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Denver ER Doc
Denver ER Doc, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1495
Experience:  Small Animal Medicine and Surgery Internship, Veterinary Acupuncture trained, Wildlife and Exotics
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i have a 15 m.o. female beagle. this week she has experienced

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i have a 15 m.o. female beagle. this week she has experienced anorexia, lethargy, decreased thirst, tremors, yelping intermittently especially when petting. we have had her to the vet who did fecal analysis for worms and gave sq fluids. no labs. prescribed metronidazole, cefpodoxime and heartguard. no visible signs of trauma and palpable masses, fractures or easily seen ticks. 2 days of antibiotics so far with very minimal improvement. does urinate and takes in small amounts of fluids. eats very little. we live near a state lake in sw pa and have 2 other beagles that are fine. I am an RN and a little puzzled as my tricks have not worked.
Hi there,

Young adult beagle: tremors, acting abnormally, decreased appetite, yelping when petting . . . Sounds like pain to me.

WIll she let you move her neck in full range of motion? She should be able to touch her chin to her chest, touch her chin to each shoulder, and look fully upward. If she has no issue with that, does she yelp when you push on either side of her spine while going down her back?

Dr. Paul
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

she does ambulate. kind of drags her right foot. yelped when I picked her up, especially tender rt chest area at times. she will have spasms and her whole body shakes. she will lay and wag her tail and raise her eyebrows when she sees one of us. allows us to give her droppers of h2o or powerade. she does seems to have full rom at times and then again not at others. it is hit or miss. does not seem skeletal.

Dragging right front or rear?

Dr. Paul
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

front paw and back slightly, but really favors the rt. almost mimics neuromuscular issues. No bite marks noted or scabs. She is white and light red. the lethargy worries me. still urinating and drinking water on her own.

From what you describe, first thing on my list would be neck pain. With the lameness, it sounds like either a cervical disc protrusion or a root signature. Cervical discs often manifest as forelimb lameness due to impingement on the nerves as they emerge from the cervical spine. The sporadic nature is common as it can depend on which way they move and on waxing/waning inflammation. It would explain the pain, lameness, lethargy, inappetance, etc.

Young beagles are overrepresented for cervical disc disease, usually at C3-C4.

I would get her checked out to confirm the diagnosis. Initial therapy typically consists of a tapering corticosteroid regimen, opiate pain medication as needed, and possibly a muscle relaxant (much of the pain is due to spasm of the dorsal neck muscles). Adjuncts such as acupuncture and laser can be very helpful as well.

Hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Dr. Paul
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you. we will have her rechecked by our vet on Monday, just had her there Thursday. what can we do in the mean time? I don't have straight narcotic - just combo vicodin and vicoprofen. I do have ec aspirin and I have prednisone 10mg (left over from bout of poison ivy) any recommendations

Well, here's where it gets tough.

By law, I can't prescribe without examining her. And there are really no good, safe, over-the-counter NSAIDs for dogs. Aspirin almost always causes gastric ulcers, and ibuprofen can kill them.

If your vet doesn't have any hours today, your only good option is to have her seen at an ER, at least to get confirmation of diagnosis and get her on a pain control/antiinflammatory regimen.

Wish I had a better answer than that, but Veterinary Practice Law is very specific, and the penalties dire.

Dr. Paul
Denver ER Doc and other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i understand that you cannot prescribe without an exam, but with steroid treatment what do they hypothetically administer as a dose

Published doses generally run 0.5 mg per kg of body weight twice a day for 3 days, then once a day for 3-5 days.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

your advice has been most helpful and reassuring ... we have spoken to a local kennel as well

Great! Happy to answer any follow ups if you need me.

Hi Pam,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Beagle. How is everything going?

Denver ER Doc
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

she was put to sleep may 1st after repeat visit to our local vet. they did blood work and cxr and abdominal xray. her renal functions were off the chart including phosphorus. basic chemistry was okay: Na, K,Cl & CO2. glucose was 577 with no oral intake for over 24hrs. she began vomiting Monday and then would only take a few sips of h2o but nothing else. The vet recommended ultrasound to check for congenital defect and overnight stay with hydration, send home on pain/sedation(not eating or drinking) or putting her to sleep. I made the very difficult decision to put her to sleep and then she started to dry heave and became tremulous and I left the room. Your attempt to assist without physical exam was not the issue, it was our vet who dropped the ball last week when he did not do blood work before she got that bad. $525 later and I lost the best dog I have ever had in my life.

Pam, I am so sorry to hear that.

You're in my thoughts.

Dr. Paul