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Results from Boy's visit to Texas A&M

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You're not going to believe this.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with his neck or spine. My vet doesn't know what the hell she's talking about. He has a perfectly normal neck and spine. I'll explain later.


That said, something caused his back end to go weak. Add that up with a few other things from last year and recently, and a new finding on his neuro exam today, and the neurologist says he should have an MRI of the brain.


They drew blood to send off to North Carolina where they will do extensive testing. I should have the results within the next week.


It was a very long drive and I didn't get much sleep, so I'll pop back in late tonight.


I'm pleased to know that there is nothing wrong with his spine though. I'll take that bit of good news!

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Holy Crap. It just never ends for you, huh?


Geez...well...um...yeah!!! Maybe, I don't know. Sure would be nice to have an answer as clear cut as his x-ray. Now you are back to the drawing board. Sorry!



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I'm still half asleep.


I don't know what to think about today's visit. I'll be looking for a new vet though.


I don't know how to describe his x-rays, but he showed me them one by one and explained how my vet was mistaken. He brought out a skeletal model also and we went over that too. Boy's neck, spine, and hips are normal, and my vet simply doesn't know what the heck she is talking about.


That's the good news.


The bad news is that they are looking at his brain as the cause of his problems, and that's never good.


The neuro exam today showed a new thing. They will turn the foot so that the top of the foot is on the ground. A normal dog will put his foot back into a normal position. He was a bit slow in doing that with his left foot. He was also slow in hopping on his left leg.


On the other hand, pressing on his neck and spine did NOT seem to cause any discomfort like it did last time.


Bending his head back again resulted in his eye not doing what it should. Also, his reflexes were again exaggerated.


Boy's chest was covered in drool when I got him back from the exam. This would be another example of anxiety where there was none before.


Here's part of what the discharge summary says:


Diagnosis: Open, pending MRI results. Rule out intracranial disease affecting the brain or brainstem.


The most efficient means of diagnosing a small lesion affecting his brain or brainstem is an MRI. Depending on the size and type of lesion, a CT scan may be able to pick it up, but an MRI should be the most sensitive tool for looking for a subtle lesion.

I'll call tomorrow and make the appointment for the MRI in a couple weeks. We should have the blood test results back by then, and more money too.


This is all so reminiscent of when I had my brain tumor. What a huge pain in the butt that whole thing was. It's not something I want to be reminded of.


Denise, your post is so perfect! I couldn't have written it better myself.


Like I mentioned before, Boyden has been acting nice and normal for over a week now. He's been running and playing as usual too. At least now I won't have to worry about him hurting himself in the process. :rolleyes:


I'm just not going to worry unless he starts acting funny again.


I'm going back to bed shortly. I is tired! Thanks for your prayers today. I don't feel sad or even worried really. I'm in familiar territory now - been there, done that, so I'm ok with it. I'm basically shaking my head and rolling my eyes, convinced that God does have a sense of humor! My life is never dull. :D

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Good grief, Miz! Still - it doesn't sound quite as grim as the previous x-ray readings. And it is good to hear that he's been a happier Boy these last few days - long may that continue.


He is such a lucky pupster that you guys are prepared to stick with him, and do all you can to help him. (And Fynne.)


If it's right that what goes around, comes around, you guys must be due some good fortune soon! Sleep well!

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The neuro exam today showed a new thing. They will turn the foot so that the top of the foot is on the ground. A normal dog will put his foot back into a normal position. He was a bit slow in doing that with his left foot. He was also slow in hopping on his left leg.
A friend has been sending e-mail updates on her dog---Piper's sister---following back surgery. The test described above is one I just read about in this e-mail link: Disc Disease. Scroll waaaay down to "Proprioceptive deficits." (For the record, this was not the hospital where her dog had surgery, but my friend said it was the best article on the disease that she could find on the Web.)


Miz, I thought of you as soon as I started reading the article, but now that the A&M docs say Boy's spine looks OK, it's probably moot. Good luck with him! It's miserable, worrying about a dog you love...

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This is the same test they performed on my old Cap dog. They would stand him on all fours and postion one of his back paws so that he was standing with it knuckled over. The toes pointed backwards. A normal dog would correct this instantly but my fellow just stood there in that position for a few minutes before he corrected it. This shows that the messages from the foot are being delayed to the brain. My dogs diagnosis was spinal degenerative mylepathy--where the myelin sheath on the spinal cord starts breaking down and interupts the flow of messages to the brain. My old guy was wobbly in both back legs but more on one side. He didn't seem to be in any pain. He was put on Prednisone and that killed the inflamation and slowed the progression of the disease. The prednisone gave him raging thirst and over time affected his mind. After two years I had to have him put to sleep. Now my dog was already old and also had an enlarged heart and a problem with his throat. He was my best buddy and was put down just last week at 13 years of age, one day past his birthday. Your dog is still young--isn't he about 5? My point in all this is that if it is a spinal mylepathy like my Cap had that it is managable and not painful. Good luck. Mona

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