
he will eat a little. I hand fed him chicken.

now for my big problem, I decided I am going to take him to the vet.
I can't lift him, and neither can hubby. I called two of my friends,
and one can help, the other has to work until 6pm

I am having a very hard time dealing with opie being in distress.
honestly, I would rather see an animal dead rather than in a lot of pain and distress.

I will keep trying to find someone to help me with opie.

Honestly, I would rather him just die on his own.
but, I think lg is right about the disc problem.
his health is OK, I think.

thanks again, you guys are wonderful.
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Re: need assistance with opie

Postby Juska » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:14 am

Your vet won't come to your house to see him? Our vet will make house calls, if it's not possible to move an animal, or the owners would rather have it done in their home. We took Max to the vet because he was okay with the vet, but I think if I ever have to put another animal down I would want it in my home. I think it saves a lot of trouble, and driving while upset.
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Re: need assistance with opie

Postby pat » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:24 am

not sure if they would make a house call, I thought of it, but, I can call and ask.

they do house calls, but only for farm animals. and I would have to wait days before they showed up. but, never hurts to ask.

the only appointments they have today, is 1:20 and 2:20
my one friend can help at 1:20, but, I still need another guy.

he quieted down. I doubled his dose on pain meds, maybe that is why.
I tried giving him pain meds last night, but he would eat.
he did eat a little this morning.

I just want to get this over with. it just hurts me so bad to see him like this.
he always loved being outside. now, all he can do is lay down in pain.
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Re: need assistance with opie

Postby pat » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:32 pm

I took Opie to the vet at pm. he crossed the rainbow bridge.

vet said, he would not get better, and giving him steroids, would not last and not guarantee.

lasergrl was correct about his spine. the vet thinks that is what the problem was.

it is still possible he could have had cancer. but, the pain was from his spine.

a big thank to all.
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In memory of Opie. he is missed and will always be loved.
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Re: need assistance with opie

Postby BB » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:45 pm

I'm so sorry Pat! :cry: '
It is horrible to see them in pain. You made the right decision to go to the vet.

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