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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1093
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian since 1994. Special interests include pet birds and canine behavior.
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Our 8 year old boxer has developed several symptoms in the

Customer Question

Our 8 year old boxer has developed several symptoms in the past 2 weeks. foaming at mouth (no apparent irritative stimuli), twitching eyes, cocked head, some bumping into furniture/unsteady, diarrhea (but that's subsided -antibiotics/probiotics x3days), extreme panting, irritation. no blood work done nor MRI- (can't afford MRI). Vet suggested TIA or brain tumor. thoughts?


also:  this morning she has yelped a few times when she was moving slowly in a circle, her chin was up, hind quarters tucked under and tail tucked under.  

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Jo :

Hello,

Dr. Jo :

This is Dr. Jo and I will do my best to help you with your questions about Luna. I'm so sorry she is showing these symptoms and you are facing such scary and serious potential diagnoses.

Dr. Jo :

I'm also sorry I wasn't online to help you right away before. If you return online and wish to join the conversation, please type in what you want to say and click REPLY. Even if I am not online at the moment, I will be notified of your response via email.

Dr. Jo :

While I cannot comment on the precise nature of Luna's particular problem as accurately as the vets who have seen and examine her, I will tell you this honest answer:

Dr. Jo :

When I read through through the information you provided about the symptoms Luna is showing and then saw that she is an 8-year-old boxer, a brain tumor and TIA came to mind as the two most likely possibilities to cause those types of symptoms in that kind of dog.

Dr. Jo :

I'm so sorry, but I have no reason to doubt what your vet is saying

Dr. Jo :

This has to be devastating news. I'm so sorry. I'm also glad you are looking for the information you will need to navigate through all of this for Luna.

Dr. Jo :

While an MRI or CT scan is usually the only way to diagnose these types of problems, please rest assured that those options are not available to many pet owners. Our job as veterinarians is to help each pet owner do the best they can for their pets within their own unique situations. Your vet should still be able to help you with a plan for what to do from here.

Dr. Jo :

It looks like you've already pursued a generous part of that plan by trying some treatments (Rimadyl, antibiotics, probiotics). That's good. That allows you to see if you can start to relieve her symptoms even a little bit by treating the types of problems that are easily treated.

Dr. Jo :

That should give you some peace of mind.

Dr. Jo :

But the news remains sad when you've tried these things for several days and it doesn't seem to help. I'm so sorry.

Dr. Jo :

I see you are online now. Good. Simply type in what you want to say and click REPLY.

Customer:

yes, she has been on the rimadyl and antibiotics for 4 days now. all of the symptoms are quite acute except for diarrhea which has subsided

Customer:

in fact, the yelping has worsened and continuous panting, so rimadyl seems to ineffective. what do you think this might be?

Dr. Jo :

Based on everything you are describing, the most common thing that would cause a dog like Luna to do things like this is - so sadly - a brain tumor.

Dr. Jo :

I'm so sorry.

Customer:

ugh.

Customer:

yes, me too.

Dr. Jo :

My heart goes out to you.

Customer:

husband is away with kids until tomorrow. she is in great pain and discomfort. so am trying to figure out what to do.

Dr. Jo :

Boxers are such awesome dogs, but the incidence of cancer in boxers is higher than in all other breeds.

Dr. Jo :

Oh, no.

Customer:

so, option 1: emergency vet- palliative care

Customer:

2. euthanize today based on emergency vet agreement on diagnosis

Dr. Jo :

You know your husband best, XXXXX XXXXX loving and compassionate choice for euthanasia is an opportunity to rise above our selfish tendencies. I know I would feel terrible if someone in my family made my dog "wait" until I was home if the waiting could not be accomplished humanely.

Dr. Jo :

Agreed.

Dr. Jo :

I would expect that a trip to the emergency vet for palliative care would most likely result in her needing to be sedated.

Dr. Jo :

In other words, she will not likely be able to achieve relief from her symptoms and still be her normal, interactive Luna self.

Customer:

thank you- I would like to share this with my husband- can send him an email.

Dr. Jo :

Good. I'm glad you can get in touch with him.

Dr. Jo :

He needs to know that things are at a crisis point for Luna.

Dr. Jo :

Because, yes... this is a crisis.

Customer:

yes- I can see that- one more question- what do you think the emergency vet would do for palliative care? sedation? what would that be and could she come home?

Dr. Jo :

Right ... I do think it will require sedation to relieve Luna's symptoms.

Dr. Jo :

I cannot comment as to how another vet would proceed, but if she were my patient I would very likely resort to having to sedate her to relieve her symptoms. It is not likely she would be able to come home and it is not likely she would have a normal level of consciousness. In other words, she would be alive, but she wouldn't be aware.

Dr. Jo :

:-(

Customer:

thank you for all your information and guidance. I really appreciate. I will sign off now.

Dr. Jo :

It's been my pleasure to do what I can to help at this difficult time. Thank you for using our website. I'll keep you and Luna in my thoughts and will be wondering how things go.

Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1093
Experience: Small animal veterinarian since 1994. Special interests include pet birds and canine behavior.
Dr. Jo and other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


thank you once again for your advice and comforting words. I took Luna to the emergency vet and she indeed concurred that this was a brain tumor. she felt that the mass was on the left side of the brain as she was walking in circles to the right at home and at the vets.
The vet, Dr. Krause, also witnessed what she labeled a "focal seizure", at which point she gave luna a shot of valium. Which, unfortunately made her even more agitated and walking in circles even more. But what was clear was that this was a pretty clear diagnosis. We put her to rest. I am at peace with the decision. Your advice really helped me after such a difficult few days. I appreciate your service and am lucky to have found this site! Sincerely, Emily Helmboldt

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
I am so sorry for your loss, but so glad to hear you say you are at peace with the decision. I'm also grateful Luna is at peace. You did a wonderful thing for her.

Thank you for inviting me in to be a part of it.

PS: Sometimes the website sends out an automated follow-up call a few days after an encounter. I apologize, but I haven't figured out a way to make sure it doesn't happen. Please understand that if you receive a personalized-looking message from me asking how Luna is doing, it was from a computer. I apologize in advance for the insensitive message that would send.

Thank you, again.

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