Health Update on Akiva The Dog 3-21-2010

Akiva with his Large Stuffed Dog

Akiva with his Large Stuffed Dog

Akiva finished up his antibiotics last night.  We very unfortunately did not see any real improvement with the antibiotics.  Akiva is still about the same as he has been for the past 3 weeks.  It was 3 weeks ago today that Akiva first has trouble making it up the steps, I remember watching him come up the steps and realized it was very difficult for him.  The prior day, I had taken him out for a walk, and he was not very interested in walking and had trouble making it on a half mile walk.  At that point, I wasn’t sure anything was wrong, I just thought he was uninterested in walking because it was wet out.  However on Sunday, the 28th once I saw he was having trouble with the steps, I knew something wasn’t right.  I thought it might have been a leg or paw injury, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  After he wasn’t any better with 10 days of pain medicine, we decided to try the antibiotics just in case there was some type of tick born infection that didn’t show up on the tests, that is the antibiotic that we just finished last night.  Akiva can walk around, he is able to go outside, (I carry him down the step), but he can walk around when he is out there, but hesitate to stand for very long before he wants to sit down.  He will walk around the house as needed to get to his water and such.  It is hard to tell is he is in pain, we had him on pain medicine for a week, and he did not seem any better.  He sways his head left and right as he walks around, he never used to do this, at least not to the extent that he does it now..  There are no spots on his back or his legs that seem painful when we touch him.  I had a full series of x rays taken and there is nothing broken, no hip dysplasia or severe arthritis.

Akiva had lost about a pound in the first week after his injury / problem started, but I was able to get him to gain the weight back (and then some) in less than a week.  He will eat, but is much more picky about his food than normal.  He is eating 2 small meals a day which should be more than enough to keep his weight up.  He has been much more interested in cooked food than his raw diet.  He appears to be willing to eat as many liver treats as I will give him, same thing with dried salmon.  However, meat that he would have normally scarfed down, he will leave sitting.  Most of the food we have presented has been soft and has been stuff he could easily swallow, so even if a tooth was bothering him, he could still eat any of the food.

Personality wise / neurologically he appears to be fully functional.  He is completely aware of his environment, his personality is unchanged (other than being less excited about his food).  He has full control of all his muscles, feel in all area of his body(responds to even a light touch on the pad of his feet).  His eyes, tail wagging and barking are all completely normal.     Some days he has seemed a little more interested in walking around than others.  He plays with his toys just about like he always has, and spends long periods sitting (so his front legs don’t appear to bother him at all).  He is his old friendly self, just can’t move around that well.  He still has been going on walks with us, he just gets to ride in a dog stroller.  He does quite well in the stroller, and rarely complains.  He has just sat in there for close to 2 hours while we were walking.

The good news is that over the course of 3 weeks he has not gotten any worse, with something that came on so suddenly, the first worry was that it was something that would get rapidly worse, yet it has held pretty constant.

Tuesday afternoon he has an appointment with a specialist, who hopefully will be able to give us a better idea of what is going on and what the treatment options will be.  He may need to have an MRI before we can pin point the problem.  If we do find it is a back or spine problem, the good news is that the success rate with treatment medical and or surgical is very high.  Most dogs that under go treatment recover and are able to lead full lives.  We don’t know that it is a back problem, that is only one guess, and since he appears to have no back pain, it doesn’t even seem that likely.  We hope to know more after Tuesdays appointment with the specialist in Appleton.

Akiva normally does not get any supplements to his diet, but since he has not been able to eat his regular diet for 3 weeks now, I am going to have to order a couple supplements for him to make sure he is getting a good complete diet.  I am going to include a supplement that include glucosamine and chondroitin, which may help his joints if they are involved in this problem.

I will make a new post after we find out more at Tuesdays appointment.  Please wish Akiva the best, he is working hard to get better.

Akiva will be 7 years old on this Thursday March 25th, 2010.

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