mastiff with rear end problem

Discussion in 'Health & Nutritional Care' started by maryl, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. maryl

    maryl Well-Known Member

    I have a 2 yr. old intact male EM who has never shown any weakness or lameness in the rear. Yesterday my husband took him out in the yard to play soccer. Carson went after the ball and my husband said his rear collapsed under him. He tried to get up but was unable and just lay down. He never made a sound, was perfectly alert and was up in about 3-4 min, moving well with no limping or lameness. He had an incident about 1 yr. ago when he was swimming but we thought he just had a leg cramp after being in the water for about an hour (do dogs get leg cramps?). I have a vet appointment, but I just thought I would put this out there.
  2. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    Okay so I had something similar happen with my senior dog and it turned out to be a back issue with him. The vet wanted to do some highly invasive and highly expensive surgery which given his age wouldnt be great.

    We went to a chiropractor for a second opinion. After just three visits the issue was completely resolved and he was happy and pain free.... soo maybe look into chiropractors also.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    I was going to suggest an MRI, but they're not cheap. Around here (Seattle), they can run $1500-$2000...
  4. maryl

    maryl Well-Known Member

    Well, I went to the vet and she said with no history of injury and no obvious pain, I should be considering epilepsy. I just don't know. I'm a nurse and I didn't notice any symptoms of epilepsy; no twitching, no loss of conscienceness, no loss of bladder/bowel control, no post- ictall stage. The whole episode only lasted 2-3 min and then he was up and acting normal. Maybe an MRI is the only way to know.
  5. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry you weren't able to get an answer from the vet. The only experience I have with hind end weakness ended up being Degenerative Myelopathy. That's usually an older dog's issue, so I don't think that's a consideration here. I hope you are able to get some answers. Please let us know how things are going.
  6. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Hopefully (?) it was just a one-time 'stinger' and won't come back.

    I'd probably just keep an eye on him, add in some good joint support and maybe some turmeric (golden paste) for natural anti-inflammatory support... and let his body heal itself (if there was something there).

    I'd probably also be doing some back massages, to try and get a 'feel' for how the spine is doing, so you can notice if anything changes.
  7. maryl

    maryl Well-Known Member

    Nik, how did you know that you dog had a back problem? Did it show up on xray or did you do an MRI?
  8. Iulicris88

    Iulicris88 Well-Known Member

    Did your vet X-ray your pups back? I had a dog with back issues and it turned out to be two vertebrae that were two close to each other and would pinch a nerve. His episodes were quite painful, though, but it would go down after a shot of steroids.
  9. maryl

    maryl Well-Known Member

    My vet said it didn't make sense to xray because there was no injury and Carson had no obvious discomfort when checked. I did ask her about back issues. She thought I would have seen more symptoms more often if it was a back problem. He runs around and plays as usual with no weakness/lameness.
    Thanks everyone for the interest, when it's your baby you just worry.
  10. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    Maryl - This was a few years ago so I may not have all the details crystal clear in memory but I will give it a shot here...

    Cerberus had a very similar thing happen as to your dog. He was fine and then his legs went out from under him and he couldn't walk or anything. I was in an absolute panic over it and we rushed him to the vet. If I remember correctly the vet said it was a seizure but that it was likely caused by a pinched nerve to the spinal chord. We did do an xray but really he would have needed an mri (very expensive) before they went into surgery (even more expensive and not a good option at his age).

    We were very worried and upset and thought we were looking at the end when my boss mentioned something very similar happenning to his senior dog and this chiropractor he took her to which resolved the whole thing. So we were desperate to help our boy and decided to give it a shot.

    This guy did an exam and reviewed the xrays we had. And he confirmed it was an issue with his spine/pinched nerve/back issues. He also showed us video (before and after) of several previous clients he had who had very similar situations and some who were much worse off than our Cerberus (unable to walk at all etc). The work, the videos, the testimonials were all pretty miraculous and I had a hard time believing that just chiropractic could have those sorts of results. I am a sceptic. The way the chiropractor explained it is that dogs spinal chords are more spread out than ours (Unless it is opposite... sorry my memory here is foggy). What this means is that anything out of alignment has much more severe impact on the dog. But, it also means that adjustments are much more simple and quicker to results than on humans. So what might take a human years of visits and adjustments to fix could be accomplished in just a few visits with a dog.

    Since we didn't want to put him through surgery at his age and honestly the prices we had been quoted weren't even in the realm of possibility for us (I'm talking over $50,000). That just isn't something I even have credit card space for much less on hand in cash. So the chiropractor was only $75 a visit. Very doable for us. We did the first visit ... he did an adjustment and then he also had this machine ( ultra sound or something). After two visits Cerberus was more limber, energetic and playful than I had seen him in years afterwards. It was a night and day difference. We did a third visit to be safe and he never had another incident for the remainder of his life. Just before he passed I was actually considering taking him back for a tune up just to be on the safe side and to keep him feeling good in his old age but it had been a couple years since his visits and he was still doing absolutely fantastic.

    Prior to the incident that had led to the chiropractic Cerberus had been slower to get up and sit down... we just attributed it to old age. But, I had also heard stories of young dogs that were not in any sort of pain or compromised prior to this sort of incident... From my understanding it is just like people. You can twist or pull something wrong and then boom lots of pain.

    If you have access to a good dog chiropractor in your area I would say it is worth it. Honestly I would do it for any dog even one who hasn't had an incident. Especially with our larger breed dogs.
  11. dpenning

    dpenning Well-Known Member

    That is really interesting Nik, any suggestions on how to find a dog chiropractor?
  12. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    Well I got very lucky because my boss gave me the referral. However, I also double checked on Yelp for my area and the same chiropractor recommended by my boss and the best feedback.... So maybe try Yelp?

    The other thing you could try is if you have a human chiropractor you like and trust you could ask them if they know anybody.... I would say ask your vet (if you trust them) but a lot of times traditional medicine whether human doctors or animal doctors seem to be against alternative health things like chiropractors.

    For anybody who is local the bay area, CA (San Jose, CA or nearby) I am happy to provide my own highly recommended referral.... I am only disappointed my guy doesn't do people too because I am desperate need of some help with my own back also.
  13. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    Oh I should also mention that after using our dog chiropractor a chiropractor I saw for myself mentioned he also does dogs. He says he does it weekly for his own dogs just as part of their regular care.... I never used him for Cerberus because we were so satisfied with the guy we had taken him to but it is worth mentioning that some people chiropractors also do pets or will be willing to do pets because they may already do it for their own pets.
  14. dpenning

    dpenning Well-Known Member

    very cool info, thanks Nik!
  15. maryl

    maryl Well-Known Member

    Thanks Niki, I'm going to look in to it.
  16. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    My mom's brother in law is a human chiropractor and he's given the dogs of relatives adjustments.
  17. Traci R. "Goofy"

    Traci R. "Goofy" New Member

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  18. Traci R. "Goofy"

    Traci R. "Goofy" New Member

    Hi everyone. Our story is a bit different...

    I have an 8 year old daughter and she'd been asking me all year if she could have a dog for Christmas. The last 2 years have been the most difficult and painful that I'll ever go thru (divorce, custody battle, losing my mom, hospitalized for 6 weeks, etc.), so I honestly didn't think adding a dog into the messy mix would be a good thing for anyone, including the prospective new pet. But, 2 days before Thanksgiving, while visiting my fiancee in Virginia, I was transported to the emergency room and remained in the hospital until December 23rd. Turns out I'd gone into septic shock due to infected abscesses on each fallopian tube. I missed Thanksgiving and Christmas with Alivia and by the time I returned home to California on January 1st, the idea of bringing a playful, affectionate, loyal companion into our tiny family, suddenly seemed like a wonderful plan... "wonderful" is an understatement.

    On January 17th, Alivia and I were looking online for a dog to adopt when we saw Goofy's profile listed with the San Diego Humane Society. When I read further and saw he was a mastiff, I knew for sure I wanted him, but also tried to remain practical. Keeping a huge dog in our truck during the week, seemed like a cruel and selfish thing to do to a dog. My fiancee is a CDL driver for Freymiller. We're gone together during the week and home on weekends. Nevertheless, I sent a message to the shelter inquiring about him. The next morning I got a call from them, she was responding to my message. At that point we were told that Goofy ("Mr. Grey" is what the shelter had named him) had been brought in approximately 3 months earlier, completely unable to walk. His hind legs could feel sensations, but for some unknown reason, he just wasn't able to get up and walk on the. All they knew of his history was that he'd been found in a hoarding home, tethered to chain, likely for a few months. Lab work, x-rays, cultures, physical exams... None of it provided any answers or even theories. Other than being lame, Goofy was a healthy and happy Neapolitan Mastiff puppy.

    Despite my inner belief that there was no way we could possibly care for a huge, apparently immobile, 200 lb giant, we got into the car and drove to the shelter to meet him. We were met by a volunteer who sat down with us to explain Goofy's needs in more detail. As it turned out, he'd actually began to stand on his own, and even walk with minimal assistance. The water therapy treatments he'd just started were helping tremendously. He no longer needed to be carried out, or propped up, when going potty. Each day he was making tons of progress and getting stronger. So, duh... Of course we had to meet him after that.

    The volunteer brought us out into the family yard, then went back inside to get "Mr. Grey". The door opened up again a few minutes later and out came this big, greyish blue, bright-eyed, super happy puppy. The very first thing he did was WALK right up to Alivia and slime her cheek with a kiss. She wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him tight. OMG, his head was bigger than hers... I knew right then, he was perfect. We did the paperwork, met with the vet who'd been treating him, he posed for a few pics with some of his volunteer admirers, then we took him home. Exactly 2 weeks later, Goofy received his official service dog certification. Turns out, he has a talent for alerting me and others of an impending seizure. Seven days earlier, I was struck with my first Gran Mal. A left over side effect from my 6 week hospital stay in Virginia. Crazy how we, technically, rescued Goofy, but he saved MY life

    OK, here's the relevant part of my long story.... 2 days ago, all of the progress Goofy has made - gone. He can barely walk or even stand on his own. Getting up from a laying position takes way more effort than we ever witnessed. It's only been 5 weeks since we met him and already regressing? What happened? Why the sudden 360• reversal? Will he get better again, or are we looking at the beginning of the end? His medical team has no answers yet and we're scheduled for more testing next week. How do I tell Alivia? How will she react when he can't chase her next weekend, or drag her around by his leash on walks? What happens if I have another seizure? So many questions, not nearly enough answers. I just keep praying for another miracle since he's already brought us so many.
  19. marke

    marke Well-Known Member

    if you already said , i missed it , is there a diagnosis for why he can't use his rear legs ? a large lame dog is in a pretty bad situation ........
  20. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    Traci, I'm so sorry this is happening to you. I'm afraid this post will get overlooked where it is. Maybe you can start a thread of your own in the general forum (I feel like that gets more views) so more people see this.

    Where are you located? Is it your regular vet that is doing testing? What kind of testing has been done already?

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