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A few weeks ago my black lab started acting very strange. He was sulking around and then laid down and refused to get up. He usually obeys me all the time, but when I told him to get up he just wouldn't. He hung his head like he was embarrassed that he couldn't stand up. When he goes to the bathroom his back legs shake intensely. So I thought he must be having joint problems, so I gave him some glucosamine supplement and made an appointment with the vet. That night he also developed a problem with his breathing. He would sit up, and pant really heavily, almost to the point where I thought he might have a heart attack. He refused to lay down now, and would fall asleep standing up. Each morning on his walk, he goes one block and then loses all his energy. He is literally half a block behind me when I get home, practically dragging himself.

At the vet they examined him, took xrays and found nothing wrong with him. The xrays were examined by a specialist and he found nothing wrong with his heart or lungs. They drew blood and found nothing abnormal, except he seemed to have a significant amount of crystals in his urine so they treated him for that. He was tested for Addison's yesterday, but the vet says she strongly doubts he has that. I'm running out of options, I don't know what to do. It's so sad seeing him like this. The vet gave us pain medication, which seems to do nothing. I've been giving him valerian root to help him sleep at night, where he can actually lay down.

I've scoured the web, looking for someone who has had a similar situation. I'm hoping someone here might be of some help, thank you for reading.
 

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Poor boy, unfortunately I have no idea what might be wrong with your boy and can't offer any advice, but hopefully someone who can will see this.

Hope you find out whats wrong and he gets back to normal soon.
 
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How old is your lad? I ask because you are describing very similar symptoms to my what my Lurcher was suffering from.

My Lurcher was almost 14 years old and had a bit of Arthritis in her spine, which made her gait a little stiff and her legs wobble a bit if she stood still. However unfortunately while I was out, something happened and as I came in I heard her fall off my bed (she always slept on my bed while I was out) and as she came down the stairs, her back legs were trailing behind her. She was in a lot of pain and distress and could barely stand but yet couldn't seem to lay down either (much like you are describing). The vet gave her Morphine as her pain was so great and she was panting so hard that her tongue swelled and went such a dark red.

Because of her great age, apart from cursory Heart and Lung checks we didn't go down the road of blood tests and x-rays she was in far too much pain and distress to be pulled about. Her heart and lungs were good though and she lasted the night and no doubt would have lasted many more nights but even with the Morphine we couldn't get on top of her pain and she was still panting so heavily with it. Her back legs barely held her and she had to be lifted gently and placed in a standing position, to which her legs then shook and she could barely move them.

Back at the vets they suggested that either she had had some sort of Stroke or she had damaged her spine or even perhaps broken her pelvis as they couldn't find a specific area of pain. Had she been a younger dog I would have at least tried for a few more days to find out if she could be helped but because of her great age, I allowed her to go with dignity, never really knowing what was causing her pain.

I'm not saying you should do this with your chap but intense panting is a sign of distress and pain and sometimes normal painkillers just don't touch this. He may need something much stronger until you can find out what's wrong with him and somehow fix it.

For now I would forget trying to walk him, as he clearly is in great discomfort and get him back to the vets again. Only broken bones show up on x-rays but things like slipped discs or any other soft tissue injuries don't show up, yet can be just as painful as a break if not more so.

I wish you all the best for your lad and I hope they manage to relieve his pain very soon.
 

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Hi Lex
Welcome to Lab Forums.
So sorry to hear about what is happening with your lab.
As Jules says, x-rays don't show everything. It may be possible that an MRI scan is needed, or possibly other tests to get to the bottom of it. If you vet doesn't seem to be getting anywhere it may be as well to ask for a referral.
Meanwhile lots of healing vibes for your boy }}}}}}}}}}}}
Please let us know how things go

June and Monty
 

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Poor Bailey. I hope you can get a dignosis soon as to what it is and he can be treated.

It sounds horrible both for you and him.

Maybe John W will be along to help soon, he fantastic on health matters.

Bumping this up for you.
 

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Oh goodness, so sorry to hear about the suffering of your poor boy. Unfortunately, I can't think of any suggestions or advice, but I do send your boy lots of famous LF ~~~healing vibes~~~ and hope you get to the bottom of it.....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
He's six years old, and I thought it was a back/spine issue but sometimes during the day he's fine. He'll be laying down rolling on his back and moving his head ..so it doesn't seem like he's hurting all the time. But right now, and usually every night he is sitting up and panting. I took a video, it's pretty bad quality but you can hear him panting and see how he's sitting a bit funny. He also whines if I try to lift up his head.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qEb75Iv3rw
 
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Thankfully the lad doesn't look anywhere near as distress as my old girl did but saying that, there is obviously somethng wrong.

From the way he's hanging his head and from the fact that you say he whines if you lift his head, I would guess at it being a neck or possibly even a brain problem. I think I would be back to the vet and asking them to check that area and as someone else mentioned an MRI scan would probably give a better picture than an x-ray, as to what may be going on.

I do hope they get him sorted out soon, as this must be distressing for both of you.
 

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Soory to hear about your Bailey. I really would get him back to your vet, or a different vet, to be seen again asap.

((((healing vibes)))) for Bailey.
 
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