Odd Behavior / Pain

Discussion in 'Bernese Mountain Dog Health Questions' started by ChicagoBern, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. ChicagoBern

    ChicagoBern New Member

    Hello all - first time poster. I am in desperate need of advice to address my Berner's health issues and restore my sanity from lack of sleep.

    My Berner is a three and a half year old female that has been spayed. She has been exhibiting signs of pain and odd behaviors for the last two and a half weeks.

    Symptoms:
    - Heavy panting
    - Hypersalivation
    - Pacing around the room
    - Restlessness
    - Sudden movements...seems to be running away from something
    - Shaking rear leg (only at times)
    - Odd behaviors such as opening and closing doors
    - Seeking attention

    She has been to the vet and emergency vet a collective 5-6 times in the last two and a half weeks, but the causes of these symptoms has not been identified.

    She is eating normal, drinking water and has normal bowel movements. Her urination cycles were more frequent a week and a half ago as she was diagnosed wih a urinary tract infection through urinalysis. Amoxicillin was prescribed to treat the UTI, and worked effectively. A urinalysis performed yesterday showed the UTI was gone although some small crystallizations remained.

    Rimadhyl was also prescribed initially as an anti-inflammatory, but did not address the other issues after seven days of use. It was discontinued.

    X-rays were taken a week ago and gastritis was diagnosed. The x-rays showed no stones in the bladder. I also had an x-ray of the hip due to an injury when she was 18 months old. She broke her femoral head in the back right leg where it connects to the hip socket. There is now arthritis and a bone spur off the socket. It is unsure if this is the cause of the pain, but she has been very stiff in this leg.

    We were given four possible rationales for drivers behind the symptoms.
    1) Gastrointestinal issues - the vet prescribed Gabapentin to address the gastritis.
    2) Pain - acepromozine was prescribed to address the pain symptoms. The vet said we could try tramadol if that did not work.
    3) Behavioral issues - we are expanding daily exercise from about 30 minutes over the last couple weeks (due to below zero temperatures and exercise restrictions from vets) to one and a half hours per day. We may consider a dog walker or doggy day care if the walk change does not help.
    4) Neurological issues - she seems to be sensitive to sounds and behavior is erratic at times. The vet said a spinal tap could be performed, but that would be expensive and may not be conclusive.

    I am at a loss for how to proceed forward. We are giving the meds to try to make the pain tolerable, but it is still there and is not getting better. What I would rather do is find the root cause of the pain.

    Has anyone experienced similar symptoms that could suggest issues to research? Thanks in advance for your help, and for reading this long post.
     
  2. WonderBread

    WonderBread New Member

    Have the vets tested for Lyme Disease?

    There is no ear infection?

    My dog was diagnosed with Lyme in November and when we took her to the vet she wasn't presenting like a dog with Lyme, but we took her because she seemed off. Just a thought.

    Sorry your pups is going thru this.
     
  3. hlm

    hlm New Member

    Hi there,
    So sorry to hear you are having such difficulties. It can be so hard to figure these things out. I'm not sure if this will be helpful or not, but I did relate to many of the symptoms/behaviors you mentioned in your post, so I'll put it out there for you in the hopes that it will hopefully help a little.
    Our last dog, a golden, very big chested guy, suffered some terrible gastrointestinal issues early in his life. Many of the behaviors you described, or similar ones, presented during his "episodes" of discomfort. Heavy panting, terrible restlessness, pacing, sleeplessness, and some rather manic, obsessive behaviors, he was REALLY not himself and obviously in a great deal of distress. We had a LOT of sleepless nights, it was quite traumatic for all of us. After not getting much help from the vet as to what could be causing it, I did a bit of research. This was during the earliest days of the internet, so… much harder to find info. This was also long before the realizations of food sensitivities in dogs, wheat issues, gluten etc. It was not widely talked about, so really hard to get info. We eventually found a food that was made for sensitive stomachs, I think with a total of 6 ingredients (we swung to the opposite of the pendulum on this) again, at the time these "limited ingredient" foods were not readily available, we had to make a long drive to a place that carried it, and his issues literally disappeared. Over the years the food became more widely available, but we were happy to do whatever we had to to get it, it made that much of a difference.
    If your girl is having gastrointestinal issues, these symptoms you described could very well be a result of that, even the rear leg shakes, could very well be a result of stomach discomfort.
    I'm not saying for sure this is it, just that we experienced something similar and ours was gastrointestinal. I would certainly continue on the path with your vet though, it's so hard to know for sure.
    I hope this helps a bit, best wishes!
     
  4. ChicagoBern

    ChicagoBern New Member

    Thanks to both of you for the suggestions.

    Per WonderBread's suggestion, we had a Lyme's disease test performed. Some of the symptoms matched our case, but not all. The results came back negative.

    We will consider the diet suggestions from hlm. She is a picky eater and we have switched food over the years due to upset stomach that usually leads to diarrhea. We have her on a dry dog feed that is grain free, and she has been on that for several months. The issues are more recent, so I am not sure that is the driver, but maybe something for us to keep in mind if there are no other solutions.

    Since my last post, she has stopped most of the symptoms. The lingering issue is a stiff back leg (that seems to rotate from left to right). We have her only on the gabapentin at this point.

    Please continue to offer any suggestions, and I will endeavor to post back with any resolution.
     
  5. dogspotindia

    dogspotindia New Member

    Your pet is facing some serious problem, and its about his stomach, just get in touch with your vet immediately.:(
     

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