Mystery illness in my dog- please help?

christined912

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Nov 24, 2023
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Eleanor
Hello! I have a bulldog mix (75% English, 25% American) and we've been unable to get a diagnosis for her symptoms. She started having episodes of heavy panting and trembling back in late spring, early summer, but they were infrequent and short. They also only seemed to occur in the evening hours of about 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., which was typically when she'd be the most alert/active/happy. Slowly over time they became more frequent and longer. My vet at first thought she was in pain, and prescribed a pain pill, but the pain pill didn't seem to touch it- she continued to pant/tremble. He then considered anxiety/dementia/sundowners, so he prescribed trazadone and gabapentin to try. Neither of those seemed to help, and she also got ataxia (not able to walk) when taking the gabapentin. She's had a urine test, blood test, ekg, echocardiogram, and chest xray. There appears to be no heart issue and she doesn't have Addison's. She's now scheduled for a cushing's test next week, but I'm scared because this past Wednesday she had the panting/trembling all day, off and on but mostly on, until I finally took her to the emergency vet at 3 a.m. Again, no diagnosis, but he did give a muscle relaxer/pain pill/anti-anxiety combo that seemed to work. She was fine but not herself all day yesterday, and slept last night, but woke up panting and not wanting to eat this morning. I gave her the 3-pill combo again, but I'm scared that she might not make it to the cushing's test next week, or that she will make it but it won't reveal a diagnosis. Has anyone had this type of trajectory of symptoms in their pet before? The first episodes a few months ago were about 5-10 mins, and sometimes accompanied by frantic behavior such as humping, licking, chewing bully sticks aggressively, and sometimes even barking (she's not a barker normally). And these behaviors were also performed looking right at me, as if she were trying to tell me something she needed. The new, longer episodes are less manic- just labored panting and trembling. It's almost like she's worn out from it at this point. Anyone thoughts whatsoever are very very appreciated! I think she has some of the cushing's symptoms, but other aspects make me think not.
 

Manydogs

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Wish I could help-I assume that they checked her blood sugar,and ketones,her heart, and did a belly scan or they are going to...Is she drinking more than usual?I guess they checked her for a UTI? I've never had a dog with Cushings I will pray for your baby- Maybe some one else will come on that has had that experience- @oscarmayer, @2BullyMama
 
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christined912

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Nov 24, 2023
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Eleanor
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Wish I could help-I assume that they checked her blood sugar,and ketones,her heart, and did a belly scan or they are going to...Is she drinking more than usual?I guess they checked her for a UTI? I've never had a dog with Cushings I will pray for your baby- Maybe some one else will come on that has had that experience- @oscarmayer, @2BullyMama
Thank you so much for responding. Definitely going to get the belly scan as you suggested. She is drinking more, yes, and I don’t think they checked for a UTI. These are all great questions, I appreciate you taking the time!
 

helsonwheels

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Thank you so much for responding. Definitely going to get the belly scan as you suggested. She is drinking more, yes, and I don’t think they checked for a UTI. These are all great questions, I appreciate you taking the time

Vet should wait for results before giving all them pills thinking it can be this or that. So far none of them pills worked n you’ll weaken her immune system. @Manydogs has good points. Others will key in. Plz keep us posted.
 

2BullyMama

I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog?
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Hello! I have a bulldog mix (75% English, 25% American) and we've been unable to get a diagnosis for her symptoms. She started having episodes of heavy panting and trembling back in late spring, early summer, but they were infrequent and short. They also only seemed to occur in the evening hours of about 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., which was typically when she'd be the most alert/active/happy. Slowly over time they became more frequent and longer. My vet at first thought she was in pain, and prescribed a pain pill, but the pain pill didn't seem to touch it- she continued to pant/tremble. He then considered anxiety/dementia/sundowners, so he prescribed trazadone and gabapentin to try. Neither of those seemed to help, and she also got ataxia (not able to walk) when taking the gabapentin. She's had a urine test, blood test, ekg, echocardiogram, and chest xray. There appears to be no heart issue and she doesn't have Addison's. She's now scheduled for a cushing's test next week, but I'm scared because this past Wednesday she had the panting/trembling all day, off and on but mostly on, until I finally took her to the emergency vet at 3 a.m. Again, no diagnosis, but he did give a muscle relaxer/pain pill/anti-anxiety combo that seemed to work. She was fine but not herself all day yesterday, and slept last night, but woke up panting and not wanting to eat this morning. I gave her the 3-pill combo again, but I'm scared that she might not make it to the cushing's test next week, or that she will make it but it won't reveal a diagnosis. Has anyone had this type of trajectory of symptoms in their pet before? The first episodes a few months ago were about 5-10 mins, and sometimes accompanied by frantic behavior such as humping, licking, chewing bully sticks aggressively, and sometimes even barking (she's not a barker normally). And these behaviors were also performed looking right at me, as if she were trying to tell me something she needed. The new, longer episodes are less manic- just labored panting and trembling. It's almost like she's worn out from it at this point. Anyone thoughts whatsoever are very very appreciated! I think she has some of the cushing's symptoms, but other aspects make me think not.
This is so scary! Have they consider it could be some type of seizure? I have no experience or heard of this in any dogs I know.... praying you get some answers and relief for your baby!
 

LunatheEB

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May 3, 2023
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Shelton, Connecticut
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Luna
Hello! I have a bulldog mix (75% English, 25% American) and we've been unable to get a diagnosis for her symptoms. She started having episodes of heavy panting and trembling back in late spring, early summer, but they were infrequent and short. They also only seemed to occur in the evening hours of about 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., which was typically when she'd be the most alert/active/happy. Slowly over time they became more frequent and longer. My vet at first thought she was in pain, and prescribed a pain pill, but the pain pill didn't seem to touch it- she continued to pant/tremble. He then considered anxiety/dementia/sundowners, so he prescribed trazadone and gabapentin to try. Neither of those seemed to help, and she also got ataxia (not able to walk) when taking the gabapentin. She's had a urine test, blood test, ekg, echocardiogram, and chest xray. There appears to be no heart issue and she doesn't have Addison's. She's now scheduled for a cushing's test next week, but I'm scared because this past Wednesday she had the panting/trembling all day, off and on but mostly on, until I finally took her to the emergency vet at 3 a.m. Again, no diagnosis, but he did give a muscle relaxer/pain pill/anti-anxiety combo that seemed to work. She was fine but not herself all day yesterday, and slept last night, but woke up panting and not wanting to eat this morning. I gave her the 3-pill combo again, but I'm scared that she might not make it to the cushing's test next week, or that she will make it but it won't reveal a diagnosis. Has anyone had this type of trajectory of symptoms in their pet before? The first episodes a few months ago were about 5-10 mins, and sometimes accompanied by frantic behavior such as humping, licking, chewing bully sticks aggressively, and sometimes even barking (she's not a barker normally). And these behaviors were also performed looking right at me, as if she were trying to tell me something she needed. The new, longer episodes are less manic- just labored panting and trembling. It's almost like she's worn out from it at this point. Anyone thoughts whatsoever are very very appreciated! I think she has some of the cushing's symptoms, but other aspects make me think not.
Maybe try the Holistic doggie detox, it’s a bath of all natural ingredients that’s known to remove toxins. I don’t know the ingredients, I’m sure if you google it will come up. I’ve been trying all natural remedies before running to the vet and so far I’ve saved a good $1500 possibly more. But more importantly it worked for my Luna’s issues and it worked fast. Please don’t feel that I’m trying to push a holistic agenda on you. It’s something im currently trying and having success with. Praying for relief for your baby!
 
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christined912

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Eleanor
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Thanks to everyone who's answering- I've been away from the thread for a bit but am catching up now. She is currently somewhat stable and hasn't needed any drugs, so I'm hoping we can clear her system and get her diarrhea (from the Carprofen) under control. She's not eating as much as I'd like but I think again that's related to the diarrhea. Still looking forward to the Cushing's test this week, which hopefully we can get sooner than Wednesday. If Cushing's comes back and she doesn't have it, I'm going to get her a CT scan of her head and spinal area. These are really the only things left to look at, because over the weekend she had an ultrasound on her abdominal area, and all organs look normal, no masses, etc. Thanks again to everyone for all the good thoughts, ideas, prayers.
 
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christined912

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Eleanor
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@christined912 have you tried pumpkin purée? It helps with loose stools n even constipation. This is 100% pumpkin n NOT the one for pies. Couple tablespoons with meals.
Thanks for responding! Yes, we did use the pumpkin puree, and it seems that, along with the bland food and discontinuation of the carprofen, we've fixed the bathroom problem. She's also had no episodes since the long one over the weekend, and her Cushing's test came back negative. Next step is a CT scan of the head and back/spinal area, which she'll get next week. If we still don't have a diagnosis at that point, I'm out of ideas, and also out of body parts to check. So I'll keep you all updated on the results in case this ever happens with your dog. Thanks again, everyone!
 

oscarmayer

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Jan 20, 2016
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...I'm out of ideas, and also out of body parts to check. So I'll keep you all updated on the results in case this ever happens with your dog. Thanks again, everyone!
I hate to even say this, but I would not be surprised if there was a brain tumor. Please keep us posted.
 
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christined912

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I hate to even say this, but I would not be surprised if there was a brain tumor. Please keep us posted.
Hello, and thanks for reminding me to update you all. I also thought for sure it was a brain tumor, but she had an MRI yesterday, and it seems she has cognitive dysfunction syndrome. The big surprise is that we thought we had an 8-year-old dog, but the neurologist said that after looking at how advanced the degeneration was and also at her teeth, etc., she's likely a good bit older. (We adopted her from a rescue, and the shelter had made its best guess on age.) The neurologist also said she was surprised there had only been one seizure, given the extent of the degeneration. (She had a small seizure last Friday that I forgot to post about on here.) So now we have an anti-seizure prescription along with a drug for the CDS itself. Hopefully the meds will let her live out the rest of her time with us somewhat comfortably. She's still eating, going outside to the bathroom, wagging her tail, sleeping fairly well, etc. She's not had a panting/trembling episode or a seizure since last Friday.

The takeaway, which I hope helps someone else reading, is that bulldogs don't often manifest symptoms the way other dogs do. When I first started bringing her to the vet for this issue, the videos I had taken looked like any other dog demanding attention- whining, whimpering, even barking at one point, panting. But our dog, who is 75% English bulldog, was really content for most of her life to sit beside us. She rarely had any of those behaviors, because it wasn't her temperment. She also hasn't yet manifested a lot of the symptoms of CDS (house-soiling, wandering around the house at night, standing in corners confused), so again, a tough one to diagnose.

Also, as someone mentioned up thread, I encourage people to get diagnostic testing before trying prescriptions, if it's financially feasible. Lastly, please always trust your gut and advocate for your pet as best you can. You know your dog better than anyone. Thanks again to everyone replying and offering support!
 

helsonwheels

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You know @christined912 one of my son recently lost one of his pit bulls. I was with him when we pick up Luna n yes also a rescue. They told him she was about 1-2 but since she just passed, the vet thinks she was about 13-14 which she would have been around 4yrs old when we picked her up. Most rescues can’t predict age nor do have paperwork on them or what kind of baggages they come with. But I find most rescues are the best. It’s like they know they’re finally going home n appreciate the owners more.

Yes, Bulldogs are not whiners when it comes to pain. They’ll suck it up. It’s definitely a challenging dog n why like mentioned get them diagnosed before giving them all sorts of pills which can damage even more.

Did you ask if you can also add CBC oil ?
 
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christined912

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Eleanor
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Sorry to hear about. your son''s loss of his dog, helsonwheels. But yes, the rescues are the best indeed.
The neurologist did recommend heavy use of CBD, but I imagine CBC could be used as well. Thanks for the mention of that, I had no idea there was another variation.
 

2BullyMama

I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog?
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Good to hear you have a diagnosis now you can focus on what needs to happen to control and keep your baby comfortable. Please keep us posted on progress.

I'll keep your baby in my prayers
 

helsonwheels

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Sorry to hear about. your son''s loss of his dog, helsonwheels. But yes, the rescues are the best indeed.
The neurologist did recommend heavy use of CBD, but I imagine CBC could be used as well. Thanks for the mention of that, I had no idea there was another variation.
Christine was telling me about this website n I did look into it. If you’re looking for a good CBD check out the website attached since your neurologist recommends heavy use of CBD. For a CBD to be effective, you always need THC in it. They are coming out soon with a C2 but you would need something immediately. Plz do keep us posted.

Rightratiocbd.com
C1 Cellular Support
 

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