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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 8 yo standard started to show muscle weakness in her hind end about 4 months ago. She stopped wanting to jump up into the car, as her back feet would not always make it/drag a bit. I took a note, and wondered if she was just starting to get a little arthritic. Then she started to develop issues with her balance, and they got progressively worse, fairly quickly. Her balance and coordination was very bad, and she began dragging a hind toe a bit, but she did not appear to be in pain and her reflexes remained normal.


Her regular vet did some basic bloodwork, radiographs of her spine and neck, and put her on rest and carprofen for two weeks.They believe she may have a spinal disc compression or inflammation. The vet though she might see a bit of narrowing between the C4-C5 vertebrates on the radiographs, but her in-house specialist did not. They referred her to a neurological specialist in another practice. The specialist was not able to see her for 6 weeks, and in that time she got progressively better without medication, until she was almost normal. The specialist gave her a basic workup and quoted another 4k testing if I wanted to gather more info, but because she was improving I decided to wait. They said to email if it got worse.

She woke up a few days ago in very clear pain, limping on the front foot, not wanting to flex her neck, wining, laying down to eat or drink. This is different then how it manifested before, with clear pain rather then unsteadiness and localized to her neck and front shoulder. I emailed a video to the specialist and haven’t heard back. I emailed her vet to see if I could start her back on carprofrin for pain/inflammation.

I’m not really sure were to go from here. If I spend the 4K on the MRI/Spinal tap, I don’t really have the funds to DO anything once they diagnose. I am hoping that the carprofrin will help with pain. I did acupuncture through a local holistic vet with my last senior dog, and for the cost of the testing the neurologist wants to do I can pay for a lot of pain management visits.

But I’m just wondering if there is a genetic conditioning that poodles are prone to that would match this range of symptoms?
 

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i don't think you should view this as related to the first signs. Clearly something different seems to be happening now. The only thing that might connect the two problem sets (and tenuously at that) is that the first images perhaps showed a cervical disc compression and now she seems to be having pain perhaps in her neck and a nerve pinch in a cervical spinal nerve.


All that said I hope you get some clear answers and clear relief for your girl asap.
 

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I am so sorry this has happened with Nemo. Could you ask your regular vet, if she had to choose, which $2K test of the two would she bet on to give you clarity given the bloodwork and X-rays if that’s all she could spend? Maybe the answer is that both are absolutely necessary, but you need to ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The test are a $3,200 MRI (what my vet recommended and why she sent me to the specialist- but she though it was a 2k test, apparently they have increased their prices), and an $800 spinal tap (to catch if it’s viral/bacterial, which is less likely).
 

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So an MRI. I hope that price is all inclusive: sedation, reading and consult. At least you know with rest and medication, Nemo can function. Maybe there are better medications and nothing further will be needed. Always hopeful, hugs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The MRI does include sedation. Each visit is $199.

I just got off the phone with her primary vet and explained her new symptoms and my concerns. She is fairly certain it is disk inflammation, and stressed again how critical it is to keep her calm and still. She was feeling so much better that she had started to jump up onto the bed and couch again, and the vet said that she is going to feel better again before it full heals.

Right now she is putting her on some stronger pain killers, but as she starts to improve we may have to look at sedating her and/or putting her in a room with no furniture/distractions. She has mild separation anxiety and can’t be crated which limits my options somewhat.
 

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The MRI does include sedation. Each visit is $199.

I just got off the phone with her primary vet and explained her new symptoms and my concerns. She is fairly certain it is disk inflammation, and stressed again how critical it is to keep her calm and still. She was feeling so much better that she had started to jump up onto the bed and couch again, and the vet said that she is going to feel better again before it full heals.

Right now she is putting her on some stronger pain killers, but as she starts to improve we may have to look at sedating her and/or putting her in a room with no furniture/distractions. She has mild separation anxiety and can’t be crated which limits my options somewhat.
Too bad she can’t be in a crate. Is she capable of wearing a harness ? If so I would put a leash on her and tie her to something solid, right next to her bed, with only 2 feet of slack at most. Just enough so she can turn around and sit up.

I hope she gets better soon with rest and medication.
 

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Although I have only seen this disease in GSDs the symptoms are very like 'Degenerative Myelopathy' in that it starts with rear end weakness that is not painful.........Google it!


P.S. There is a test for it. And both Mini and Standard poodles are on the 'most likely list'
 
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