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Terrible dilemma

(57 Posts)
SadSetter Wed 05-Nov-14 11:02:03

My beautiful 5 year old irish setter has been ill on and off for over a year, with a variety of symptoms which have puzzled the vets. They suspected Lyme's disease, but that has now been ruled out.

I feel let down by the vets as sometimes my concerns about things like random lameness, and her seeming unwell have been dismissed and too many things tried, with no referral on. I feel guilty about this too as I had wanted to ask for a second opinion, but was persuaded out of it, and did trust the vet, who has a good reputation locally. One of the vets in particular has been very concerned about her. She would get better after a course of antibiotics, then worse. Anyway, no point in recriminations now,

Now Ddog is really a lot worse, and losing ability to use back left leg. She hasn't really eaten for about a week unless spoon fed, but really enjoys her food when she gets it.

The vet has now told me that there is nothing more they can do for her. They could refer her for a CT scan at a place a considerable distance away at a total cost of about £2,000 to see if it's an infection or something in a disc in the spine. Other than that they are talking about putting her to sleep ��

Sorry for the rambling, I just don't know what to do. She is quite sentient so it seems just too hard to Pts. But is it cruel to start all these investigations with travelling now when she is so poorly?

We don't have insurance but could scrape up the cash, thanks to my lovely dh: thought he would say it was too expensive, but he is keen to try to save her too. WWYD?

tabulahrasa Wed 05-Nov-14 11:32:19

If it was me I'd go for a referral and investigation...she's young and there's a chance of years left in her yet if you can find out what's wrong and treat it. In my experience specialists are worth going to, practice vets have limited experience and information - they're basically GPs (well ok, better than actual GPs usually are, lol) specialists will be able to give a much better idea of what's going on and will know much much more about outcomes.

So I would go for further investigation.

I can understand not wanting to given the length of illness and the fact that she's really not doing well and there is no black and white answer, but, that's what I would do.

SadSetter Wed 05-Nov-14 11:35:58

Thank you. It's good to hear that, as I am clearly not objective, and love my girl so much, as do the dcs and dh.

I agree they are normally better than gps and kindersmile

tabulahrasa Wed 05-Nov-14 12:05:28

Oh I don't think you need to be objective anyway, lol, yes there's a point with pets where you can and should go...this is no longer fair for them, but until then they're family members and you treat them just like that.

MitchellMummy Wed 05-Nov-14 12:07:37

What other symptoms? Could be Cushing's, which is reasonably rare and needs specific blood test to diagnose. Good luck, so hard for you all. x

SadSetter Wed 05-Nov-14 12:33:54

She's had a temperature on and off, anal gland problems.tired, flat, sore; all on and off. She has a degree of hip dysplasia so the lameness was originally put down to that, but it is more like she can't stand on her leg, kind of wags it instead of her tail sometimes hmm

Her back end is pretty wasted away. But she remains intermittently perky and interested, and seems happy most of the time.

spiderlight Wed 05-Nov-14 13:06:29

It sounds spinal/neurological to me. I would have to go for the referral. Friends of ours have a springer who had an abscess somewhere internal and the swelling/pain was causing pressure and arching that was indirectly affecting his spine - that took a long time to diagnose and treat and he needed surgery to clean it all out in the end, but he's doing brilliantly now.

SadSetter Wed 05-Nov-14 13:12:13

Gosh, spider, that sounds very similar, and an abscess could explain the ongoing infection. Arched too: she walks about like a Very Old Person.

I have rung the vet this morning and asked them to get her referred ASAP: this has gone on too long.

spiderlight Thu 06-Nov-14 09:13:50

Keep us posted! I hoe you get to the bottom of it.

basildonbond Thu 06-Nov-14 09:48:53

Could it be an immune-related condition? Things like immune mediated poly arthritis cause lameness, fever etc

I would definitely be pushing to have her referred

Good luck

SadSetter Mon 10-Nov-14 20:47:37

So, we have asked for a referral to the nearest university vet hospital. Supposed to have an appointment tomorrow, though no time yet.

But today Ddog has been v poorly; not really moved off sofa except for a pee, and to try to sneak upstairs to kids' room, but her legs let her down and she slid down the stairs; had to catch her sad

Not sure she's even going to make it for the referral. They are talking a consultation tomorrow, with a possible MRI scan at, I think, a future date.

She looks sad now. So am I. This is horrible.

EasyToEatTiger Mon 10-Nov-14 21:21:40

Big hugs to you. I hope and pray she will survive the night and you will get a positive result. It is horrible for you. And very frightening how quickly things can go downhill. MN handholding for you.

SadSetter Mon 10-Nov-14 22:05:18

Thank you. She has just hobbled through to see us and giving dh big licks. Hope she gets through this.

tabulahrasa Tue 11-Nov-14 08:19:01

Mine has been to two different vet schools (for different things) once they've had the first appointment if they need it they'll run the tests fairly quickly.

mrslaughan Tue 11-Nov-14 16:24:07

Hope it went well today, fingers crossed for you all.

SadSetter Tue 11-Nov-14 18:56:06

Update, thanks to everyone. After discovering appointment not fixed, went bit crazy and got them to see her today.

They were lovely, and planned an MRI and possible surgery, but I had to leave her as an inpatient, which was horrible. But they think she is in great pain from her back hmm

Anyway, then we got a call when heading home saying that she had become too unwell under the anaesthetic, so they hadn't been able to complete the MRI scan. She is intensive care and Gary are trying to stabilise her overnight.

I feel a bit guilty going on about this, as I know she's "just" a dog, but she's so lovely and trusting, and blimming miles away.

Fingers crossed again

Floralnomad Tue 11-Nov-14 19:38:37

Sorry to read this update we will keep our fingers and paws crossed for your dog x

willowisp Tue 11-Nov-14 19:43:43

Sorry to hear your doggy so unwell. Is it possible for you to go back & stay with her ?

Paws crossed here for her & you.

clam Tue 11-Nov-14 19:50:21

A woof and a wag from us too.

Viewofthehills Tue 11-Nov-14 21:31:55

Fingers and paws crossed here too.

Tootyfilou Tue 11-Nov-14 21:38:15

Fingers and paws crossed here too.

tabulahrasa Tue 11-Nov-14 22:01:42

"I feel a bit guilty going on about this, as I know she's "just" a dog"

shock just? What?

Don't be daft, it's horrible when they're that ill.

EasyToEatTiger Tue 11-Nov-14 22:04:42

It must be so hard for you. Paws and fingers crossed here too. I don't think dogs are 'just' dogs. They are our friends, our confidantes, our comforters. They listen to whatever rubbish we have to say, put up with our foibles. Hairy hairy love. I hope she pulls through.

KiwiJude Wed 12-Nov-14 04:33:48

Fingers and paws crossed here.

SadSetter Wed 12-Nov-14 04:43:21

I know, I say "just", but dogs are far more than that, and she really is the most gentle and lovely dog I've ever met (though I am biased!)

No news just up worrying. Owners not able to stay there, so couldn't go back up,,plus have dcs with horrible colds (which they have kindly given to meshock) off school and dh has to go,to work early today.

Thanks for all the fingers and paws crossed.

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