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Discussion Starter #1
Some of you may have read my post about my standard poodle Sam. He has been sick now for over 3 months. His major symptom is pain when getting up or down. Most of the time it seems like his back legs or hips, but sometimes it looks like his whole body is hurting. This came on very suddenly. He is not himself, most of the time he is lying down somewhere and will not even get up when someone knocks on the door, or when we come home. He does go outside and potties ok. He has some trouble on the stairs to get down to the yard but he manages. Sometimes after he has gone out to potty, he seems to loosen up and starts to behave like his old self. He will bounce around and get excited, but only for a few minutes. He lost alot of weight in the begining from not eating, but his appetite is back to normal now. He has been treated for a neck/back injury,(which I never really believed he had) with muscle relaxers and we saw no difference. He was put on antibiotics at the same time because he got a bad ear infection. Our vet didn't no what else to do, so she sent us to someone else. This vet has ruled out any type of arthritis, lyme disease, hip dysplasia, and all of his bloodwork (several tests) came back normal. He is on Deramaxx now, which I think is keeping him functioning, but not nearly as well as I'd hoped. Now we have run out of tests to run and medicines to try. He is still in pain and I'm not satisfied with giving up and saying this is as good as we can make him feel. I'm hoping that someone who reads this might have dealt with or know someone else who has dealt with similar symptoms and might know what we are missing. If I can get you to ask other pet owners or maybe you have a vet appt. soon, if you have a good relationship with him/her maybe you could mention his symptoms and get a few ideas. I know a long shot, but we are getting desperate. I don't know what else to do and I hate seeing him in constant pain. He is due for a refill on his Deramaxx next week and when we go in I'm hoping I can have a few things to suggest they look into. Thank you VERY much for any help!

Kristi & Sam
 

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Sam

I'm so sorry to hear about Sam. I wish I had some advice other than taking him to a vet clinic that has more resources and specialists. Are you in a larger city that might have one?
 

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Sorry to hear about Sam. Maybe it is a soft tissue injury that just needs a lot of time. What about more holistic treatments like massage therapy or acupunture to treat the pain? Just a thought. If they could only talk!! I hope he gets to feeling better.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We don't have anyplace nearby better than where we are taking him. Their is a veterinary college about 3 1/2 hours from here but we were told that it would cost at least $3500 to get initial tests, that would include an mri, then whatever the cost of treatment if they even find out what it is. We just can't do that right now, we have already spent over $2000 the last 3 months. I have not thought of looking for a holistic vet, I'll look into that tomorrow.
 

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My sympathies to you and Sam. This has to be really tough.

My first thought was to wonder about "ask the vet" websites.

Here's one that doesn't take questions, but offers some answers. I searched on "pain"; maybe one of these will be helpful:

http://www.petsdoc.com/html/askthevet/askthevetquestions/painfulcocker.html
http://www.petsdoc.com/html/askthevet/askthevetquestions/constipatedshepherd.html

These take questions for a fee:

http://www.drlarrypetvet.com/ask.html
http://www.ask-the-vet.com/

Here are some others:

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/show/112
http://pet.justanswer.com/

etc., etc. (All I did was type in "ask a vet" into Google. There may be other searches).

Now, of course, you may get a lot of not-very-helpful info. But whenever I'm sick, I do a pretty thorough Google search, and I have gotten good tidbits here and there that really made a difference.

Hang in there. We're all pulling for you and Sam.
 

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Im very sorry to hear that about your Sam. I will keep you both in my thought's and keep my finger's crossed they find a cure for him.....soon.
 

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Im sorry to hear about Sam, i know how hard it is to watch your dog in pain. My small mixed breed almost died from pancreatiasis but 2 days at the vet and $1800 dollars later she is back to her old self.
I dont really have any ideas what it is, i will ask around though and let you know. I just wanted to warm you about Sam being on pain meds on a daily basis. While it is helping him it can be weakening his kidneys also because they are processing it everyday. Im sure your vet warned you about this. I would see if there is something you can give him to help the kidneys.
Good luck with him and keep us posted. Oh and i would also call around to different specialists.
 

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I found this and thought it might help.

here are some groups that can help you afford the vet bills:

American Animal Hospital Association
http://www.aahahelpingpets.org/home/
"Through the AAHA Helping Pets Fund, veterinary care is possible for sick or injured pets even if they have been abandoned or if their owner is experiencing financial hardship."

Angels 4 Animals
www.Angels4Animals.org
"Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment
to those pets and pet owners in need."

Care Credit
www.carecredit.com
A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care.
"With a comprehensive range of plan options, for
treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, we offer a plan
and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every
budget."

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance (FVEAP)
http://www.fveap.org/sys-tmpl/door/
"Seniors, People with disabilities, People who
have lost their job, Good Samaritans who rescue a cat or kitten - any of these folks may need financial assistance to save a beloved companion."

The Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program is a nonprofit 501
(c)(3) organization that provides financial assistance to cat and
kitten guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save
their companions when life-threatening illness or injury strikes.

God's Creatures Ministry
http://www.all-creatures.org/gcm/help-cf.html
"This fund helps pay for veterinarian bills for those who need help."
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well we have another vet appt. this afternoon. We have a new symptom. Yesterday Sam had just come in from outside and my husband and I were standing next to him trying to decide what to do next with him and I reach down and just barely touched his back, between mid back and his shoulders, I don't know if my fingers even got past his fur to his skin, well his whole back, twitched strangly. I did it a few more times in a couple areas around that same spot and his muscles in his back would contract everytime. From just a small twitch where his skin would shift down toward his shoulder, to his whole body contracting from head to tail. It is really strange. I'm hoping it will be a clue to whatever is wrong. I am also worried about him being on Deramaxx for too long. I have read the horror stories about dogs on nsaids. I have looked into holistic vets and also chiropractors but I can't find anyone anywhere near us. Hopefully this new symptom will lead them to a diagnosis so that we can get him to feel better. Thank you all very much for your replies.
 

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Poor Sam - let's hope this new symptom will be a clue to what's wrong. My heart goes out to you! Sam is in my prayers!
Pam
 

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Poor Sam. The twitching sounds like soreness. Hopefully you will find out something at the vet. Ask your vet if she knows someone that does more holistic treatments. She should understand your concern with the nsaids. I'll be thinking about you and Sam.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We are waiting on more blood tests. Apparently there is a test called an autoimmune profile. I don't know why they didn't run this before, other than it is a little expensive. So far all has come back normal and we are only waiting for one more. So we still don't know anything. I was hoping to get the test back today but I guess they didn't, hopefully we will hear something tomorrow. It's getting REALLY frustrating testing for everything and having everything come back normal. He doesn't even so much as run a fever. They are still completely stumped. She talked about him seeing a neurologist or an internal medicine specialist(???) if the tests showed nothing, but I would really like to try him on prednisone if these tests come back normal, to me (I know, not a vet) it's the only thing they haven't tried. My inlaws have a yorkie that had a similar mysterious illness that was never diagnosed and he got better with prednisone. He is off of it now and still doing fine, with just some slight muscle weakness still noticable.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you everybody for all your replies, sometimes it helps to just vent a little. He got his last test back today and of course it came back normal. The vet has called in a script for steroids and he will be on a high dose over the weekend and then we will decide on Monday where to go from there depending on how he is doing then. I am really hopeful that he will be feeling much better. He is dirty and itching like crazy he needs to be groomed so badly, but I can't even comb him without him going nuts, so I hope if nothing else whatever this reaction to touch he is having will subside enough so we can clean him up. I think they know when they are clean and pretty and feel much better after being groomed. He needs to get his strut back! :)
 

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I hope the steroids are working. Maybe it won't be a long term thing. I once had that situation with a chihuahua. After a three week course of steroids he got better. Keeping Sam in my thoughts and prayers.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sam is Better!!! And not just a little better, he is doing REALLY good! He has had two doses of prednisone and he is getting up and down completely normally this morning! His back is not near as sensitive as it was, I'm hoping that goes away completely also. The vet, I think, is a little annoyed that she doesn't know what is causing his issues, but I don't care anymore I just wanted him to feel better. We will have to play with the prednisone and figure out exactly what dose and for how long to give it, but I think if we aren't out of the woods yet, we can definitly see the light. Thank you all for being so kind and praying for Sam!
 
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