|Barked: Sun Sep 8, '13 1:58pm PST |
|Hi...I'm new here and just learning how to navigate this site. In fact, I've written this pretty lengthy post several times, only to have it not post. For some reason or another.
Anyway, I have a 4yr old Blue Merle Great Dane. He has not been doing well for over 5 weeks. I will start at the beginning.
He had a restless night where he kept coming to me as if he was trying to tell me something. Panting, pacing, and acting like he needed something, even though he was fed and walked and had water. The next morning he appeared to be feeling better. I took him out to potty in my front yard where the lawn mower service had just shortly before that came through and cut the grass. He sniffed the grass and started to have a fit of reverse sneezing, his nose running watery discharge like a faucet. I stroked his throat and it eventually slowed down...and then stopped. A little while later I found him in his crate...which he rarely uses unless he doesn't feel well or is afraid of getting his nails clipped or something. He was laying down with his neck extended, nose facing upward, his eyes were sunken in, his third lid was almost all the way up, and his head and neck were constricted so tight I couldn't pinch any skin at all on the top of his head. I rushed him to the vet.
At the vets she said she wasn't sure what it is but he could have hurt his neck during the reverse sneezing fit. So she treated him conservatively with vetprofen for inflammation and a pain killer. After several days he finished his meds. A few days later, he showed the same episode he had in the crate that first day. I took a picture of him during it because things don't always present themselves when we are there.
So back to the vet we went. When I showed her the picture she said that it looked like tetanus, even though it is rare in dogs. Considering he had a small cut on his tail right around the time all this started, it made sense. She sent us home with a strong cocktail of antibiotics and changed his anti inflammatory med to p r e d n i s o n e...30 mg twice a day. He seemed a little better. After 10 days on the antibiotic, again we tried lowering his anti inflammatory med. A few days later he started with the episodes again...more often and of longer duration. He even had a few of them at the vets office.
At this point the vet no longer thought it may be tetanus because the antibiotics should have made him, at least, a little better.
She is now considering Masculatory/Extraocular Myosites. It is an auto immune disease that effects the muscles in the head, eyes, and jaw. His jaw hasn't tightened but he does do some odd things with his mouth that are out of character. So along with the p r e d n i s o n e she put him on Azatheoprine, an auto immune medication. Again, he seems a little better, but not great. He is still lethargic and definitely not himself. In a few days he will be on the new med for a week. Again the vet wants me to lower the p r e d n i s o n e to once a day and see if he still has the episodes. I am so scared that this, also, won't work. I have researched my eyes out of their sockets and I'm running out of ideas. I don't know why he was in stress the night before the sniffing thing. If he sniffed bacteria into his system, the antibiotics should have taken care of that. If was viral, it should have ran its course before now. The lawn mower people mow other areas besides out neighborhood. I'm wondering if maybe they mowed in a cow pasture or near a swamp (I live in Florida) and some kind of fungi or parasite fell off the blades and he sniffed it in. But then why aren't any of the other dogs in the neighborhood getting sick...and why was he having issues the night before?
So, as you can tell, I'm grasping at straws here. My vet and I researching like crazy trying to get to the bottom of this. Blue is sick of being sick and I'm sick of seeing him this way. Any ideas, suggestions or input would be greatly appreciated. I hope in a few day when I lower the p r e d n i s o n e, he won't have any episodes..and them we may be on the right track...but I'm grasping at straws and would like to have some idea where to go from here if it turns out not to be autoimmune. Thank you in advance for any input you may have.
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