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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16265
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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She's 16 and is having trouble raising her head, as well as

Customer Question

She's 16 and is having trouble raising her head, as well as red gums. I was a vet tech for 10 years but that was almost 20 years ago
JA: Oh no! I'm sorry to hear that. What is the head's name?
Customer: Simi
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Simi?
Customer: She has vistibular syndrome and has gotten really weak in her back end over the last 6 mos.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two. I'll let you know when it is your turn.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you with your wee onetoday.

What species is Simi (since it has not been listed in your information)?

How long has she had these new signs?

Does she seem dizzy? Any rapid flickering of her eyes (nystagmus)?

With such a long term vestibular issue, has her vet done any other testing to make sure nothing else is afoot?

What treatments is she on?

Are her back legs weak or does she drag them or try to walk on the tops of her paws?

Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count her breaths for 10 seconds + multiply by 6)?

Are her gums pink or pale/white?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
She's a staff/husky/shepher mix. All her bloodwork looks great, she does have breathing problems and it's suspected that she's got goths in her nasal/sinuses.
Her gums are very dark almost red. This just started an hour ago and she can't lift her head or raise her chest up, front legs won't straighten.
Rear end weakness has been getting worse over the last 6-9 mos. Sometimes she drags her left leg.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Sorry that was growths in nasal
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Breathing rate is very unstable ay 18 now
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
She gets benedryl and tramadol. She was on rimadyl but I opted to give tramadol instead, it was working fine.
We put her on a short round of prednisone and she snapped.back aND was doing well.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you,

I have to say that I am quite worried about Simi.

Now her breathing rate is on the low side here, so the darkening of her gums is a bit of a concern. If they are fire engine red, we'd be concerned about hyerpemia and possible sepsis, heart issues or shock. This doesn't really fit with anything we know from her previous history but would raise concerns of a toxicity or lurking infection in the blood stream....

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

And I'd be concerned that her weakness and the breathing decline is the start of decompensation.

Otherwise, with her long term vestibular issues despite the treatments you have noted, I do have to warn you that his makes issues like brain based diseases (ie masses, swellings, bleeds, etc) or a persistent middle ear issue more likely. Vestibular disease tends to resolve in days to weeks in dogs and often isn't long term like this. Furthermore, her back leg weakness does fit with arthritis but the dragging does again make brain based issues the biggest concern. ...

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

With everything in mind, if you are sure she has had no toxic exposures, I'd again be worried about sepsis and her heart. But with her other signs, there is also concern about increases in the intracranial pressure being exerted on her brain. If we have one of those aforementioned concerns getting worse, it could press on the brain and depress the breathing rate. So, this too is a real worry here for Simi....

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Therefore, considering all of this, I am sure you can appreciate that we are in a very serious situation. Therefore, we'd really want to have her seen urgently for supportive care (IV fluids, IV steroids +/- even mannitol to reduce pressure on the brain.

In this situation, it would be prudent to get your wee one to the emergency vet. To find your local ER veterinary clinic, you can check http://www.vetlocator.com/

www.veccs.org/index.php?option=com_hospitals&nationid=1&Itemid=193

Please take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok thanks. I'm debating whether to wait til my vet opens at 8 or go to an emergency vet.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Therefore, considering all of this, I am sure you can appreciate that we are in a very serious situation. Therefore, we'd really want to have her seen urgently for supportive care (IV fluids, IV steroids +/- even mannitol to reduce pressure on the brain.

In this situation, it would be prudent to get your wee one to the emergency vet. To find your local ER veterinary clinic, you can check http://www.vetlocator.com/

www.veccs.org/index.php?option=com_hospitals&nationid=1&Itemid=193

Please take care,

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

With the sudden deterioration, if this was my patient, I'd not wait Its just a bit risky if there is increased ICP putting pressure on her brain.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
She's finally settled down and quit pacing. Ok thanks I'll call and let.them know I'm on my way.
Thanks for your assistance
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

You are very welcome,

Best wishes with Simi,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.