Something going on with Smokey?

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BarksaLot
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Something going on with Smokey?

Postby BarksaLot » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:29 am

Poor old Smoke he's showing his age, 15, Austrian Shepherd maybe. The last episode we had with him was the bad case of diarrhea. The vet mentioned then about a condition that Shepherds have with their back end going down. Smoke sinks down in his back legs. Sometimes he walks full up, he can have a spring in his step walking toward the house when he sees us like oh good, there you are let me in.

Lately he has lost muscle, he is so thin to begin with, when he squats to poop he loses his balance and butt plants in it, smears it all over him, lots of clean up, washing him off. This morning I found pancake poop in our laundry area, I thought it was diahrea but I think he landed on it. So then he ate, while I had a bite, then go out there and he'd pooped again, walked in it, made mush. So then the routine again cleaning up, washing the floor. Then clean up him so I could let him in, his back end was pooped. So I grabbed the hose rather than hauling him to the bathtub, yeah it was cold, but at least the sun was out a bit warmer. So I'm holding his tail, he's pulling away while I squirt him, either the tail pulling or I got water up his butt, so he sputters out soft poop. Now I'm thinking maybe hold off feeding him 12 hours or so, and maybe rice/hamburger for dinner.

Last week he got a bath to wash his rear, while Bill was holding him in the tub he pooped and pooped in the tub - remember like when your kids were little and they pooped in the tub - they were normal, but filled the toilet. So don't know if he was backed up and his not being able to posture doesn't keep him regular. He takes 100 mg Gabapentin, maybe that constipated him a bit

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MaisyPancakes
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Re: Something going on with Smokey?

Postby MaisyPancakes » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:17 pm

Oh, poor Smokey and you. :( 100 mg isn't a high dose for gabapentin, but it can make dogs wobbly and almost sleepy a bit. Because of that, age-related cognitive changes can seem exacerbated while they're on it. I wonder if it might help you guys to get a harness for the rear or even a towel to help hoist him up somehow? Might be hard with just a towel for pooping since it'll probably slide up towards the chest, though. Like you said, I think it's common for dogs who can't maintain a poop/pee position long enough to have incomplete BMs, etc.

Not sure how long he's had the soft poops or the cause—but unless he's always bounced right back on the hamburger/rice, I might try something less fatty for the meat, and really cook the rice to a total mush/congee texture. Slippery elm may help, too.

Hope he feels better, soon.

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Re: Something going on with Smokey?

Postby BarksaLot » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Did rice and hamburger for a few meals. He never repeated any soft poop. He had to have another bath to clean his back side since I started this thread. He pooped in the tub again. He sleeps so much I don't know if he's pooping as much as he used to,probably not. Bill shaved his rear and back legs to make it easier to clean him up. He had a couple times yesterday that it didn't look like he'd fallen in the poop, it didn't look smeared mashed. I don't give him Gabapentin every day, maybe every other day. We figured with his age and his trouble standing fully he needed a little pain meds. He's lost so much weight he can barely stand 100mg Gabapentin, a larger dose paralysis him, as it is he sleeps for hours. I was even splitting the 100 mg capsules into empty vitamin capsules I'd saved, so he got roughly 50mg twice a day. When I ran out of those I started giving him a whole pill 100mg. That might be too much. I haven't tried just sprinkling in his food. Think it would taste bad?

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LisaT_II
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Re: Something going on with Smokey?

Postby LisaT_II » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:10 pm

DM, their is a GSD version, and a non-GSD version. Degenerative Myelopathy (sp?). It's also a catch-all that vets diagnose when they don't know what else to do. These can be the same symptoms as other degenerative conditions, very often those of the spine. There are some links here: http://germanshepherdhome.net/forum/ubb ... #Post48613

I'm sorry that Smokey has taken such a decline :-(
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Re: Something going on with Smokey?

Postby BarksaLot » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:15 pm

He probably has a degenerative spine condition. I took a look at the links Lisa. There was one with photos, but they called those straight leg GS, their back legs didn't bend. Smokeys back end sinks down, although sometimes he walks fully extended. Not sure it is if he's fatigued or his lower back goes out, I don't know if it's his spine, or weak back legs. This young vet we saw mentioned something about a paralysis in GS that would eventually affect breathing and that other shepherd breeds also have the condition, i.e. Australian Shepherds like Smoke or is that what you meant about non GSD versions?

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Re: Something going on with Smokey?

Postby LisaT_II » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:27 pm

Yes, the straight-legged is something entirely different.

DM in most breeds behaves like ALS in humans. However, GSDs have a second type they can have which some say behaves like MS in humans. The AKC test tests for the ALS version.

Definitely it could be severe spinal stuff, and i'm sure there are non-named degenerative type of conditions too. :-(
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Re: Something going on with Smokey?

Postby BarksaLot » Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:16 pm

Interesting. Will have to read up on it.


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