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Scary symptoms, wobbly pup. 3 vets so far, no idea.
07-06-2017, 10:45 AM,
#1
Scary symptoms, wobbly pup. 3 vets so far, no idea.
Hi folks.  My 5 year old male Maltipoo (Porter), 5 days ago, (11am) seemed to get very freaked out and shaky.  He pulled his front legs in and rolled to his side favoring his right rear leg. Definitely seemed scared or in pain.  No whining, no whimpering, no crying.  Lasted for 2 minutes.  Then back to normal.  A couple of hours later, same thing, but favored his left rear leg.  Took him to emergency clinic.  They thought luxating patellas.  Next day, one occurrence late at night, right at bed time.  Next day, went to regular vet.  They say that it is not patellas, because dr. is popping them in and out and Porter is not even phased.  No idea what it is.  Then later in the day, one occurrence, pulls both front legs in tightly, like a t-rex, while laying on his side, shaking, with back arched backwards.  Lasts about 2 minutes...then back to normal.  Next day, symptoms seem to change.  One occurrence at 6:30...this time he gets wobbly, shaky, scared look, favors front legs, tucks them under body, then rolls sideways and favors rear legs.  Seems wore out and scared and stays that way.  Half hour later, front legs just give out and he falls down. Back to emergency vet.  This time, they say neurological...show them my video of it and even they are weirded out by it.  Want MRI, think it is a spinal disk pressure issue.  Regular vet agrees but also says possible deep inner ear infection that could be unable to be seen.  He seems to be continually wobbly.  Next day and today, stays very wobbly...all the time.  Much less energy, but still playful.

Eats treats, uses bathroom as normal.  Drinks as normal.  Takes a little coaxing to get to eat meals.
Here are the things that I have been able to think of as causes:  

1)  Two weeks ago, he jumped off the bed in pitch black.  Hit floor hard enough to shake room.  Woke me up.  I think he mis-judged.  This has never been an issue before, as he normally doesn't jump off of it at night.  I stayed up with him and checked him.  Seemingly no issues at that time from it.  I don't know if he landed wrong, on his head, torqued his back, affected spine...etc.
2)  Changed food a week and half ago, to an arguably better and more healthy food.  (I have now reverted back to previous food just in case).
3)  Fireworks this weekend, starting the night before he exhibited any of this.  He is not a fan.  Trots from room to room hiding under beds.

I have looked for patterns as to what happens before the episodes occur...nothing.  Symptoms seem to either be getting worse, or just changing.  From specific, significant episodes, to continual wobbliness and unsure footing.  I have a video of the worst of the episodes, and a video of his unsteadiness from this morning, but can't seem to attach them.

Any help would be wonderful.  My wife and I are very worried.
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07-06-2017, 04:36 PM,
#2
RE: Scary symptoms, wobbly pup. 3 vets so far, no idea.
I am so sorry you are going through this, very scary episodes indeed!
I think your best bet is to see a veterinary neurologist at this point, since the general practitioner vets are doing guesswork at this time. Neurologists are used to deal with challenging cases and know best what tests to do and hopefully come to a sure diagnosis and appropriate treatment. They will start off with a thorough neurological exam.

As I am reading, I am thinking some sort of seizure (is your dog able to be responsive to you during these episodes?) a vestibular disorder ( are the eyes darting from side to side during these episodes? However, this is more common in older dogs though unless cause by an ear problem, but then you would likely see head shaking/scratching etc) exposure to toxins (can he be exposed to some mold or fungus that he is eating?) a spinal cord issue. From your description, its sounds like more testing needs done. An MRI or CT scan may be insightful.

For the video: Maybe you can upload the videos on Youtube and gives us the link?

Here are hopes that the mystery will be soon solved and your dog will be back to normal. Keep us posted.
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07-07-2017, 04:24 PM,
#3
RE: Scary symptoms, wobbly pup. 3 vets so far, no idea.
It sounds as though it's neurological involving the brain, not the spine.

Causes of seizures would include:

Metabolic disease and imbalances.

Epilepsy.

Recent head trauma, creating subsequent seizures, and/or the equivalent of mini-strokes.

Toxin ingestion.

Potential infection of the inner ear as suggested by your Vet - although that should show up in blood work.

Tumor or cancer in the brain.

An MRI of the brain, and head will confirm or eliminate tumors, and severe head trauma. Blood work for kidney/liver function, and to rule out active infection.

The continued wobbles, and weakness seems to indicate neurological damage has occurred. And each repeated attack is creating more damage. If the attacks could be stabilized with medication, it may be possible for the dog to partially recover. Again, think in terms of stroke victims. Being just 5 gives the dog better odds of recovery.

Hopefully the Vets will find the root cause soon, and stabilize the situation.
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07-11-2017, 03:03 PM,
#4
RE: Scary symptoms, wobbly pup. 3 vets so far, no idea.
Hello,
Was reading through and was wondering if you have an update? I am hoping things are getting better for your dog.
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