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Dog acting confused/disoriented?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
Mojo

Where\'s the- jumps?
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 19, '10 7:45am PST 
My father in law has an 8 year old miniature poodle who is acting very strange. I took a video of him attempting to jump on the couch but the memory card won't fit in my computer here at work thinking

According to my in-laws, yesterday evening he was acting find and playing one minute, then he either jumped or fell (probably fell, they didn't see) off the couch and screamed. This dog is kind of a drama queen, so it's likely he screamed more out of fright than anything. After that, he is acting very confused and frustrated when they try to get him to jump on the couch.

I went to their house this morning to check him out. He is eating fine, peeing and pooping. However, he is acting very strange, like he's in a daze and is sometimes walking kind of like he's drunk. I felt all his joints and moved them around, he doesn't react at all. He will not play and is keeping to himself, which is unusual for him. It seems like he is more uncoordinated on his right side than the left, and it hasn't gotten any better or worse since yesterday. They have not seen any ticks on him.

My first thought is a vestibular issue...I know the cause can be many different things, and I'm hoping some of you can give some input before his vet visit. They love this dog dearly, we're all hoping it's nothing major.

Leah, please chime in way to go

I sent my mother in law this link so they can see your responses, too.

Edited by author Mon Jul 19, '10 7:57am PST

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Mojo

Where\'s the- jumps?
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 19, '10 11:27am PST 
bump
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Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 19, '10 11:54am PST 
OK - seeing the video would be helpful but...

1) Vestibular disease would most likely cause a head tilt so this doesn't really fit. Usually the head tilt is so severe that they don't stand at all and are almost upside down when laying. Sometimes you will also notice nystagmus (eyes darting back and forth in head)

2) My first thought is back pain/neurologic pain. You report he jumped/fell then wasn't keen on trying again right? This makes me think something like IVDD (intervertebral disc disease). IVDD can occur in the neck/cervical area OR in the back/lumbar area. Often if it is cervical the pet won't lift their head, acts confused, hides, won't jump or do stairs etc. In the back/lumbar area often the same sort of thing although the confusion I usually see more in cervical pain. Both can also make them ataxic (IE have trouble walking or have a funny gait) because the spinal cord pinches when they move or pinches a nerve they need to walk straight. Check out these links for info on this which might help.
IVDD Lumbar Area
IVDD Cervical Area
**IF HE STARTS DRAGGING ANY LEGS OR BECOMES PARALYZED GET TO A VET IMMEDIATLEY AS THIS CAN BE IRREVERSIBLE IF NOT TREATED IMMEDIETLY***

3) The other thing is he may have gotten into some toxin like a medication, mulch, etc that is causing this.

Personally I would lean more towards back issues as he may have had a precipitating event that could have caused back pain or slipped disc (IE the couch/screaming incident) but I am going to put on my thinking cap for another idea too.

Hope this helps
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Buckeye

Eat, Sleep &- Play! Yes, Life- is Good!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 19, '10 12:08pm PST 
I agree, seeing the video would be helpful, but I have always read that as dogs begin to get older, they start to act like this. Their vision, hearing and coordination becomes weaker. Could it just be because this dog is getting older? Maybe she should see a vet. 8 years isn't THAT old..

Keep us posted. hug
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Mojo

Where\'s the- jumps?
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 19, '10 12:10pm PST 
Thank you so much Leah for your help, you're right, there's no head tilt, just some staggering and he doesn't want to do any jumping. Soon I'll post the video so you can see how he's acting.

Our vet must be slammed today but they said they could try to work him in if we thought he needed to be seen immediately...but we'd be seeing a different vet which I'm not too keen on. In the mean time we'll keep him quiet and keep a close watch on him.
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Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 19, '10 12:18pm PST 
I think he tweaked or hurt his spinal cord somewhere along it. Keep him quiet until he sees the vet. Don't let him jump or run up stairs and lift him with his back parallel to the ground.

If he is still walking then a vet visit can wait till tom but like I said if he stops then get in right away!

Just remember this can be painful so don't expect to much out of him today!
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Mojo

Where\'s the- jumps?
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 19, '10 12:44pm PST 
Well, I'm going to go ahead and take him in now. Larry (the owner) called and said he's staggering more and is falling over...I don't want to wait until tomorrow confused

I will let you know what the vet says, thank you everyone for the input and support!
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Mojo

Where\'s the- jumps?
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 19, '10 3:16pm PST 
Well Leah, you were right of course way to go

He has a spinal cord injury of some sort, set off when he jumped/fell off the sofa yesterday. The vet put him on pred to help prevent inflammation tramadol for the pain, and of course lots of rest. She said if we don't see improvement over the next few days he'll need more testing, but she seemed very optimistic.

I know it's a little late now, but here's the video they took of him trying to get on the sofa...he'll be grounded for a while now confused

Click Here
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Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 19, '10 3:25pm PST 
big grin Its always nice to be right wink For me and the dogs!

So....the prednisone is good as it takes down the inflammation but can have some side effects in the long term so be aware. Also you need to make sure to slowly back off the pred....do NOT stop it all of a sudden!

Tramadol is good for pain - check out my pain control thread for more info on different pain options if this does not help!

PS - The video made me even more convinced it was the back!! You can tell he's painful cause he is sitting immedietly.

Cage rest and leash to pee/poop only is key - also realize he can reinjure easily so be careful in the future - I would have them invest in some steps or a stool to help get up and down off couch instead of jumping. Make sure they realize that they must lift him up on couch if necc and up and down stairs.

Also many times it is better to crate these guys when not home as they can injure themselves more by jumping on stuff.
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Mojo

Where\'s the- jumps?
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 19, '10 3:32pm PST 
Thanks for the info, I will pass it along.

The instructions for the pred say to do it once a day for 7 days then change to every other day, so they would be backing him off slowly.

They do have some doggy steps, after he heals we'll teach him to only go up/down off the sofa that way. Don't want to risk this happening again. For now he'll be carried up/down the stairs and will be leash walked for potty times!
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