• Your logins to the main site and to this support forum are NOT the same. To get access to this forum, you must be a ALL-ACCESS member (register here). You will receive login information the day you register. If you have problems logging in to the forum, please use the Contact us form. First time posting? Watch this video and Follow this posting guide

Dog Arthritis or something else?

KellyW

All Access Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2022
Messages
8
My dog Tofu has been in pain and seems to be declining rapidly. It first started with minor symptoms of him not wanting to go on walks. He started looking very sad and no longer wanted to play or enjoy any activity. Then a few days ago we took him to the ER because his head was down and he wasn't eating. The vet ran bloodwork and found that he was extremely dehydrated. She suggested this happened because of switching his diet to raw foods and that he will get better with a new diet, some light antibiotics, fluids, and gave him some pain medicine. She also said he has pretty bad arthritis but did not suggest treatment for it.

Now 2 days later he seems to be doing much worse. He is no longer dehydrated but he can barely walk 10-20 feet without sitting down. His back legs look very weak. There is also a spot on his back that if you touch he will yelp in pain. We have plans to go in in a few days for X-rays, but I am unsure about the vet's advice and prescriptions. I want to educate myself first so that I can make sure we know the best steps to take.

Does anyone know if this sounds like it could be arthritis? Are there any suggested materials I can learn about how to treat this? I am thinking it's also possible that it's hip displesia or myelophia.

I'm not sure if it's better to try and get him moving or to not.






IMG_0172.jpeg
 

Dr. Jeff

Administrator
Moderator
Veterinarian
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Messages
4,004
Hi Kelly-

I'm sorry to hear about Tofu's symptom challenge.:confused:

Which part of the country or world do you live? In certain areas, Lyme and other tick-borne diseases can cause or trigger symptoms like this.

Was he running a fever when you went to the vet?
Does anyone know if this sounds like it could be arthritis?
How was his BEAM when symptoms first started (before the recent decline)?

Arthritis may indeed be contributing but dehydration is not typically associated with arthritis. Nor is it associated with feeding raw food (actually, raw food often improves hydration status).

Does anyone know if this sounds like it could be arthritis? Are there any suggested materials I can learn about how to treat this? I am thinking it's also possible that it's hip displesia or myelophia.
Yes, many! @aruna , I'd appreciate if you point Kelly to the 101 course, arthritis and Lyme resources.

Please update us in this thread in the next few days. Good luck with Tofu.
 

aruna

Administrator
Moderator
All Access Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
100
Hi, @KellyW , that sounds scary.. I will give you some resources to look at, but before that - could you answer some questions so that our veterinarians can help you better:
  • Tofu's age
  • Neutering status
  • Breed
  • Approximate weight
  • What's their BEAM (behavior, energy, appetite, mood)
  • Diet (what exactly have you been feeding, and what kind of raw did you switch to?)
  • Vaccination history / exposure to toxins, other medication
  • Is Tofu's condition better or worse from exercise, heat, cold, time of day, certain foods, emotional upset, being touched, excitement, etc?
  • Does Tofu have any other symptoms even if unrelated?
And the good place to see all the resources we have on arthritis is in our joints section in resource library - click here to access.
All our Lyme resources are here.
And if you haven't yet, please read through our Pet health 101 materials - it will help you set a good foundation for approaching Tofu's health.
Best of luck!
Aruna
Holistic Actions! support
 

KellyW

All Access Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2022
Messages
8
Hi Jeff. Thank you so much for your reply. He lives in California. Around 2 months ago I left to visit Hawaii and Tofu went to stay with my mom. He's stayed there many times and while her care is a bit different than mine, I've always come back to pick up a happy dog.
When she took him to the vet he had no fever and the bloodwork showed nothing abnormal. He did have abnormally hard poops and possibly constipation.

When I dropped him off with my mom his beam was a 9. About a month in it dropped to a 6. Then just this last week it is maybe a 3.5.

There have been some coinciding circumstances around this timeline:

1. 2 months ago he went to stay with my mom and I left for a summer trip in Hawaii.
2. 1 month ago (around the exact time his symptoms became apparent) my mother's 16-year-old dog passed away. She became very ill just shortly after Tofu arrived and then they lost her. The vet said it was kidney failure.

When my mom first reported to me that he was sleeping all day and not wanting to go on walks I assumed he was having emotional distress. She said he didn't want to and she didn't want to force it.

With me, for years he has always done this thing on walks occasionally which is to put the brakes on and try to get me to walk back home. I usually just try to keep him going and when he gets past it he really enjoys the walk.

He also has whined constantly throughout his life. It comes in cycles where he whines all the time for a few days or weeks and then it stops for weeks. My response to it was to give him lots of stimulation and activity. I assumed it was anxiety and that adventures and social interaction in nature would help to soothe him. Now in hindsight, I realize it didn't really resolve the symptom. We would go for long hikes and he would have a great time, but it was often when we sat down to rest that he would start whining. The whining patterns never stopped. Had I discovered your teachings sooner I would probably have noticed this was a big red flag.

I also noticed that throughout his life when people try to grab him from the back legs he can turn around and snap despite being a very sweet and gentle dog.

At first I was thinking he was having emotional distress that was exacerbated by my mom not taking him out to exercise, but now I feel it's likely a deeper chronic issue that has maybe existed throughout his lifetime.

We've got Xrays scheduled for Saturday.

Thank you so much for the support and this wonderful resource you have created.



Which part of the country or world do you live? In certain areas, Lyme and other tick-borne diseases can cause or trigger symptoms like this.

Was he running a fever when you went to the vet?

How was his BEAM when symptoms first started (before the recent decline)?

Arthritis may indeed be contributing but dehydration is not typically associated with arthritis. Nor is it associated with feeding raw food (actually, raw food often improves hydration status).


Yes, many! @aruna , I'd appreciate if you point Kelly to the 101 course, arthritis and Lyme resources.

Please update us in this thread in the next few days. Good luck with Tofu.
 
Last edited:

KellyW

All Access Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2022
Messages
8
Hi, @KellyW , that sounds scary.. I will give you some resources to look at, but before that - could you answer some questions so that our veterinarians can help you better:
  • Tofu's age
  • Neutering status
  • Breed
  • Approximate weight
  • What's their BEAM (behavior, energy, appetite, mood)
  • Diet (what exactly have you been feeding, and what kind of raw did you switch to?)
  • Vaccination history / exposure to toxins, other medication
  • Is Tofu's condition better or worse from exercise, heat, cold, time of day, certain foods, emotional upset, being touched, excitement, etc?
  • Does Tofu have any other symptoms even if unrelated?
And the good place to see all the resources we have on arthritis is in our joints section in resource library - click here to access.
All our Lyme resources are here.
And if you haven't yet, please read through our Pet health 101 materials - it will help you set a good foundation for approaching Tofu's health.
Best of luck!
Aruna
Holistic Actions! support
Hello,

Yes, thank you. I will read through these materials.

  • Tofu's age - 11 years
  • Neutering status - neutered
  • Breed - Mix (corgi, chihuahua, jack russel)
  • Approximate weight - 15 lbs
  • What's their BEAM (behavior, energy, appetite, mood) Currently 3.5
  • Diet (what exactly have you been feeding, and what kind of raw did you switch to?) He was eating Rachel Roy's hard kibble for around 4 months. I switched him to Honest Kitchen dehydrated around 3 months ago. When my mom reported hard poops and decreased appetite I switched again to a diet of around 50% raw chicken and 50% fruits and veggies.
  • Vaccination history / exposure to toxins, other medication - He had all the vaccinations as a baby. (we adopted from a rescue clinic that made us). He got no vaccinations between about 1 and 10 years old. He has recently had rabies shots.
  • Is Tofu's condition better or worse from exercise, heat, cold, time of day, certain foods, emotional upset, being touched, excitement, etc? - He's not been able to exercise. He will take 10-30 steps and sit down. He can't jump on the couch anymore. It is consistent throughout all times of day. It's possible that it is worse from emotional upset but I am unclear if it's connected. When he is touched in a certain spot on the back he screams in pain.
  • Does Tofu have any other symptoms even if unrelated? Decreased appetite. He will eat things like chicken or steak but declines foods he used to love like fresh carrots and apples. He is sleeping all day. He whines often. His excitement and overall mood has decreased.


Thank you!
 

GinnyW

All Access Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
321
I would not ignore possible chiropractic analysis and treatment, along with the xrays and all.
 

Dr. Jeff

Administrator
Moderator
Veterinarian
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Messages
4,004
1 month ago (around the exact time his symptoms became apparent) my mother's 16-year-old dog passed away.
Was Tofu and your mom's dog good buddies?
He got no vaccinations between about 1 and 10 years old. He has recently had rabies shots.
Were there any big changes in BEAM or walking since then?

Do you have a trained vet homeopath or TCM vet on Tofu's vet care team? If you do, now's a great time to schedule a visit with them to address the energetic part of his imbalance.
 

KellyW

All Access Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2022
Messages
8
View attachment trim.C41C836E-74EA-481E-AD29-2C079D0572B7.MOVHello,

Wanted to share a quick update.

The vet told us he was constipated & dehydrated from changes in diet. She saw him a few days ago and said his system would rebuild.

However, he’s been getting worse rapidly. He can’t walk at all any more. His hind legs have no muscular definition and just collapse.

It’s looking to me like this is degenerative myelopathy which might explain the bladder issues.

I think our next step is to get a proper diagnosis and plan for him.

I have not been able to find a holistic vet that will see him on an emergency basis.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 
Last edited:

Dr. Jeff

Administrator
Moderator
Veterinarian
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Messages
4,004
Oh dear Kelly, I'm so sorry that Tofu is worse.

To my eyes, your video really looks like a back and possibly disc issue.

It may have been too early for your vet to pick this up when you last went in. I'd strongly advise a vet visit either tonight or in the am before there's any further loss of hind leg function.

If you've already been to the vet today, I'd love to hear what they said and especially how Tofu is doing tonight.
 

KellyW

All Access Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2022
Messages
8
Hello,

Yes, this is likely the issue. They say we need a Neurologist and he will need surgery.

I've called every location in the Bay Area I could find that has neurology and have found none with one that is available today or tomorrow. There are two clinics that have them coming in on Monday.

What should I do? Does anyone know of a good place to take him in the CA Bay Area?

Should I check him into an ER that has a neurologist coming in on Monday?

Would it be better for him to be at home until Monday?

I'm getting different advice from everywhere I call. I don't want to take give him a traumatizing experience sitting at the hospital all weekend if it won't help him.
 

Dr. Jeff

Administrator
Moderator
Veterinarian
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Messages
4,004
I think your best bet is to get him to a referral center that has a surgeon and/or neurologist on staff today.

Maybe go right in to this place:

 

Dr. Jeff

Administrator
Moderator
Veterinarian
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Messages
4,004
Great work Kelly!

Please let us know what the vet says.

Hugs, best wishes and prayers for you and Tofu.♥️🙏🫂
 

KellyW

All Access Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2022
Messages
8
Unfortunately, the MRI shows a very large cancerous tumor on his spine and the Dr. says there is nothing he can do. I will spend a few days with him before wishing him a beautiful bon voyage this weekend.

Appreciate your help with everything and all that you do for animals. <3
 

Dr. Jeff

Administrator
Moderator
Veterinarian
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Messages
4,004
I'm so sorry to hear about Tofu.😢

Yes, it's now a super important time to love him up and help him be as happy as possible.

This is an exciting journey that you're both going on...!❤️🌈:pup:
 

Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest
Subscribe/Unsubscribe

Members online

No members online now.

Latest posts

Top Bottom